Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters
The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters by John Grant (with a foreword by David R. Smith, and a second foreword by Roy E. Disney for later editions) is a 460-page folio reference book cataloging the animated characters put forth by Walt Disney and his company up until the time of publication (with later editions--the most recent copyright 1998--including what came after the previous edition). Sometimes (usually in the case of the more classic movie characters), analysis and "behind-the-scenes" information is included as well.
Relevance to Gargoyles
In "Part II: The Television Series," the encyclopedia includes an entry for "Gargoyles and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles", starting on page 146 and continuing through most of page 147. Two pictures for the series are included: the promotional illustration of Goliath with caped wings atop a stone gargoyle, and a scene from "Eye of the Beholder" between Elisa and Goliath on the Clock Tower balcony (the latter bears the caption, "Beautiful detective Elisa Maza and a Gargoyle ally").
The entry runs eight paragraphs:
- The first two paragraphs summarise the premise of the series, giving the basic backstory about what the gargoyles are (even remarking that "as is generally the case in such fantasy constructions", there is "a rulebook" as to what the gargoyles can and cannot do), and how they came to be in twentieth-century New York.
- The third paragraph acts as more of a commentary on the series. Mention is made of how Gargoyles differs from most of Disney's other television animation (including a reference to Bill Cotter's "warm and fuzzy" remark from The Wonderful World of Disney Television). Grant also remarks that the series "is not particularly aimed at children," but that like Batman: The Animated Series, the series "recognized that, particularly with the rise of anime, there was a huge adult audience for animation" (Grant goes on to state that "this has been true since the earliest days"). The paragraph concludes with references to the many episode morals and the multi-ethnic cast.
- The fourth and fifth paragraphs give a rundown of the main characters, including their names, the actors who portrayed them, and some brief descriptions (unfortunately, these and some of the following paragraphs are filled with errors: see below). Grant seems to like Elisa, describing her as "a very appealing character."
- The sixth paragraph gives the date of the premiere, and then goes into detail on "Hunter's Moon." This episode is most likely singled out because it was the finale of the syndicated run (though it is simply called "the finale to the series' second season" here).
- The seventh paragraph gives details on The Goliath Chronicles as "a spin-off series" which takes the "fresh scenario" of the existence of the gargoyles being known "to more denizens of New York beyond Maza and Xanatos" as a starting point.
- The final paragraph speculates that the series may have sparked some inspiration for the gargoyles in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but concludes that "there's no real resemblance."
Unfortunately, a fair number of factual errors made their way into the entry.
- "The king's sorcerer, The Archmage" is credited with casting the sleep spell on the gargoyles.
- According to the entry, David Xanatos is a "shady U.S. financier" who decided to buy the castle and place it above the clouds "for reasons of ego."
- Much of the fourth paragraph (devoted to listing the characters) is technically accurate, but seems to give the impression that Demona's turning into a human during the day and masquerading as Dominique Destine ("high-flying chief executive officer of a company called Nightstone") was a part of the initial set-up of the series.
- Elisa is described as "a sassy, attractive woman who comes from mixed Asian and Afro-Caribbean stock."
- Owen is stated to have been added in the second season.
- "Hunter's Moon" is incorrectly titled "The Hunter's Moon."
- The three modern Hunters are described as being descended from "a medieval youth" who was "attacked by Demona and determined to destroy her and all her kind." This would seem to describe Gillecomgain, from whom they are not descended.
- Scott Cleverdon is erroneously credited with voicing Jason Canmore in addition to Jon Canmore, while Diedrich Bader is not credited at all. This may be because Cleverdon voiced young Jason in "Hunter's Moon Part Three."
- Dr. Anton Sevarius, here described as "an evil scientist who helps Demona in her quest to annihilate the human species by releasing chemicals," is listed with the Canmore siblings as one of the new characters that appeared in "Hunter's Moon."
- Jeffrey Robbins is mentioned in the summary of The Goliath Chronicles as "the most significant (sic) extra character in this spin-off." This gives the misleading impression that Robbins first appeared in The Goliath Chronicles.