Batman: The Animated Series ruled supreme as the most mature, well-animated cartoon that was technically for kids in 1992. And it stayed the undisputed champ until 1994 when, after centuries of being locked in their stone prisons, a group of heroes emerged to demand the attention of every cartoon watcher: Gargoyles.
Prior to Gargoyles, The Disney Afternoon had no real designs on competing with Batman. They had Darkwing Duck, but that was more of a cutesy pastiche (Darkwarrior Duck notwithstanding) than competition. Darkwing was pretty representative of that entire block. And the only other real competition out there was X-Men: The Animated Series which was more of a Saturday morning affair.
But 1994 was the year that changed the game. And you know the game changed because Bruce Timm, one of the creators of Batman: The Animated Series tried to play it off like it wasn't, calling Gargoyles, "kind of namby-pamby... with all that Celtic fantasy crap."
There was nothing namby nor pamby about Gargoyles, though. The show was long-form storytelling on an epic scale, weaving a narrative across centuries and playing with so many types of lore from cultures around the globe. If you're unfamiliar, Gargoyles is a story about a group of cursed gargoyles who awaken in the modern day (with a little help from an evil Tony Stark named David Xanatos) and then have to navigate a world they don't understand. There's science fiction, there's fantasy, and there's Shakespearean references galore.
Mostly, though, there's Demona, a gargoyle who hates humanity and acts as the show's chief antagonist who stands out as the show's most fascinating and detailed character. Demona, by the way, was played by Marina Sirtis who is best known for being that nice counselor with the empathy super powers on Star Trek: The Next Generation. So, just a little bit of a departure for her, and a welcomed one.
Host of the Maven of the Eventide YouTube series, Elisa Hansen, took a break from talking about vampires to commune with Every Day Animation on the subject of Gargoyles, Demona, and the huge fandom that show and that character still have all these years later.
And if you're keeping up with us, get ready to watch one of Dreamworks' most forgotten films, Monsters vs. Aliens (2009). That was the choice for none other than Hugo-Award-nominated video essayist and author, Lindsay Ellis. Believe it or not, we've got a lot to say about this one, so make sure you watch it first and then tune in to hear what we had to say right here. We'll see you tomorrow!