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"Gargoyles"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Gargoyles" More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not your ordinary "cartoon"

10/10
Author: cirdon from United States
10 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The show is what many consider Disney's greatest. The irony of this is that the Disney Company had little say in what went on with the show. Their...lack of attention (for lack of a better term)...gave the creators the freedom to make the show the way they wanted, without being under the thumb of what's "acceptable" in media.

It sparked something in people that weren't the target audience. Go to a convention or visit the fan site forums and you may find what looks to be more like a college discussion on anatomy or mythology than a bunch of fans talking about an animated TV show.

It was noticeable when Disney started taking control again. Whole episodes were kept off-air because some people missed the entire point of the message. The episode "Deadly Force" is the prime example of this, in the episode, Broadway accidentally shoots Elisa while playing with her gun. The message: don't play with guns (unlike other shows, it actually shows the consequences of doing so). Why it was pulled for a while: Elisa was shot because Broadway was playing with guns.

Most of the people that dislike the show feel as such because they've missed key items.

Take the names, for example. Gargoyles didn't originally have names, unless, like Goliath (named by the people inhabiting Castle Wyvern for his size and strength in battle) and Demona (named by Macbeth for her ferocity in battle - "you fight like a demon!"), the names were given by humans. It was not part of their culture to name everything. When they did choose names in the 20th century, the names were based on what was around them. They lived in New York City, so their names were based on some of the sights they saw (Hudson for the river, Brooklyn and Bronx for the districts, Lexington and Broadway for the well-known streets; when the clones were introduced in Season 2, their names were based off west coast places). Because their culture was not the same as human culture, they did not initially understand the reason for names. "Their ways are not our ways." (Goliath) Other people find the literalness of the spells to be absurd. The magic in the show is very literal (though the spells are, in fact, Latin and truly translate), such is the way of the people of a millennium ago in the Gargoyles universe. David Xanatos makes a comment on this in "The Price" when he tries an immortality spell in which the spell states "anyone who bathes in this will live as long as the mountain stones." Quite possibly the only magic that isn't literal is Puck's, but he is, true to Shakespeare, a trickster and a Child of Oberon.

Which brings another factor in - the Shakespearian and mythological influences that were worked in. Oberon, Titania, Oberon's Children (including Puck and the Wyrd Sisters), Macbeth, King Arthur, Avalon, Odin, and even the David and Goliath reference. Gargoyles is what got me interested in Shakespeare's other works, aside from Romeo and Juliet that I was taught in school.

Another key point that people often miss is that there is no black and white, good guy and bad guy, straight right and wrong. That's part of what makes the show so intriguing. Is Xanatos a good guy, or is he a bad guy? The truth is, he's neither and he's both. He's a person with his own motives, and although the end may be "good," the means are sometimes questionable. Money is his power, and although it's not usually his motive, it is often his means of getting what he wants. "Pay a man enough and he'll walk barefoot into hell." (Awakening) Demona and Macbeth seem like obvious "bad guys," but what are they, really? Pawns, not even knowing what they do (though who's pawns?). Victims of time created by the magical pact they made in old Scotland, unable to die unless one kills the other. Or, for Demona, a victim of herself, a betrayer who's convinced she's the betrayed. The complexity of the relationships between characters simply adds to its appeal.

Some people also forget or do not know that the series was created in the mid-90s, since the DVDs were only recently released. This means pre-9/11, which in turn means the rules and ways that are in place now weren't when the show was created.

When the show was created, the audience had to see things from the different viewpoints and perspectives. The same is still true, if not even moreso, since the time-frame of the setting is now a decade ago. It forced people to see controversial topics such as guns and, to an extent, a form of terrorism (one episode showed a hostage situation), along with gangs and gang "protection." There's a uniqueness to the show that makes it not just any "children's cartoon," but as some people put it, "a living novel," and one everyone can enjoy...if they have an open mind to be able to understand the complexity and depth of the storyline.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I watched the entire run on Toon Disney, Not to be MISSED!!!

