Misconceptions and urban legends about Gargoyles

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As with any product of pop culture, Gargoyles had more than its fair share of urban legends, as well as misconceptions. Some of these have become so ingrained in the fandom, they classify as fanon. This page will address and correct them.

Disney is planning a Gargoyles feature film directed by Kenneth Branagh

Greg Weisman weighs in. Click to enlarge.

On July 12th, 2023, a well-known website of questionable reliability posted a "news article" stating that Disney signed Kenneth Branagh on to direct a live action adaptation of "Gargoyles". The source the article claimed led to another article from several years ago on Polygon which made no such claim. Other sites of questionable integrity went on to repeat the rumor without citing a source. On July 17th, 2023, Gargoyles creator, Greg Weisman, expressed doubt in the claim.

Marvel's planning a Gargoyles feature film in 2017

Setting the record straight. Graphic by Amanda "Shinga" Bussell. Click to enlarge.

In 2014, CraveOnline posted the article "Gargoyles: The Movie is Coming in 2017", featuring a fake interview with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announcing that a Gargoyles film was already underway (but unconnected to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Despite the fact that it was clearly posted on April 1st, the article has continued to mislead online fans (who probably haven't read the article too closely as it is an obvious prank).

More information on a potential Gargoyles feature film that Disney has had in development since 1995 can be found here.

See also, John Oliver's Public Service Announcement about April Fool's.

Kurt Lehner designed Gargoyles

Frank Paur sets the record straight. Click to enlarge.

Kurt Lehner was a character designer on The Goliath Chronicles (a re-tooled spin-off of the animated show that this wiki treats as non-canon). He did not work on the first two seasons of Gargoyles. Mr. Lehner did not create or design Goliath or Demona (both were designed by Greg Guler), he did not design David Xanatos (that was Bob Kline); and all these characters were created by Greg Weisman and their designs were finalized by Kazuyoshi Takeuchi and Frank Paur.

Greg Weisman was involved with The Gargoyles Saga

In early 1997, Greg Weisman shared a very vague and bare bones "Master Plan" with the fandom. That document didn't even scratch the surface of his plans, or even what he would reveal on ASK GREG or at conventions over the years to come. A group of fans took this vague document and ran with it without any input from Mr. Weisman. As such, TGS's interpretation of Greg's plans bore no resemblance to his vision as revealed when the FIRST batch of questions were answered in ASK GREG. As such, even the vague similarities are different. In TGS, Duval is not Sir Percival. Brooklyn's mate is not named Katana, nor are his biological children named Nashville and Tachi. Broadway and Angela's third biological child isn't named Lancelot. The vaguest and loosest of similarities end there.

Greg Weisman was not involved with TGS. [1] And TGS had no relationship with Greg Weisman. [2]

Gargoyles was originally an anime

This claim comes up a lot when Gargoyles is brought up outside the fandom. People will claim that the series was "too good" to be produced in America, and will tell others that it was a dubbed anime. But Gargoyles was created and produced at Walt Disney Television Animation in North Hollywood. All the original writing and voice work was done in the United States. The design and direction of the first season was pre-produced and animated by Walt Disney Television Japan, but all under the supervision of Greg Weisman and Frank Paur from Los Angeles. And all post-production was done in the San Fernando Valley.

The second season was written, recorded, pre-produced and post-produced in Los Angeles, though a handful of episodes animated by W.D.T.J. were storyboarded in Tokyo.

Frank Paur took at least one trip to Japan to supervise and revise final character designs for the first season. And a number of W.D.T.J. executives and creative people visited Los Angeles on more than one occasion. Much other communication took place by FAX. Yep, FAX, not e-mail.

Also, the visual differences between anime and Western cartoons are apparent to those familiar with both. Gargoyles is clearly the latter.

Gargoyles was later broadcast in Japan and dubbed into Japanese, as it was for nearly a dozen other languages.

Disney hates Gargoyles and conspired to kill it

While it is true that Gargoyles broke the traditional Disney mold, keep in mind that they made the series at all. If Disney was as set against the concept as some people claim, it would have never been green lit. As it stands, the first season of thirteen performed so well that Disney ordered a second season of fifty-two episodes. It reached sixty-five episodes. Most animated series stop after producing that many, as they then go into syndicated re-runs.

ABC ordered an additional thirteen episodes, The Goliath Chronicles, which underperformed in the ratings. There was no conspiracy.

