DIrishB

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Does anyone remember the show Gargoyles? It was on TV in the mid-1990's, an animated show done by Disney, and was actually a really good show.

It was about a group of Scottish Gargoyles (hence the name) from the late 900's AD who have a spell cast on them to sleep for a thousand years. They end up waking up in present day New York, when the castle they were perched on is bought by a wealthy businessman named Xanatos and moved to the top of his skyscraper brick by brick. Its this action which breaks their spell, and they awaken to a new world, all other Gargoyles since killed off. Alone and unfamiliar with their new world, they befriend a female detective named Elisa Maza. Over the course of the first season they learn Xanatos is corrupt and trying to merely use them, and also that a fellow Gargoyle, thought to be dead, is in fact alive. This one, named Demona, used to be the lover of the packs leader Goliath, but now is in league with Xanatos and their enemy.

The show features great animation (especially for ten years ago), a very gothic and dark like Batman-TAS. It also features surprisingly well-written storylines with a very well thought out continuity (they often reference events from other episodes without it being confusing had you never seen them). The most interesting aspect of the show is its running social commentary on humanity, both its good and bad traits. It also features moral lessons, as it was still aimed at children, but without adding hokey or stupid aspects in. This is probably why the show still has such a large following today, even among adults. The show features the voice talents of Keith David, Ed Asner, Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me; Sex, Lies, and Videotape), Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes (both of Star Trek-TNG fame) so its a relatively well known cast.

Anyway, I was a fan of the show when I was younger, but eventually forgot about it once it went off the air. A few weeks ago I saw the first season collected on DVD at a local video store, and for nostalgia's sake I picked it up. It features the first 13 episodes of the first season. I sat down and watched them and was immediately reminded why I had liked and respected this show so much. Apparently the first volume of the second season is coming out the beginning of December, so I'll be sure to pick that up as well (the first season only had 13 episodes so is available complete in one DVD set, but the second had 52, so its being released in two volumes...no word yet on the third season). I'm also in the process of tracking down the Gargoyles comic series, which was done by Marvel starting in 1995 and only lasted 11 issues. Its nothing special in its own right, but it ties in nicely with the continuity of the show, again making direct reference to the show's episodes and taking place between the first and second season. Disney just signed a deal with Slave Labor Graphics to produce a new comic series based on Gargoyles, written by the show's creator and producer Greg Weisman. It should be hitting shelves in December or January, so I'll be picking that up as well.

Anyway, if you're interested give the show a chance. I know I enjoy it for what it is: a smart, entertaining cartoon with plenty of action and a great sense of humor. Check it out if you can, the first season DVD is available some places for only $15, the most expensive I've seen it is $25.
 

Seldes Katne

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Sorry, DIrishB, I had started a post earlier this morning and suddenly had a half dozen reference questions and book requests before I could finish.

I can whole-heartedly recommend Gargoyles as one of the best cartoon series I've ever seen. Several episodes have won awards, including "The Green" for its environmental theme involving the Amazon rainforest. (I could have sworn "Lighthouses in the Sea of Time" received one as well, for its promotion of literacy, but I can't find any mention of it. Hm. Perhaps it just received a nomination. At any rate, that was a stellar episode.) It was one of those shows that made people actually want to read Shakespeare, even if they didn't have to. :wink:

Back when the show was running on afternoon TV I taped as many episodes as I could, sometimes sitting and editing out commercials during taping so I could fit more on a tape. I suppose I could just go buy the DVDs at this point....

The characters were three-dimensional, and everyone had admirable qualities, even the villains. There was also an inside joke that anyone who had played characters on any of the new Star Trek series would inevitably show up to voice at least one part on Gargoyles. :D
 

DIrishB

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Seldes Katne said:
Sorry, DIrishB, I had started a post earlier this morning and suddenly had a half dozen reference questions and book requests before I could finish.

I can whole-heartedly recommend Gargoyles as one of the best cartoon series I've ever seen. Several episodes have won awards, including "The Green" for its environmental theme involving the Amazon rainforest. (I could have sworn "Lighthouses in the Sea of Time" received one as well, for its promotion of literacy, but I can't find any mention of it. Hm. Perhaps it just received a nomination. At any rate, that was a stellar episode.) It was one of those shows that made people actually want to read Shakespeare, even if they didn't have to. :wink:

Back when the show was running on afternoon TV I taped as many episodes as I could, sometimes sitting and editing out commercials during taping so I could fit more on a tape. I suppose I could just go buy the DVDs at this point....

The characters were three-dimensional, and everyone had admirable qualities, even the villains. There was also an inside joke that anyone who had played characters on any of the new Star Trek series would inevitably show up to voice at least one part on Gargoyles. :D

Definitly. One of the things I liked the most was how all the characters had shades of grey instead of just being black and white. They were extremely realistic portrayals, especially for a cartoon aimed at kids. The writing was very well done, and the stories interesting, moreso because of these elements.
 

