Gargoyles (TV series)

Gargoyles (TV series)
Genre Action/Adventure
Urban Fantasy
Science fantasy
Format Animated series
Created by Greg Weisman
Developed by Morgan Fuller
Written by Heather Krause
Directed by Jacob Bailey
Starring Keith David
Salli Richardson
Jeff Bennett
Bill Fagerbakke
Thom Adcox-Hernandez
Ed Asner
Frank Welker
Brigitte Bako
Marina Sirtis
Jonathan Frakes
Composer(s) Carl Johnson
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 78 (List of episodes)
Producer(s) Walt Disney Television Animation
Running time 22 minutes
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Original channel Syndicated (1994–1996)[1]
ABC (1996–1997)
Picture format 480i SDTV
Audio format Dolby Surround
Original run October 24, 1994 (1994-10-24) – February 15, 1997 (1997-02-15)

Gargoyles is an American animated series created by Greg Weisman. It was produced by Greg Weisman and Frank Paur and aired from October 24, 1994 to February 15, 1997. Gargoyles is known for its dark tone, complex story arcs and melodrama. Character arcs were heavily employed throughout the series, as were Shakespearean themes.

A small but loyal fanbase supported the property after television syndication. The first season and part of season two are available on DVD. The Gargoyles storyline continued from 2006–2009 in a comic book of the same name, written by Weisman and produced by Slave Labor Graphics.



The series features a species of nocturnal creatures known as Gargoyles that turn to stone during the day, focusing on a clan led by Goliath. In the year 994, the clan lives in a castle in medieval Scotland alongside humans until many of them are killed by betrayal, and the remainder are magically frozen in stone until the castle "rises above the clouds." A millennium later, billionaire David Xanatos purchases the Gargoyles' castle and has it reconstructed atop his New York skyscraper, awakening the six remaining Gargoyles. In trying to adjust to their new world they are aided by a sympathetic NYPD officer, Elisa Maza, and quickly come into conflict with the machiavellian Xanatos. In addition to dealing with the Gargoyles' attempts to adjust to modern New York, the series also incorporated various supernatural threats to their safety and to the world at large.


The voice cast featured several actors who are alumni of the Star Trek franchise including Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes (respectively, Deanna Troi and William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation), who were featured regularly as principal cast members.[2] Other Star Trek actors such as Michael Dorn (Worf on TNG), Brent Spiner (Data on TNG),[2] Colm Meaney (Miles O’Brien on TNG and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge on TNG), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series),[2] Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko on DS9),[2] Paul Winfield (Clark Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), David Warner (various characters, most notably Gul Madred in "Chain of Command", a two-part episode of TNG) and Kate Mulgrew ((Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager) were guest or recurring stars in the series.[2]


A total of 78 half-hour episodes were produced. The first two seasons aired in the Disney Afternoon programming block. The controversial third and final season aired on Disney's One Saturday Morning format on ABC as Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles. With the exception of the first episode of the season, "The Journey," these episodes were produced without the involvement of series creator Greg Weisman and are not considered canonical by him.[3]


Series creator Weisman, a former English teacher, has often cited his goal of ideally incorporating every myth and legend into the series eventually. Many Shakespearean characters and stories found their way into the show's storylines, particularly Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream.[4] The series was also influenced by medieval Scottish history.

Weisman has cited the influences of Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears and Hill Street Blues on the series.[5] The latter in particular inspired the ensemble format of the series and the 30-second "Previously, on Gargoyles…" recap found at the beginning of later episodes.[6][7] The former was an influence on the original comedy development of the show, which was subsequently made darker and more serious before production.[8]


New York artist Joe Tomasini brought a suit against Disney, claiming that his copyrighted screen play and character designs had been copied during the development and production of Gargoyles.[9] The case was ultimately thrown out, after it was proven that Disney did not have access to Joe Tomasini's creations.[10]


Disney Adventures

Gargoyles comics were published in the Disney Studios Adventures magazine, eleven stories total. A two-part story, "Stone Cold" is notable in that it provided a story idea that was later used in the TV series in the episode "The Price". Another, "The Experts", was intended as tie-in advertising for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.


In 1995, Marvel Comics issued a Gargoyles comic book series. The books did not directly follow the continuity of the series, but they did reference specific events that took place within it. Greg Weisman, television series co-creator, did not have any direct involvement in the story development of the comic series, but was consulted on some plot points to be sure it stayed within certain boundaries. The series ran for 11 issues. Weisman was eventually hired to write for the comic, but Marvel cut ties with Disney before his run could be produced. Weisman still has his unpublished script for the comic, and would eventually use it as issue #6 of Gargoyles (SLG comic).[11] The Marvel series was tonally darker than the television series, dealing largely with Xanatos' experiments to create creatures and machines to defeat the Gargoyles. Also to note, Beth Maza (who appeared in a photo in Deadly Force) and Petros Xanatos appeared in the comics before their full debut on the show.

Slave Labor Graphics

Cover to Creature Comics' Gargoyles #1, by Greg Guler.