Author: Dynomutt312000 (gevdarg@hotmail.com) from Bronx, NY
13 June 2004

This is perhaps the best American cartoon series ever produced. Even though Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Exo Squad, Mighty Max, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, The Bionic Six, Batman, and G.I. Joe are all personal favorites of mine. This show did what they often failed to do on so many levels. The show had far-reaching consequences for every character's actions, it showed some characters pushed to their limit (Goliath in the final episodes of the first two-year run), it tackled themes other shows avoided like the plague, it had a tight continuity that the creators were not afraid to exploit or stick with (Hey, idiot comic-book publishers and their marketing staffs, pay attention and see how it is done), and it ended the series where all the characters, in one way or another, saw the worst in themselves whether they accepted it or not (Poor Demona.) I only have 1,000 words to lavish praise on this series, so the last thing I want to get in is that this show featured some of the deepest characterizations I've ever seen in an animated program.

While some episodes were poorly animated (it seems no animated show-American or otherwise-can avoid this production flaw), Disney should have turned out some other shows like this one and other animation studios should have taken the high road and followed suit. How the same company that came up with series (for television, no less) is now churning out some of the most insipid, pandering, soulless crap in animation history is beyond me?!?? This series is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a well-told, well-thought out saga, not a story, a saga!!!

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant show, not just for kids

Author: (argyle@erols.com) from Massachusetts
2 February 1999

Gargoyles is the only kids' show I've ever seen that contained this much continuity, introducing the concept that actions have consequences that can last more than 30 minutes. There were plot elements introduced in the first few episodes that became important as much as two full years later. You had to pay attention to this one.

When Disney bought ABC, they moved this show from the "Disney Afternoon" to the new Saturday morning line-up. However, they wanted to present it like a new show, so they re-titled it "The Goliath Chronicles." This confused a lot of fans, for a rather pointless reason. The show died that season, and I'm not surprised. Some ABC affiliates didn't carry it at all that year.

"Gargoyles" boasted a cast of voice talents that was truly beyond belief. For the Star Trek fan, the two main villains were Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, but it didn't end there. Voice talents from *every* Star Trek franchise were included: Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Nichelle Nichols, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Colm Meany, and Levar Burton all contributed. Toss in other great voices like Tim Curry (I'd listen to him recite the phonebook!), Clancy Brown, David Warner and John Rhys-Davies, and you could enjoy this show with a busted picture tube.

And let us not forget: this show was educational. It drew on elements of folklore and cultures from every corner of the globe, including Scottish, Japanese, British, Irish, Chezch, Native American, South American, Greek, Norse, African, Australian... the only continent they didn't hit was Antarctica. The show demonstrated the consequenses of violence, intolerance and illiteracy, and made it entertaining enough for kids to enjoy it without feeling like they were being preached to.

This was a great show. Find the re-runs and watch them with your kids.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Bring Gargoyles Back!

10/10
Author: lldreamstar from United States
20 October 2009

I absolutely love this series, and was very disappointed when it was taken off air. I felt like it was never completed. I wish it lasted longer, and I hope Disney would re-consider creating more episodes sometime down the future (though I doubt it, since Disney is too busy producing Britney Spears # xviii.

This was absolutely a beautiful story/ love story, but it also targets an older audience.

I like how it's not all fluff like most Disney movies/ series are.

Rating: A++ 10/10

Gargoyles rule!!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Awesome Storytelling

10/10
Author: kingputai from India
11 March 2009

I must say that I started this series real late. I am happy for that as now I understood the character build-up and complexity in the series.

There is no clear distinction of good or evil, which at the time this was made, was prominent in every other series. All characters are a shade of gray. Even the noble Gargoyles have done something evil sometime in the series even if it was for the greater good. All the characters and their corresponding actions have consequences. The characters feel and respond to those actions, develop accordingly. They all have a reason to do whatever they do. It's not just plain vigilant work.

The way the creators have mixed science and fantasy, hats off to them. They have also managed to keep the suspense built up across the first two seasons. It's not like they have dealt off all their aces at one go. The secrets and history of the characters are revealed slowly and nicely. The plots and the sub-plots, all make up a wonderful experience.

I agree that the third season was not up to the standard the first two reached, but in my opinion, it still is better than many shows being aired even today, be it animation or live action.

