A rare species of small, furry little creatures with large ears that, according to the Gremlins novelization, were genetically engineered and sent to Earth. Mogwais are cute and cuddly and will even sing for you if they like you, but these little bundles of puff have a dark side.

There are three important rules for caring for a mogwai. Never forget them and never violate them. The rules are:

  • Keep it out of bright light. Mogwais hate bright light, and sunlight will melt them, leaving behind a stain that's a pain to clean up.
  • Don't get them wet. Don't give the mogwai a bath and don't give it a drink. Water causes mogwais to multiply in a painful fashion, and the offspring are never as friendly as the original mogwai.
  • And most importantly, whatever you do, never ever feed them after midnight. Doing so will cause your cute little mogwai to undergo a metamorphosis into a nasty killer gremlin.
The novelization of Gremlins includes a few more facts about the mogwai that aren't seen in the two movies, Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. One of the most interesting is that mogwais are incapable of outright anger (even though Gizmo the mogwai exhibits this trait in the films. The book explains that the gremlins drove him to anger and that he is the first of his kind to become angry) and are incapable of even swearing. In fact, the mogwai equivalent of a curse word is "stinky ice cream" or "not nice person". Furthermore, at one point there was an entire mogwai civilization on another planet, but after so many of the mogwais went gremlin, their creators rounded up the remaining friendly mogwais and shipped them off to other planets.

In the Gremlins movies the voices of the mogwais were performed by Howie Mandel.