Writing The Gremlins

December 1942 - April 1943

Roald Dahl begins work on his first longer story, The Gremlins, published by Walt Disney

December 1942 - April 1943

December 1942 - April 1943

Following the publication of Shot Down Over Libya, Roald Dahl begins work on The Gremlins, a story drawing on RAF folklore which held that little creatures were responsible for the various mechanical failures on aeroplanes. The Gremlins soon comes to the attention of Walt Disney and discussions about turning the story into a film begin.

In December 1942 a shortened version of the full Gremlins story called Introducing the Gremlins is published in the American general interest magazine Cosmopolitan. Roald uses the pen-name Pegasus.

In April 1943, The Gremlins is released as a book by Walt Disney/Random House and enjoys modest success. The US president’s wife Eleanor Roosevelt reads the story to her grandchildren and Roald is later invited to the White House. However, the film version is shelved later in the year as the public appetite for war films begins to dwindle.

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