That being said, I have already recommended this fantastic series to many of my friends, would like to recommend the same to all the readers of this comment too. If you haven't already, please do watch this masterpiece.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Best Animated Show Ever

10/10
Author: whatsinhisboxers24 from United Kingdom
3 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gargoyles is, to me, unique- first, it's a Disney show that isn't all cutsey and cuddly, and secondly, it's got continuity, something most animated shows lack.

The strength of the show lies in the characters and the stories. There are many powerful characters, such as Goliath and Demona, as well as characters who are cloaked in mystery, such as Macbeth and Xanatos. You've got good ensemble characters such as Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington, and depth is added to all the characters over the course of the show. The villains are not just one-dimensional madmen, they too are multi-faceted and they are not evil as such, they just have questionable agendas. Some of the villains change sides, and you have cause to question the wisdom of the heroes of the show too.

The show borrows from a wide variety of mythologies, including Camelot, as well as legends from Ireland, Japan and Africa, to create a tapestry that has yet to be equaled in any other animated show. It has unparalleled creativity and remains a great show, even now, some fourteen years after it was first made. It's a shame the Chronicles (Season Three) wasn't up to the same standard- you can thank Disney for that!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Remarkable and genuinely interesting

Author: jackal_1291 from Canada
26 June 2003

As a ten year old, Gargoyles was both entertaining and, in retrospect, genuinely edifying. From Macbeth to Puck and Oberon, the Shakespearean references were seamlessly worked into a show that, as other reviewers have remarked, was structured more like a novel than a disjointed kids' cartoon show. Yep, this show truly stoked my imagination.

Maybe I'm just nostalgic but this show was great! It truly is a tragedy that the show only lasted two seasons. But even a decade later i can vaguely recall the plot outlines, which means something, at least to me.

This was quality entertainment. Today's animation producers(disney included) should take a look at Gargoyles to see what a real animated series can accomplish.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Great Novel

Author: morningmoo from Boston, MA
22 January 2003

Many have sung the praises of this truly exceptional show. Calling it the greatest animated show of all time is not a statement I would argue with. I would however comment that the way this story was told it felt like a fine crafted novel, not a TV show. This a series with absolutely no plot holes. Not one. By the time the final episode aired all was explained and it made sense.( I'm not counting the awful Goliath Chronicles)

In most modern cartoons, the creators get a feel for the most popular characters and shift the focus mainly to them. In Gargoyles, every character was made important to the overall story arch. It is astonishing that this was accomplished. Also, new characters were readily introduced and it didnt impede with the devolpment of the older characters. An example of this is Angela. While the main focus was on her relationship with her father, Goliath, she also developed a relationship with every other gargoyle in the clan. This proves how well thought out the plots were.

This show really tapped into the emotions of its characters as well. You actually felt Goliaths sense of rage and betrayel in the original movie when he confronts the captain of the guard who sold them out. "You are the betrayer", Goliath exclaims and you feel it. In his voice and in the words themselves, you feel his anger, his confusion, and his shock.

The villians as well had their motavations. I dont think any of them were just evil for the sake of being evil. Demona and Xanatos had some twisted psyches, which in turn made them better villians.

Gargoyles really was a groundbreaking show. This show is proof of how good a cartoon can be when its first priorty is quality entertainment and not selling toys.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

What a shame...

Author: Movie_Poet
8 June 2003

I was just watching "The Green," and can't help but miss this show. It was what every good cartoon/kids show should be, for it tried to make itself interesting not just to kids but to everyone. The characters, the plot, and everything in Gargoyles was memorable and it's a shame it lasted only 2 seasons. I love rewatching this show, yet I always end up feeling cheated afterwards because a show as good as Gargoyles deserved much better than what it got out of its TV shelf life. As well, I'll always be bothered by never knowing how things turned out for all the characters on the show, even the so-called bad guys. Simply put, Gargoyles is the type of TV show that makes a person proud of television in general.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great Gargoyles

Author: Christopher Smith
19 March 2001

GARGOYLES was the best show on TV seven years ago. It was an entertaining, humorous, action-packed cartoon that brought joy to me every afternoon. It was a fantastic show. The movie was even better. The show was cancelled a while ago, but at least I can still watch the movie that started it all!!!!

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