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The Movie That Isn’t Ours

posted by Gorebash @ 12:49 PM on Aug 12, 2010
Filed under: Uncategorized

This article in Variety talks about a new movie that Disney is looking to produce about gargoyles.

However it’s not about our Gargoyles.

Back in the late 1990s there was a Gargoyles movie being developed that would have been based on the cartoon series. There were at least a few different scripts written that were passed around. The movie would have probably revolved around just Goliath and Elisa with the other gargoyles probably not being in the movie. That project was ultimately left to die.

Now word of a new movie. But the Variety article states up front that it’s not based on the animated series, but is an entirely new and original project. The article goes on to say

Instead, it centers around a world and mythology of the menacing stone statues that the studio was keen to explore

And that’s the only information that’s publicly available about this movie; there’s not much there. Phrases like “world and mythology” seem, in my mind, to fit exactly with the original animated series. “[M]enacing stone statues” certainly fits as well. One of the strongest points of the original series was that as you watched it you learned that the “menacing” tag applied to gargoyles was a misconception on the part of the humans; that the gargoyles were actually protectors. That gave the animated series a very deep message about understanding and respecting different cultures and race. A message more meaningful now than ever before.

I want to be flippant and say that this new movie probably won’t hold the same depth. It won’t even be skin deep. That this will probably be some shallow “Twilight” wannabe film where the entire story is simply that some evil beast and some innocent and naive girl fall in love.

Or worse. That it will be a blatant rip-off of the animated show. Would they care if the new movie was a rip-off? After all they’d just be ripping themselves off. That would be incredibly disrespectful to those who worked to develop the original show as well as to its fans.

However I think we need to be careful to not rush to judgement. We simply do not know enough about this project. Can there be more than one show about gargoyles? Of course. Just like there can be more than one show about superheroes, or vampires, or emergency room doctors. Remember that when Gargoyles came out in 1996, Disney had another project with gargoyles in it called The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

But there is strong emotion from the fans coming out against this project. An emotion whose seeds were planted when Disney canceled the original show. Whose seedlings were invigorated by Disney’s unwillingness to release the rest of the show on DVD. Whose buds were strengthened by the increase in license fees that made further production of the comics cost prohibitive for SLG. Whose strong roots now sense they’re getting the shaft again and have started to dig in deeper.

A Facebook group has been set up that calls on Disney to produce a movie based on the show. It’s also an outlet for the dozens of other frustrations thrust upon Gargoyles fans by Disney. It’s becoming something of a lens through which the fans are focusing their feelings.

Will Disney listen to the fans?

Probably not.

I really wish they would. With each show Greg Wesiman has been involved with he has set the bar higher and higher on quality of writing and character development. He was good 15 years ago. He’s masterful now. Bring him in on a project based on a property he helped develop and has an extremely strong interest in and you’re going to get out of him the best work ever put on screen. The “world and mythology” of Gargoyles is already established and very solid. It hasn’t been left to gather dust these last 15 years, it has been maturing and evolving and becoming even more strong through Greg and the fans.

It’s painfully obvious how good it would be. It’s all the more painful that Disney doesn’t see it. They lack the perspective. And I’m not certain they want to see it that way. How do we, the fans, show them?

Disney, take the lens cap off. You’re missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Getting Reacquainted

posted by Gorebash @ 11:15 AM on Aug 12, 2010
Filed under: gargoyles,Gathering of the Gargoyles,SLG Comics,Spectacular Spider-Man

It’s been a while. Let’s get reacquainted.

I’m Gorebash. I run s8.org. And the reason 99.9% of people visit s8.org is for this Gargoyles web site. Gargoyles is a dramatic animated television show produced by Disney that ran from 1994 through 1997. Fans of the show have come together to form a strong online community. Out of this online community came several important things. First was that we attracted the attention of series co-creator Greg Weisman who still interacts with fans of the show through the online question and answer site Ask Greg. Soon fans started organizing an annual convention called the Gathering. Conventions were held every year from 1997 through 2009. The fans were quite vocal in their support of the show which probably lead to the release of the first season of Gargoyles on DVD in 2004, the 10 year anniversary of the show. The DVD includes a vingette about the convention which included interviews with fans and members of the production. The first half of season two soon followed on DVD, however the second half of season two has yet to be released. The reason most cited for Disney not releasing the rest of the series on DVD is poor sales of the previous DVD sets.

In 2006 a Gargoyles comic was published by SLG Publishing, written by series co-creator Greg Weisman and with artwork on a few of the issues being done by fans of the show who have become professional artists. The roots of this comic can be directly traced to the fandom itself as it was a fan of the show who, at one of the conventions, brought up the idea of a comic and began to investigate its feasibility which lead to an interested SLG who secured the rights from Disney to produce the comics. A total of 18 issues of Gargoyles was produced; 12 “Gargoyles” comics and a 6-issue mini-series called “Bad Guys” which showcased several of the villains within the series.

Bowen Designs released a sculpture of Goliath, the main character in Gargoyles, in 2009. The sculpture is a life-like depiction of Goliath rather than in a style similar to the cartoon. Pictures of what this sculpture look like can be found in this Flickr gallery.

Last year it was announced that Electric Tiki would release their own Goliath sculpture, but that this one would be in a style similar to the cartoon. Greg Weisman was invited to preview the sculpture with its creator Ruben Procopio which you can see in this Flickr gallery. The sculpture is currently available for pre-order with an estimated shipping date of sometime in early 2011.

Since Gargoyles, Greg has gone on to work on many other shows including Spectacular Spider-Man and he is currently working on a new series for Cartoon Network called Young Justice.

This site is just a very small corner of the entire online Gargoyles community. There is a list of other web sites you can use to start your journey through the fandom, or click on the phoenix gate icon on the right of the page’s masthead and let it take guide you to your next stop.

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Gargoyles Season 1 DVD Cover

Includes episode commentaries by co-creator Greg Weisman, interviews with the cast, and a documentary on the fan convention.

Season One
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Gargoyles Cinestory

Published by Joe Books, Gargoyles Cinestory, Volume One is an adaptation of the five-part television series pilot "Awakening".

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Gargoyles Comic Cover

Written by Greg Weisman and published by SLG between 2006 and 2009, the series picks up at after season two of the TV series.

The Sculptures

Gargoyles Sculptures

Electric Tiki released a sculpture of Goliath in 2011. Bowen Designs released a Goliath statue in 2009.