In 1994, #Disney released the animated fantasy TV series Gargoyles — and ever since, those who remember have been clamoring for more, yelling about how awesome it was. If you need a refresher, then check out the trailer for the 1995 VHS release below.
The Amazing Blend Of Science And Sorcery
#Gargoyles combined sci-fi plots that included cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and genetic-manipulation shenanigans with the kind of superstition, sword and sorcery you'd find in Arthurian legends — and it worked.
Fuse these types of genre bends with a dark, noir-like aesthetic and a great voice cast and soundtrack, and you've got yourself one helluva cartoon show.
It Had The Best Opening Theme Ever
Voice actor Keith David could basically read the phone book and it would be incredible. Fortunately, instead of A–K, he has a badass monologue and some darkly intense orchestral music to work with. Make your day more awesome by hitting the arrow button below.
And speaking of amazing voices...
The Voice Cast Had A Ton Of Star Trek Connections
Put on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and close your eyes. If you're a Gargoyles fan, you're in for an aural feast. Can you recognize some of the dulcet tones of the #StarTrek alumni below?
Fun fact: Salli Richardson-Whitfield, who played Elisa in Gargoyles, once guest starred on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
All Myths Were True — And They Were All Awesome
Remember the Arthurian-legend vibe? Gargoyles took it even further, including characters and storylines right out of Shakespeare. Season 2, Episode 5's "The Mirror" is heavily inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Fae royalty Oberon and Titania, the mischief-making Puck, MacBeth and King Arthur all making regular appearances.
And that's just the European classics. Gargoyles also featured myths and legends from around the world, with the likes of West Africa's Anansi the spider trickster and the Native America trickster Coyote also appearing. Yep, the universe of Gargoyles was vast, and full of great stories.
Gargoyles Was Ahead Of Its Time
Right from the get-go, Gargoyles set itself apart from its competition by way of its powerful stories, deep character development and cultural commentary. It's a show about people from another country (and century) trying to find their place in a new culture that looks upon them with suspicion and fear. Sometimes it got real-world heavy. Fortunately, Gargoyles was well orchestrated and displayed a sensitivity when dealing with such subjects.
Standout Season 1 episode "Deadly Force" addressed the very real consequences of gun violence, even accidental violence — and where another show that's aimed at kids might have come across as cheesy or preachy, Gargoyles treated the subject with realism and respect.
Nowadays, turn on the news and you might think the cyberpunk-dystopian hellscape, as seen in the Gargoyles episode "Future Tense," is starting to look a little too familiar. But even outside of the big, dramatic stories, the series boasted a wealth of smaller, subtler moments that allow for the writing and character development to shine.
Listen to this. What are they actually talking about here? Lots of stuff besides surface stuff. Trust and betrayal, isolation and inclusion, misconceptions, ingrained prejudices, lies. These are some of the themes tackled in Gargoyles (even if you can't believe all you hear on television).
The Story Continued In The Comics
The show ended after three seasons (depending on who you ask). Disney produced the third season without the show's co-creator Greg Weisman and a lot of the original writers from the first two seasons — so this final season bears little resemblance to the source material.
Gargoyles already had one run of graphic novels in the '90s — courtesy of #Marvel, no less — and the revamped comics in 2006 courtesy of Slave Labor Graphics, were a lot more true to the original show than the third season ever was.
This time, the property was kicked off with a multi-part arc written by co-creator Weisman, showing where the story would have gone according to his vision. From there, the action moves forward for the first time in years, introducing several intriguing new characters and concepts that left fans eager for more.
The Fandom Is Loyal, Active And Lives Again
Gargoyles might be old enough to buy its own liquor now, but it's far from forgotten. The fanbase is devoted and vocal, and for 12 years, until 2009, Gargoyles had its own annual North American convention called The Gathering.
Weisman still blogs actively, answering fan questions and discussing Gargoyles, along with his later works like The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice.
Fans using the Twitter hashtag #WeLiveAgain regularly sing the show's praises and make it very clear that if Disney decides to give the show a new lease on life, they'll be waiting.
So now you know a little more about this relatively hidden gem of a '90s classic. You can always find out more by checking it out for yourself. No Netflix, but the DVDs are pretty cheap on Amazon.
Is there a '90s show you want to shout about from the rooftops and you think is worthy of a reboot? Sound off in the comments below.