Abstract Films of methylcellulose (MC), poly(ethylene glycol)400 (PEG400) plasticized MC, and MC gels (MC crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GA)) were prepared by casting from aqueous solutions. The swelling test has shown that the MC gels were insoluble in water and that their crosslinking density increased with increasing GA and HCl concentrations. The effect of the addition of PEG400 or GA to MC was investigated through dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The DMA analysis of PEG400/MC blends has shown that PEG400 was compatible with MC and was an effective plasticizer since the curves of tan δ against temperature exhibited single peaks (corresponding to a single glass transition temperature), which were displaced to lower values with increasing PEG400 content. The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) indicated that the thermal stability of MC was not affected by the chemical crosslinking. The tensile strength was slightly increased through crosslinking while the elongation was slightly decreased. The presence of moisture in MC hydrogels decreased the tensile strength and enhanced the elongation while the addition of PEG400 decreased the tensile strength but sharply increased the elongation.