Seldes Katne

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The plots were also on-going, so the characters developed and grew. It wasn't the same plot every episode. (I once watched a week's worth of Power Rangers back when that was first popular. It was the exact same plot every time; the only things that changed were the names and construction of the monsters that showed up. And even though the monsters always lost, the main bad guy kept trying the same scheme over and over. Honestly, that show had the stupidest villains on television.... :roll: )

I got a little tired of the "where did Avalon send us now?" plot during the third (I think) season, but the rest of the series was wonderful. I particularly liked Brooklyn and MacBeth, and Elisa Maza was an excellent character. (Now that's female empowerment!) A diverse cast helped, I think, and there was a nice blend of modern and historical themes. I think it was after this show left the air that I stopped watching cartoons on television because nothing else could measure up. (And I don't care much for anime, I'm afraid.)
 

DIrishB

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Seldes Katne said:
The plots were also on-going, so the characters developed and grew. It wasn't the same plot every episode. (I once watched a week's worth of Power Rangers back when that was first popular. It was the exact same plot every time; the only things that changed were the names and construction of the monsters that showed up. And even though the monsters always lost, the main bad guy kept trying the same scheme over and over. Honestly, that show had the stupidest villains on television.... :roll: )

I got a little tired of the "where did Avalon send us now?" plot during the third (I think) season, but the rest of the series was wonderful. I particularly liked Brooklyn and MacBeth, and Elisa Maza was an excellent character. (Now that's female empowerment!) A diverse cast helped, I think, and there was a nice blend of modern and historical themes. I think it was after this show left the air that I stopped watching cartoons on television because nothing else could measure up. (And I don't care much for anime, I'm afraid.)

Most fans don't consider the third season (subtitled "The Goliath Chronicles") even a true part of the series, as by then series creator and producer Greg Weisman had left (or was let go, not sure) the series, and the quality most definitly dropped. But like I said, Weisman is coming back to the series in the form of a bi-monthly comic starting in December or January from Slave Labor Graphics, which will continue the story of the series. It was part of a deal SLG signed with Disney to produce four comic series based on their properties: Gargoyles being one; a sequel series of Alice in Wonderland called, aptly, Wonderland, based on what happened after Alice left Wonderland in the film; a series based off the Haunted Mansion ride; and a series based off the movie Tron.
 

Seldes Katne

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Oops, sorry, my mistake: Avalon was the second season. (Really? It seemed as though the series was longer than two seasons. And I mean that in the very best way possible. It should have been longer than that! :D )

The Goliath Chronicles were all right, although I think having Xanatos "reform" wasn't a good idea, as show lost out on a major villain, and Xanatos really wasn't "good guy" material. And I don't know about you, but I remember seeing the "Baby Alexander kidnapping" episode in about five times, so that's the one that stuck with me (unfortunately). It was okay, but not five times' worth. I think Disney had a short-run comic book based on the original Gargoyles series, of which I had an issue or two at one time. (Boy, that's really dredging the bottom of the old memory....)

How did you find this series on television, anyway? I just happened to be channel surfing, and there it was, and since I'm drawn to fantasy-type stuff anyway, I started taping it while I was at work to watch afterward.

DIrishB said:
But like I said, Weisman is coming back to the series in the form of a bi-monthly comic starting in December or January from Slave Labor Graphics, which will continue the story of the series. It was part of a deal SLG signed with Disney to produce four comic series based on their properties: Gargoyles being one; a sequel series of Alice in Wonderland called, aptly, Wonderland, based on what happened after Alice left Wonderland in the film; a series based off the Haunted Mansion ride; and a series based off the movie Tron.
Well, Ice'll be thrilled about that last one. The Haunted Mansion? I thought the movie was pretty good, but I didn't think it was that well received. I'll have to watch for the Gargoyles one, though, and see what kind of a job they do with it.
 

ProjectX2

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I used to love this show. I have one of the issues reprinted in a magazine I think.
 

DIrishB

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Seldes Katne said:
Oops, sorry, my mistake: Avalon was the second season. (Really? It seemed as though the series was longer than two seasons. And I mean that in the very best way possible. It should have been longer than that! :D )

The Goliath Chronicles were all right, although I think having Xanatos "reform" wasn't a good idea, as show lost out on a major villain, and Xanatos really wasn't "good guy" material. And I don't know about you, but I remember seeing the "Baby Alexander kidnapping" episode in about five times, so that's the one that stuck with me (unfortunately). It was okay, but not five times' worth. I think Disney had a short-run comic book based on the original Gargoyles series, of which I had an issue or two at one time. (Boy, that's really dredging the bottom of the old memory....)

Yup, it ran for eleven issues, I'm currently looking for #3 and #11 to finish my collection. Should you have either one and don't want to hang onto them, let me know, I'll pay well for them.

