Gargoyles animated series featuring Goliath and his clan

Few series have landed on the real “Must see animation TV list” as P. I.’s Gargoyles in decades of Animated television row files Debuting in 1994 and concluding its run after four seasons in 1997, the iconoclastic TV drama entranced viewers with a somber tone contrary to what was typical at the time, fully realized characters unheard of from most U.S. shows then on-air (featuring an inspired weave of mythology into contemporary storytelling).

Created by Greg Weisman, the series was something of an outlier in a landscape populated by more kid-friendly and simplistic children’s shows. As a system with mature themes, drawn-out plots and emotional resonance to match, Gargoyles has always been lovingly revered by its fanbase as one of the most sophisticated animated series around back in the day.

The Genesis of “Gargoyles”

Disney – its name synonymous with the word family-friendly entertainment – made a daring play in “Gargoyles. The series was intentionally created as the opposite of what is usually seen on network TV. Gemini is on a quest to revive the 1990s, beginning with what was left of The Disney Afternoon-including “Gargoyles,” insights into which may just blow your mind. Initially conceived as a comedy after its producers were inspired by gothic architecture and stone statues of medieval Europe (no lie), it evolved dramatically from that concept before becoming the noir fantasy series we remember so well.

Immensely complex and multifaceted, the show had its origins as a straightforward action cartoon before Greg Weisman turned it into an intricate storyline that lasted three seasons exploring themes of betrayal, revenge, and redemption.

A clan of gargoyles who are warriors by night and turn to stone during the day become cursed, awakening in New York City one latoto thousand years later where they battle modern-day crime. Featuring Goliath as its lead, the majority of the series seeks to reconcile punk rockisms with modern-day realpolitik and Lovecraftian horrors. It used this mixture of the ancient myth with today as a template for storytelling that allowed Legends to travel back through time explore those classic themes in a modern context.

David Xanatos, the cunning antagonist in Gargoyles

The Characters

The show was set apart by vivid, full-fleshed characters with clear and specific motivations, narratives, background templates to weave through them. Goliath, the hero of the show is a strong and noble leader who oozes strength, tribal honor and loyalty. The storyline of the series revolves around how, he leads this journey from being a warrior of past to protector at present.


Goliath is the lifeblood of this show. Keith David voices Goliath, giving him the deepest resonant and commanding vocals on television. A leader with a burden of his clan’s legacy and the puzzle-piece world he barely understands. Throughout the series, Goliath’s morality and fierce loyalty to his clan have helped enforce justice among the pack; but also more importantly ensuring humans remain ever safe.

Elisa Maza

A New York City police detective, Elisa Maza is the gargoyles’ primary human ally and Goliath’s close confidante. Elisa Maza (voiced by Salli Richardson): A strong, intelligent and resourceful character that is the link between the gargoyles and humanity. This relationship between Elisa and Goliath gives more depth to the show, exploring topics of trust, loyalty, as well showing how intricate human/gargoyle relationships can become.

The Clan

Each of Goliath’s clan offers other unique characteristics to the team. The elder statesman, hudson gives wisdom and an historical perspective. The younger generation consist of Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington who represent the next era while dealing with their newfound purpose in life out there. The dynamic between the clan and their interactions in general allows for alot of character growth and interpersonal drama.


Gargoyles has a library of wonderful villains, all carefully created with backstories and multi-layered that are often just as interesting or engaging as those presented. David Xanatos – a rich and cunning industrialist is perhaps the best antagonist here. Thoughts on the Rebus CharacterRebus is a fascinating character, due to his complicated plots and morally grey actions. The introduction of Demona, a former lover turned enemy to Goliath was an intense personal and emotional conflict. A well-written character whose tragic backstory and relentless vendetta against humanity make her that much more rich for us to discover.

Themes and Storytelling

Gargoyles is often lauded for its lead the way with dark themes and serialized storytelling in childrens cartoons. Covering topics ranging from the challenge of self-discovery in a judgemental world to what happens when revenge supersedes reason, this show possesses depth beyond its years. It gets darker and plays with more subtleties than just about any show its age, which is much of what makes it stand out in a crowd.

Gargoyles perched on a New York City skyscraper

Redemption and Revenge

Redemption is very obviously always a central theme to the show. Goliath and Demona frequently must deal with the weight of their actions, as exhibited by their pursuit of redemption. Goliath’s mission is one of defense and justice to his clan while Demona conquers all vengeful paths with hatred. This duality forms a textured narrative, ruminating over ageing and its impact on the human soul.

Prejudice and Acceptance

A major aspect is the discrimination gargoyles experience from mortals. This is a common theme in the world of institutional racism and xenophobia. The narrative of the gargoyles as they seek shelter from a world which fears and misunderstands them, is an incredibly powerful one which teaches us something about tolerance.

The Power of Choice

Choice and the consequences that flow from it are recurring themes in “Gargoyles.” That very often presents these characters with moments of the most challenging choices that ends up defining their fates. That exploration of moral grey areas and personal responsibility adds a maturity to the series that makes it appealing not just kids, but grown ups as well.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

Gargoyles has gone on to become a cult hit in the world of animation and pop culture at large. Its influence can be seen in the enthusiastic fandom that still commemorates the show via conventions, fan fiction and websites. Matched only by the show’s sophisticated storytelling and complex characters, Gravity Falls has gone on to inform much of what followed animat-wise in a way that would eventually become its own golden standard for children’s television.

Influence on Animation

The series has left its mark on animation. It showed that some serious issues could be dealt with animated series and still work for a whole family audience. Eventually, this opened the door for other animated series such as “Batman: The Animated Series” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” which could tell objectively mature stories with intricate character arcs.

Merchandise and Media

And the adoration for “Gargoyles” went way deeper than just what was on screen. Action figures, comic books and video games related to the show have been produced. Specifically, the comic book series extended storylines and gave fans a lot more material to explore with in Gargoyles huge expanded universe.

Elisa Maza and Goliath from the Gargoyles series

Revival Efforts

Throughout the years, there have been a large number of requests for it to be rebooted. Given its lasting appeal and ongoing significance, Gargoyles is a franchise worthy of reboot or continuation. The gargoyles have been kept alive both within the hearts of its fans, and due to creators who are still interested in bringing it back to life on-screen-a hope that remains stronger than ever considering just how powerful streaming platforms have become.


Gargoyles thankfully surpassed this fate and became what many fans consider one of the best things to ever happen in animation due to its unique approach at creating an expansive, captivating world. Its legacy has been that of breaking new ground and extending the field for what could be achieved with animated storytelling. And the stories of redemption, prejudice and free will remain timeless themes in “Gargoyles.”

Looking back, it is evident the series was ahead of its time. Its complex and sophisticated storytelling, the variety of layered characters, and the adult themes were what made it stand out from a sea of animated series. Its lasting legacy speaks for itself, and the continued adoration [and revival petitions] is a testimony to its immense effect that it has had on those who watched.

But Gargoyles isn’t just another show about rock monsters; it’s an allegory on humanity, and the complex spectrum of emotions that we experience every day told through mythic characters. If you like reading this article then please consider reading our article about Kasha.

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