Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Gargoyles - The Complete First Season (Special 10th Anniversary Edition)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: TV-Y7

Starring:
Keith David as Goliath, Morgan (voice)
Salli Richardson as Elisa Maza (voice)
Jonathan Frakes as David Xanatos/Coyote 4.0 (voice)
Edward Asner as Hudson (voice)
Marina Sirtis as Demona (aka Dominique Destine) (voice)
Jeff Bennett as Brooklyn/Owen Burnett/Magus (voice)
Thom Adcox-Hernandez as Lexington (voice)
Bill Fagerbakke as Broadway (voice)
Frank Welker as Bronx/Boudicca/Cagney (voice)
Brigitte Bako as Angela (voice)
Thomas F. Wilson as Lt. Matt Bluestone (voice)
John Rhys-Davies as MacBeth (voice)

Special Features:
All 13 episodes from the 1994 season, 5 with commentary

"The Gathering of the Gargoyles" featurette

Orignal Show Pitch

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
English and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes

Synopsis:
This first season originally aired in 1994. The following is the official description of the DVD:

"Experience all 13 thrilling episodes of GARGOYLES' first season in this spectacular 10th anniversary 2-disc DVD set, complete with exclusive bonus features. It's action-packed animation at its very best! For 1,000 years, a race of heroic creatures has been frozen in stone -- the victims of human betrayal. Now, with the magic spell broken, these amazing Gargoyles awaken from their slumber to find themselves transported from the moors of Scotland to the bustling metropolis of New York City. Follow each suspenseful episode to find out if this proud clan of winged warriors will seek revenge on the race that betrayed them."

This DVD is rated TV-Y7.

The Movie:
I remember watching Gargoyles when it first aired in 1994. My roommates and I, thoroughly hooked on Batman- The Animated Series, quickly got into this show when it appeared. It seemed like Disney's attempt to get into the market for boy's TV shows and toys, but it was cool anyway. It was an interesting blend of fantasy, action, drama, and comedy. The stories had stuff for kids, but they were also surprisingly adult. Filled with references to Shakespeare, high drama, and occasionally even coarse language, it was more than your standard animated series. It had something for everyone.

Looking at the voice cast, someone on the crew was definitely a Star Trek – The Next Generation fan. The cast included Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis in leading roles with Michael Dorn, Kate Mulgrew, Nichelle Nichols, Brent Spiner, and Paul Winfield in guest starring roles. Other notable actors like David Warner, Tim Curry, Jim Cummings, Sheena Easton, Peter Scolari, Thomas F. Wilson, John Rhys-Davies, and Cree Summer also had cameo roles. But even with big names as voice actors, the core cast did a pretty good job, too. Keith David's deep voice is perfect as Goliath. Edward Asner plays the old warrior Hudson. Bill Fagerbakke also plays Broadway, but I keep thinking of his role as Patrick Star on Spongebob when I hear his voice.

While the animation doesn't have a particularly stylistic design like Batman or Samurai Jack, the characters and backgrounds all look great. There's a good mixture of dark artwork and lighthearted artwork as well. This is especially noticeable in the character designs.

Kids will love Gargoyles and there's good entertainment for sci-fi and fantasy fans as well. I recommend checking out this DVD if you're a fan of either of those genres or animation.

The Extras:
There are a few extras included on this DVD. Here are the highlights:

Episode Commentary – The first five episodes feature commentary. Seeing how these add up to a feature film, that's quite a bit of commentary. There's your standard ‘making of' talk, but I would only recommend this commentary for die-hard Gargoyles fans that are already familiar with the episodes.

"The Gathering of the Gargoyles" featurette – This video features a ton of footage shot at a Gargoyles convention in Canada. I had no idea that Gargoyles had such a following. They show people talking about why they love Gargoyles so much, a costume contest, a radio play, and more. It's your standard convention fare that's equivalently geeky to a Star Trek convention. Keith David even makes an appearance.

Orignal Show Pitch – This is a promotional video that Disney sent out to TV stations across the US to generate hype for Gargoyles. The creator shows production art and explains the story. It's interesting to see how the show evolved and how different these early designs were.

The Bottom Line:
If you like action-adventure cartoons, then you'll love Gargoyles. There's hours of entertainment here for kids and adults. Star Trek fans may enjoy hearing their favorite actors in voice roles as well.

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