(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Gargoyles)
Doug (vo): When I first saw Gargoyles in 1994, my first initial thought was, "Oh, this is Disney trying to do Batman." A lot more serious, darker, action-oriented shows for kids were popping up everywhere, and this was Disney's attempt to cash in on that. It had more shadows, harsher plots, more serious voice acting, and even though I was getting to the age where I wasn't really watching these kind of cartoons anymore, I do kind of remember sneaking it in in-between school. You know, like when you tell your friends, "Oh, yeah, who watches Gargoyles?", but you kind of secretly knew I did. I watch Gargoyles. As I've gotten older and watched it again, I realized not only does it really stand to the test of time, but it's definitely not just a Batman rip-off. It's not even close. It really is its own unique thing. And the amount of planning that must've gone into this when you see how many elements in the story tie in and come back later, it really is a damn impressive show.
Premise[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): In the age of swords and sorcery, gargoyles rule the night, because that's all they can rule. When the sun comes up, they turn to stone, but when the sun goes down, they break out of their statues and go through the night. This idea and visual alone is amazing. The humans don't much care for the gargoyles, as they see them as, well, monsters, despite them most of the time protecting the humans. But a sudden betrayal takes place and most of the gargoyles are wiped out, that is, for a select few. A sorcerer confuses the gargoyles saving them for attacking them, and he turns them into stone during the night, and the only way to reverse the spell is to take them and the castle they swore to protect above the clouds, which...in that time period, seems pretty unlikely. So the leader of this clan, Goliath, played by Keith David, has the sorcerer turn him to stone, too, so he can be with his clan. Years later, though, an eccentric billionaire named Xanatos, played by Jonathan Frakes, does indeed lift the castle and the gargoyles above the clouds in this incredible architectural design...I mean, good God, look at that...bringing them back to life. A detective named Elisa Maza stumbles across them, forms a strong friendship, and, of course, she has to show them how the modern world works, while also finding out their supposed friends in Xanatos and Goliath's resurrected lost love, Demona, played by Marina Sirtis, are not quite what they expect them to be.
Review[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): To go into this series' continuing stories is a mouthful. It just goes everywhere, and it does it amazingly. This is one of those shows where some can be episodic, but there's also kind of this long, continuing story that takes place both in the past, the modern day, and sometimes even in the future. Where Disney does a lot of these connecting stories all the time now with Gravity Falls and DuckTales and so forth, back then, this was new territory for them. It's almost like it combined the dark gothicness of Batman with the continuing kind of soap opera stories of X-Men, but then adding this new element of mythology, wizards, armies, kings, queens, princesses, all tying in to an ancient lore that sounds really complicated, but the show is very good at holding your hand and walking you through it. There's so many twists and turns about characters' different identities, especially over the hundreds, even thousands, of years they've been alive. It's one of those series that starts off good and only gets better and better the more you watch it.
(Clips focusing on the show's animation and characters are shown)
Doug (vo): The animation, nine out of 10, is really, really good. As with a lot of other shows back then, it wasn't always consistent, though. They had to go to different animation companies, sometimes, I'm sure notes got lost in the mix, and it can come across a little awkward. But like I said, that's a rarity. Usually, it's done superbly well, with these incredible shadows and great angles, and to compliment it all, an amazing voice cast. These actors are amazing. Not only are their voices just so distinct, so booming, so powerful, but their acting is just phenomenal. I remember we used to joke how many Star Trek cast members are on this show, there's surprisingly a lot, but honestly, they're so good, you kind of don't care anymore. It doesn't become distracting. The Star Trek actors are good actors. There's a reason the shows they were on had so many seasons, because they were so charming and we like watching them, and we like hearing them here.
(Footage focusing on the show's third season is shown)
Doug (vo): Like I said, the show only gets better and better the further it goes...for the most part. There's a lot of negative talk about season 3, as apparently, they changed up a lot, they were suddenly on a different network, and, yeah, while it's clearly not as good as the other seasons, it's still not that bad, in my opinion. There's an emphasis this time on the prejudice against the gargoyles, which was really more of a "first couple episodes" thing, you know, because they just kept in secret the rest of the time, but now, they're outed, and there's this... (Sighs) ...very obvious clan, if you will, that's hunting them down, and, yeah, I wonder what this is representing. There's also kind of weird storylines, like Broadway suddenly becomes a big movie star, and an alternate reality where Goliath is married to Elisa and he's human, and being a lot more episodic rather than a continuing story, which a lot of fans didn't like. But honestly, there's still some really solid nuggets of good in this, too, like I really enjoyed the episode where Demona is bonding with her daughter, and she kind of doesn't know. Can she trust her, or can't she? Despite these "what if the main character was normal" plotlines we've seen a million times in a million other shows, it's still done okay here. Even though it goes a little goofy and a little different, there's still this idea that they want to keep it kind of sad and melancholy, and to me, that's still a big focus on the show. As long as we don't lose that and we like the characters enough, I still think it's alright.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): But, yeah, the real focus is those two first seasons, and when I said "two seasons", I don't mean, like, 12 or 13 episodes, I mean, combined, they're, like, 65 episodes, so there's a lot of them. It's practically three seasons. It's engaging, imaginative, dramatic, dark, brooding, action-packed, and even though it came out a long time ago, it's definitely new material for Disney that we would love to see them return to. (The poster for The Lion King (2019) is shown) I mean, it's gotta be better than what they're returning to now.
(A shot showing Goliath slowly opening his eyes is shown)