On 21 June 2006, Slave Labor Graphics, in association with, began producing a new Gargoyles comic written by series creator Greg Weisman. The comic continues the storyline of the animated series, picking up after the second season finale, "Hunter's Moon, Part III". The first two issues adapt the first episode of The Goliath Chronicles, which Weisman story edited. In August 2008, Greg Weisman announced that, due to Disney increasing its licensing fees, Slave Labor Graphics would not be renewing its license of Gargoyles after it ran out on August 31, 2008. The final two issues of Bad Guys and four of Gargoyles were released in the comic trades collecting both series in August 2009. Weisman also stated that SLG President Dan Vado has not given up on the Gargoyles franchise, and hopes to pursue the idea of Gargoyles graphic novels in the future.[12]

Fan community

A small but loyal fanbase for the property developed after its cancellation, largely online.[13]

In 1997, Weisman began answering fan questions about the series in an online forum at Ask Greg, revealing, among other things, productions details about the series, in-universe details about the characters, and his plans for the property if it had not been cancelled or if he was able to revive it in the future. Among other revelations, Weisman has detailed spinoffs for the series that reached various stages of development, including Bad Guys, for which a leica reel was produced; Gargoyles 2198,[14] for which he has written a series bible; Timedancer; Pendragon; Dark Ages; and The New Olympians.

The Gathering of the Gargoyles
Status Defunct
Genre Gargoyles TV Series
Venue Changes yearly
Location Los Angeles, California
Country USA
First held 1997
Last held 2009
Official website

The Gathering of the Gargoyles[15] was an annual fan convention which began in 1997. The Gathering featured several regular guests close to the Gargoyles franchise including series co-creator Greg Weisman, and voice actors Keith David and Thom Adcox. The Gathering has featured several recurring special events such as a radio play, where attendees audition and take speaking roles, a masquerade ball where attendees dress up as their favorite character, an art show where the many artists within the fandom can display or sell their artwork. Weisman has in the past shown the leica reel of Bad Guys at Gatherings. Footage and interviews from the 2004 Gathering appears as an extra feature on the Season 1 DVD of the show.[16]

Home video

VHS and Laserdisc

The five-episode pilot was edited into movie format for Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken and released on VHS and Laserdisc in February 1995. The following videos were later released containing the remaining first-season episodes:

  • The Hunted (October 1995), containing episodes "The Thrill Of The Hunt" and "Temptation"
  • The Force Of Macbeth (October 1995), containing episodes "Deadly Force" and "Enter Macbeth"
  • Deeds Of Deception (April 1996), containing episodes "The Edge" and "Long Way To Morning"
  • Brothers Betrayed (April 1996), containing episodes "Her Brother's Keeper" and "Reawakening"

Episodes six through thirteen were left unaltered, except for the removal of the "Previously on Gargoyles..." segment from "Enter Macbeth".

DVD releases

In 2004, the tenth anniversary of its premiere, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Season 1 of Gargoyles on DVD in Region 1. The first half of the second season was released in December 2005.

At the 2006 Gathering of the Gargoyles convention held in Los Angeles, Weisman announced that the release of Season 2 Volume 2 had been canceled. Weisman has stated simply, "Volume 1 did not sell enough copies." Since then, Disney had no plans to release the second volume.[17][18][19]

The episodes themselves are uncensored, restoring scenes which were removed on Toon Disney and the VHS releases.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Gargoyles: The Complete First Season 13 December 7, 2004
  • The Gathering of the Gargoyles
  • Original show pitch by Greg Weisman
  • Audio Commentary on episodes 1 - 5.
Gargoyles: Season 2, Volume 1 26 December 6, 2005
  • Episode introductions with series creator Greg Weisman
  • The Gathering of Cast and Crew Featurette
  • Audio commentary on the "City of Stone" episodes (parts 1-4)
Gargoyles: Season 2, Volume 2 26
Gargoyles: Season 3 13

Video game

Sega Genesis cover artwork.

In 1995, Gargoyles, the video game was released in the United States for the Sega Genesis. A Super Nintendo version was planned; however, it was never released.[20] The game was a side scrolling platformer. The plot was considered non-canon and involved the Eye of Odin attempting to destroy the world.


  1. ^ "Top 100 animated series". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Archives -
  3. ^ Search Ask Greg : Gargoyles : Station Eight
  4. ^ "Gargoyles - Season 1 Review". Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  5. ^ Final page, Gargoyles #1
  6. ^ Search Ask Greg : Gargoyles : Station Eight
  7. ^ Search Ask Greg : Gargoyles : Station Eight
  8. ^ Search Ask Greg : Gargoyles : Station Eight
  9. ^ "Tomasini v. Walt Disney Company". Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  10. ^ Sallah, Michael (2000-07-02). "Lawsuits are nothing new for Disney". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  11. ^ Gargoyles #6 at
  12. ^ Search Ask Greg : Gargoyles : Station Eight
  13. ^ The Gargoyles Fans Website :: Main
  14. ^ Search Ask Greg : Gargoyles : Station Eight
  15. ^ The Gathering of the Gargoyles
  16. ^ Gargoyles DVD news: Want to be IN the Gargoyles DVD? |
  17. ^ Toon Zone - Your Source for Toon News!
  18. ^ Gargoyles - Lower sales of season 2, Volume 1 put series at risk
  19. ^ Gargoyles - Tell 1,000 people
  20. ^ Examination of the Consumers Distributing video game catalogs in 1994-1995 show promotional artwork of the Super Nintendo version, it featured cover art with Goliath about to jump off a building and take flight. The artwork had the ESRB Rating Pending symbol on it.

External links

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