The Gremlins

The Gremlins
Cover of the first edition of The Gremlins
AuthorRoald Dahl
IllustratorBill Justice
Al Dempster
CountryUnited Kingdom
Published1943 Walt Disney Company (original)
Dark Horse Comics (current)
Media typeHardback
Roald Dahl, c. 1954

The Gremlins is a book written by Roald Dahl and published in 1943.[1]

It was Dahl's first book and was written for Walt Disney Productions, in anticipation of a feature-length animated film that was never made.[Note 1] With Dahl's assistance, a series of gremlin characters were developed, and while pre-production had begun, the film project was eventually abandoned, in part because the studio could not establish the precise rights of the "gremlin" story, and in part because the British Air Ministry was heavily involved in the production because Dahl, who was on leave from his wartime Washington posting, insisted on final approval of script and production.[2][Note 2]


The story concerns mischievous mythical creatures, the Gremlins of the title, often invoked by Royal Air Force pilots as an explanation of mechanical troubles and mishaps.[4] In Dahl's book, the gremlins' motivation for sabotaging British aircraft is revenge of the destruction of their forest home, which was razed to make way for an aircraft factory. The principal character in the book, Gus, has his Hawker Hurricane fighter destroyed over the English Channel by a gremlin, but is able to convince the gremlins as they parachute into the water that they should join forces against a common enemy, Hitler and the Nazis, rather than fight each other.

Eventually, the gremlins are re-trained by the Royal Air Force to repair rather than sabotage aircraft, and restore Gus to active flight status after a particularly severe crash.[Note 3] The book also contains picturesque details about the ordinary lives of gremlins: baby gremlins, for instance, are known as widgets, and females as fifinellas, a name taken from the great "flying" filly racehorse Fifinella, that won both The Derby and Epsom Oaks in 1916, the year Dahl was born.

Other Languages
català: The Gremlins
español: Los gremlins
հայերեն: Գրեմլինները
Nederlands: De Gremlins (boek)