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Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s Adorable Mini-Puft Marshmallows Had An Unlikely Inspiration

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was a movie that relied heavily on nostalgia for the original franchise. While many of the film’s references to the original 1986 movie were overt connections to the plot, there were also a lot of easter eggs and other references that were really just there to entertain the fans, which is not to say that didn’t work. However, it seems that one sequence, the one containing dozens of miniature Stay-Puft marshmallow men, wasn’t so much inspired by the original Ghostbusters as it was inspired by another classic 1984 movie, Gremlins.

The scene includes Paul Rudd in a store, picking up some ice cream when he comes across the mini-puft creatures having a good time, but also being pretty destructive. While the scene certainly takes inspiration from the 100-foot tall marshmallow man in the original film, VFX supervisor Pier Lefebvre tells Variety that the scene was actually inspired by the original Gremlins, explaining… 

In our dailies sessions with director Jason Reitman and production supervisor Alessandro Ongaro, our team was encouraged to bring their own ideas to the table. I think the choreography was the perfect combination of gruesome, evil, infantile, savage, unhinged and funny, all while bringing personality to each marshmallow. Our inspiration for the scene included the 1984 movie ‘Gremlins,’ released the same year as the original ‘Ghostbusters.’

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