Gremlins 2: Daffy Self-Contained Animatronic Mogwai Movie Prop
Daffy will always be remembered for his extreme hyperactive antics, but what if the need him flailing while an actor is carrying him? They bring in the RC robotics team.
THE GREMLINS MUSEUM
Daffy is a mogwai character from the 1990 movie Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Daffy is known for his quirky hyper personality, distinctive laugh, and love for causing chaos. Whether it's Billy's paint splattered on the window or chicken wings thrown on the floor, you'll usually know he's been in the room.
This Daffy self-contained animatronic puppet is something special. He is very heavy and filled to the brim with late 80's RC robotics tech. He was designed to be picked up by an actor and carried, all while still performing and in Daffy's case- flailing around aimlessly. For these animatronic props, a puppeteer would be just off set and controlling them with a remote while Billy or Kate would be holding on for dear life. This puppet was only one of two created, the other being Gizmo.
You can see this puppet being used primarily with Billy carrying Daffy across the room in their New York apartment right as the Futterman's ring their doorbell. From these screen captures, it's easy to get the sense that Zach Galligan is locked onto that torso so he doesn't accidentally drop him while the arms and legs wave around wildly!
This puppet is currently in pretty stable condition, having undergone two rounds of restoration- the first being with Tom Spina Design's team. You can see his eyelids were originally locked in the closed position along with extremely deteriorated fingers and toes that had to be reconstructed.
What's all the more interesting is when you see the giant Gremlins "group photo", you can spot this puppet down in the corner with the exact same eyelid closed position. That's how they left him when he was done on set for good.
Restoration artist Joe Petro did another pass on him in late 2022, just doing light touch-ups and getting him on a matching acrylic stand as the other mogwais.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch
The magical collectibles store that Gizmo calls home has just been destroyed, and the tiny monster finds his way into a newly erected skyscraper. Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) and his bride-to-be, Kate (Phoebe Cates), who have previously dealt with Gremlins run amok, discover that Gizmo and an impish legion of reptilian pals are inhabiting the downtown building. The couple tries to stop the creatures from escaping into New York City, but this new batch of beasts might be uncontrollable.