“It was just a cartoon,” you say. “Sure, it was a good show, but there are lots of good shows that get cancelled. Why make such a big deal about this one?”
Gargoyles was a Disney cartoon show that debuted in 1994. It was targeted for 6-11 year old boys, but it was so skillfully done that it appealed to teens and adults as well as children. This was not your average children's cartoon. It did not feature two-dimensional characters and slapstick or vulgar humor. It did feature fully-rounded, respectable characters with believable-- if fantastical-- lives and personalities. They were more "human" than cartoon characters, if you can apply such a term to a cast full of gargoyles, robots, cybots, dragons, aliens, mythic deities, clones, immortals, and the Fae.
Gargoyles taught lessons in trust, responsibility, love, integrity, morality, and justice. Due to the heavy mythological and historical content, I learned about Native American, Norse, Irish, Scottish, Australian, and African mythology, folktales, and superstitions. I learned about history, Shakespeare, literature, science, even vocabulary. And I loved every minute of it. How many cartoons can claim such a record? This was a show with the perfect blend of elements: action/adventure, character development, romance, magic, adept storytelling, and a serious tone unlike most Disney cartoons. It was the most masterfully crafted cartoon I have ever seen, and the most hypnotically enthralling show to which I have ever had the pleasure of being addicted.
Gargoyles aired for 65 episodes on the Disney Afternoon, then was followed by a spinoff series on ABC called Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles. After a change in creative staff, the show went downhill and was cancelled 13 episodes later. And across the United States and around the world, faithful fans that had devoted two years to Gargoyles were suddenly alone and abandoned.
But they fought back. They created websites. They wrote fanfiction and filks. They created fanart. They published online zines and held art contests. They signed petitions. They went out into the world to convert new fans. And in 1997, they held the very first Gathering. They refused to mourn their show quietly and move on. They refused to forget.
And after ten years, Disney has taken note.
On December 7th, 2004, the first season of Gargoyles will be released on DisneyDVD. No one at Disney knows how well it will sell. No one knows how many fans there are, or how much demand there is for the DVD. If it sells well, the second season will probably be released. If that sells well… The sky is the limit.
Shows have been resurrected on the basis of DVD sales. Feature films have been developed. It’s happened before. If we want new episodes of Gargoyles, now is the time to prove it.
Now is the time. On December 7th, they live again. And I want to be along for the ride.