Space-Spawn look like gargoyles

In the episode "Sentinel", upon arriving on Easter Island, Nokkar takes the gargoyles prisoner. He angrily curses the Space-Spawn. Many fans have taken this to mean that the Space-Spawn look like gargoyles. But, in the episode itself, they missed the dialogue where Nokkar says he is unable to identify their planet of origin, but there is little doubt who sent them. He then later tells Goliath to send a message to his "Space-Spawn masters."

On that note...

Gargoyles are aliens

There are some casual watchers who have theorized that the gargoyles come from outer space. Brooklyn's line in "Temptation" about the Cloisters being "like the world we came from," confused a few people. Brooklyn was, of course, talking about medieval Scotland. The alien sentinel Nokkar in "Sentinel" mistook the gargoyles for aliens because he was unfamiliar with their species, believing humans to be Earth's only sentients. Beth Maza described the gargoyles as "alien" in "Cloud Fathers", but this was a figure of speech. Gargoyles are one of the Three Races, which counts only those that originated on Earth.

The Gathering of the Gargoyles is always in Montreal

When the first season of Gargoyles was released on DVD, it featured a small documentary on the annual Gathering of the Gargoyles convention, which took place in Montreal that year. Unfortunately, several reviews of the DVD set on major websites were obviously confused and stated that the convention is always in Montreal.

The Gathering has been to New York three times, Los Angeles three times, Dallas, Orlando, Williamsburg, Las Vegas, Pigeon Forge, and Chicago. The location of Gatherings was decided through a bidding process, where interested people or groups submit a proposal for hosting the next Gathering.

Goliath embraced the human way in "Mark of the Panther"

A lot of fans, even hardcore fans, were confused by what exactly was going on between Goliath and Angela in the early half of the Avalon World Tour, and why exactly it took him so long to embrace her as a father. Most have believed that Goliath was clinging to old school thinking concerning the Gargoyle Way, and finally embraced a more human way of thinking following "Mark of the Panther".

In truth, Goliath viewed Angela as a daughter from the moment they first met. He also viewed Gabriel as a son, and continues to do so. Angela's interest in her biological parentage scared Goliath, not because of any conservative stance, but because he was afraid of what would happen if Angela ever met Demona.

Not only that, but he didn't feel it would be fair to give one of his children preferential treatment over the others. But, as Diane Maza explained, all children want special treatment at times, and Angela is also the only hatchling traveling with him. So, Goliath opened up to Angela. But that doesn't mean his way of thinking has changed. Gabriel is his son too. Ophelia is his daughter.

Goliath has thirty-six children. Thirty-five of them just happen to be long distance.

Angela is romantically interested in Brooklyn

Angela smiling at Brooklyn.

Angela smiled at Brooklyn in "The Reckoning", which some fans thought meant that she clearly liked him. In fact, Angela was helping and smiling at a fallen comrade. She does like Brooklyn as a friend. A lot of fans read more into that than was intended. Ironically, so did Brooklyn.

Angela and Gabriel were romantically involved

While Angela and Gabriel love each other very much, it is platonic. They are very close, the best of friends and confidants. Gabriel is mated with Ophelia.

Angela is "Culturally Human"

Another source of confusion among fans is how much of the Gargoyle Way Angela has subscribed to and will subscribe to. While she did have an interest in her biological parentage, she has many parents, even in her own mind. First and foremost would be Tom, Princess Katharine and the Magus. While Goliath and Demona are her biological parents, she also considers Coldstone to be a father, as seen by her reaction to him in "Reunion". This is very much in line with the Gargoyle Way.

A lot of fans seem to think that after "Mark of the Panther", she and Goliath became something of a "nuclear family" and have even stated that she stopped calling him "Goliath" and from that point on, referred to him only as "father." Again, this is false. After "Mark of the Panther", she has called Goliath by name, on screen, thirteen times, and father only six times.

Suffice it to say, despite very popular fan opinion, Angela is not leading a new sect of "humans with wings."

Elisa said 'damn' in "Awakening: Part Four"

Cartoon characters who can curse... among other things.

A very popular urban legend that never seems to be put to rest is Elisa muttering the words "damn, empty" as Xanatos's commandos are chasing her through Central Park in "Awakening: Part Four". People insist they heard it, and the episode was censored in all further broadcasts and video and DVD releases.

This urban legend is just that. Pure fiction. Elisa never said "damn." Greg Weisman has stated several times that Standards & Practices would never have approved of it. It was never written, and Salli Richardson never recorded it. Unless they're on Prime Time, or late night, language like that doesn't make it in to any American animated series.

