Why a reboot of Disney's Gargoyles is definitely needed

Contributed by
May 11, 2017

Television in the 1990s was pretty progressive and ahead of its time in so many ways.

Not only was there an explosion in the number of sitcoms led by people of color — particular people of African-American descent — but also Warner Bros. and Disney were probably at the height of their animation with great after-school programming.

One of the greatest animated shows to come out of the '90s has to be Disney’s Gargoyles, which blended action and drama, featured characters of various ethnicities and was voiced by an equally diverse cast: Keith David as Goliath, Sally Richardson as Elisa Maza, Jonathan Frakes as David Xanatos and Marina Sirtis as Demona.

Though the show has been long gone, it seems like a revival in 2017 would be much welcomed as a call for diverse actors — and even more diversified storytelling.

In the past few years, there's been a major problem with the amount of diversity on the big screen. However, when it comes to television, it seems several networks have learned to combat the problem by welcoming people of color as major characters on some of its hit shows, including Fox's Gotham and The CW's The Flash.

However, with as many shows as there are embracing people of color, there is still a lack of cultural awareness or a representation of how vast the world we live in truly is.

Now, it may seem strange that a cartoon can remedy this problem, but a revival of Gargoyles can be part of the solution.

During its two-season run, the animated series — centering on centuries-old mythical creatures awakening and adapting to life in the 20th century — took its viewers literally all over the world.

There were episodes that touched on almost every type of background, including the Native American legends of Coyote, the West African tale of Anansi the Spider, the Norse mythos of Odin and even the Celtic lore of King Arthur and Camelot. The characters made trips to Japan and Brazil and taught the audience a thing or two about embracing the different and unusual.

But even if we remove the cultural travel aspect of the show, the multi-ethnic dynamics in the lead characters alone were ahead of its time.

Viewers were introduced to a bi-ethnic female protagonist in Elisa Maza, born to an African American anthropologist mother of Nigerian descent and a Hopi Native American father. She has a younger brother and a sister, both of whom were drawn differently to express the diaspora of their combined heritages.

Elisa's boss, Captain Maria Chavez, was of Hispanic descent, while the initial villain of the show was billionaire David Xanatos, the self-made son of Greek immigrants. Talk about your various walks of life!

Though the Gargoyles were European (Scottish, to be exact), they adapted to their new home of New York City and embraced all of its varied residents — though it took some time before the humans would accept them.

Oh, and the love between both Goliath and Elisa was undeniable, and though the pair couldn't be together (as they were two completely different species), their relationship spoke volumes on the idea of love being blind.

The lives of the clan were almost an allegory for racial prejudice, and their journey towards acceptance, compromise and understanding is definitely something that can be witnessed in today's current climate.

I don't know about you, but I think a show about tolerance is definitely needed right about now. To this, I say it's time Disney brought back Gargoyles.