And as I said, a new comic series is starting the end of the year.

How did you find this series on television, anyway? I just happened to be channel surfing, and there it was, and since I'm drawn to fantasy-type stuff anyway, I started taping it while I was at work to watch afterward.

I busted my leg when I was about 13 in a dirt-bike accident, so after school stayed home and watched a lot of TV while it healed up. Same instance, I just saw it, was immediately interested, and started watching it for the next few months while I was laid up. Once I healed up I kind of lost interest in favor of going out and hanging out with friends, but I always remembered the show and when I saw that DVD collection just had to pick it up.

Well, Ice'll be thrilled about that last one. The Haunted Mansion? I thought the movie was pretty good, but I didn't think it was that well received. I'll have to watch for the Gargoyles one, though, and see what kind of a job they do with it.

Considering Weisman is writing it, I expect it to be on par if not better than the first two seasons.

By the way, as I mentioned to Seldes, if anyone happens to have #3 or #11 of the old Marvel comic series, which came out in 1995/1996, let me know as I'm VERY interested in buying them. I don't even care if you rip me off! ;)
 

DIrishB

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Well, its tradition, so here's the Gargoyles Timeline. The years they take place are in bold and underlined, the episodes themselves in regular print and the comic books are in italics. Note that throughout the series there are many flashbacks to the late 900s AD, but without going into detailed descriptions of the episodes featuring these flashbacks its impossible to break the episodes up accordingly, so this just follows the main storyline after they wake up in 1994. Anyway, here it is:


1994

Awakening, Part I
Awakening, Part II
Awakening, Part III
Awakening, Part IV
Awakening, Part V
The Thrill of the Hunt
Temptation
Deadly Force
Enter MacBeth
The Edge
Long Way to Morning
Her Brother's Keeper
Reawakening


1995

Gargoyles #1 - "The Night Will Never Be The Same"
Gargoyles #2 - "Always Darkest Before The Dawn"
Gargoyles #3 - "Rude Awakenings"
Gargoyles #4 - "Blood From A Stone"
Gargoyles #5 - "Venus In Stone"
Gargoyles #6 - "Venus Rising"
Gargoyles #7 - "The Pack Attacks"
Gargoyles #8 - "Terror In Times Square"
Gargoyles #9 - "The Egg And I"
Gargoyles #10 - "Out of the Past"
Gargoyles #11 - "Into the Future"


Leader of the Pack
Metamorphosis
Legion
A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time
The Mirror
The Silver Falcon
Eye of the Beholder
Vows
City of Stone, Part I
City of Stone, Part II
City of Stone, Part III
City of Stone, Part IV
High Noon
Outfoxed
Revelations
Double Jeopardy
Upgrade
Protection
The Cage
The Price
Avalon, Part I
Avalon, Part II
Avalon, Part III
Shadows of the Past
Heritage
Kingdom
Monsters
Golem
Sanctuary
M.I.A.
Grief
The Hound of Ulster
Walkabout
Mark of the Panther
Pendragon
Eye of the Storm
The New Olympians
The Green
Sentinel
Bushido
Cloud Fathers
Ill Met By Moonlight
Future Tense
The Gathering, Part I
The Gathering, Part II
Vendettas
Turf
The Reckoning
Possession
Hunter's Moon, Part I
Hunter's Moon, Part II
Hunter's Moon, Part III


1996

The Journey
Ransom
Runaways
Broadway Goes Hollywood
A Bronx Tail
The Dying Of The Light
And Justice For All
Genesis Undone
Generations
...For It May Come True
To Serve Mankind
Seeing Isn't Believing
Angels In The Night


????

Gargoyles #1 (Volume 2)
 

moonmaster

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Wow, I forgot about Gargoyles. I LOVED this show when I was little. I think I still have all the toys and books buried somewhere in my room.
 

DIrishB

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moonmaster said:
Wow, I forgot about Gargoyles. I LOVED this show when I was little. I think I still have all the toys and books buried somewhere in my room.

You should dig them out, the figures would probably get a a decent amount on Ebay. And I might be interested in the books if they're original stories, so if you find them let me know!
 

slimjim

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The red one was the man. (I had all the toys) Didn't they turn into robo gargoyles at some point?
 

DIrishB

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slimjim said:
The red one was the man. (I had all the toys) Didn't they turn into robo gargoyles at some point?

That was Brooklyn (the red one). I don't think they turned into robots, but their enemy Xanatos created the Steel Clan to take them out, which at different points was made up of robot gargoyles, cyborg gargoyles, and Xanatos himself in a robot gargoyle outfit (a la Iron Man).
 

nigma

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DIrishB said:
Definitly. I'm just glad they finally started releasing them on DVD last year, and it sparked a revival in interest in the series, leading to the new comic deal, which I'm looking forward to very much.

they use to play them on cartoon network...i think....don't know if its still played or not.
 
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