The only reasonable explanation for this myth is that whoever did the closed captioning for the episode misheard Elisa's grunt as "damn". The closed captions were not based on the scripts, and quite inaccurate. [3]

Now, in the new comic book, S&P is far more lenient. As such, you'll see Angela shouting "Bastard!", Jason Canmore say "ass" and damn actually said by Falstaff.

Elisa's hair is blue

There's kind of a tradition in comics and cartoons to use blue to highlight black hair. You can't highlight black with black. And lightening the black, i.e. making it grey, makes a character look old. If you use brown, then the character's hair looks brown, not black. For most people, the dark blue sheen on black hair still reads as black hair. [4]

Xanatos reformed

A lot of fans subscribe to the notion that David Xanatos reformed after the events of "Hunter's Moon" Part Three. This misconception might have stemmed from Goliath's dialog about the healing power of a child's love at the end of "The Gathering" Part Two, or from the interpretation of the character from The Goliath Chronicles, in which Xanatos and Fox become fairly straight good guys who are always on the Manhattan Clan's side. However, the Gargoyles comic book series from Slave Labor Graphics made it clear that this is not the case in the canonical Gargoyles universe.

Xanatos is grateful to the gargoyles, and he loves his wife and son. However, he is still a ruthless and amoral antagonist. He is grateful to the gargoyles for their help, and he has provided a home for them, but he is neither their friend nor their protector (save as it furthers his own purposes). He now has the gargoyles protecting his castle... which is exactly what he's wanted since "Awakening: Part Two".

Angela will reform Demona

C'mon, gang, Demona's making us all smores... not!

A subject of wide debate has always been Demona and Angela. A lot of people believe that Angela will redeem her mother as Luke Skywalker redeemed Darth Vader. A lot of them cite Demona helping the Manhattan Clan battle Thailog in "The Reckoning" as evidence that Demona will shortly change under Angela's influence. However, many of them forget that the next time Demona was seen, she attempted to commit mass genocide on the human race.

Another point that proponents of this theory often cite is the fact that Demona is a member of Samson's resistance in Gargoyles 2198. However, closer examination of the pitch for the show reveals that Demona has joined the fight largely because the Space-Spawn's actions threaten the survival of all gargoyles and that she has not given up on her goal of destroying humanity. While Angela might possibly play a role in nudging her mother towards the path to redemption, it doesn't look like she will live long enough to see Demona complete that journey. Any reformation of Demona will take place in 2198 or later.

Oberon's Children are his biological offspring

Many Gargoyles fans have assumed that Oberon's Children are literally that: Oberon and Titania's biological children. In addition to the confusing name, this may have arisen from comments such as Puck referring to "Big daddy Oberon" in "Future Tense". However, "Oberon's Children" is a metaphorical term; it means that Oberon presides over them as a pater familias. Indeed, in "Heritage", Raven described Grandmother as his "cousin", making it clear that though they might be related, they do not share a common parent. Greg Weisman has stated that the race was known as the Children of Mab when it was ruled by Mab, Oberon's mother.

According to Greg Weisman, Oberon does have at least four biological children - a son and a daughter by Titania, and at least two sons by human women (the little Indian boy in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the great wizard Merlin). This is still canon-in-training, however.

Gargoyles were awake during the day on Avalon

In "Avalon" Part Three, there is a brief flashback scene in which Angela, Gabriel, and Boudicca are shown as hatchlings, being cared for by Princess Katharine and Tom. Some Gargoyles fans have thought that this scene took place during the daytime, when they should have been stone. In fact, the original airing of the episode did show the hatchlings awake and playing during the daytime. This was one of a few animation mistakes in the series that were corrected for later airings but still managed to cause a lot of confusion.

Castle Wyvern was in Ussex

Some viewers misheard Xanatos's line in "Awakening: Part Two", "I found the castle and you six", to be "I found the castle in Ussex", and believed that Ussex was a region in Scotland where Castle Wyvern once stood. (Ussex does not even look like a Scottish place-name; it resembles such regional place-names in southern England as Essex, Sussex, and Middlesex, making it all the more improbable as a home for Castle Wyvern.) [5]

The name "Xanatos" was picked out of a phone book

This particular story is somewhat true. Xanatos used to be named "Xavier," but the name was scrapped over worries that it was already strongly associated with Professor Xavier from X-Men. The name "Xanatos" was a combination of the "X" from "Xavier" and "Thanatos," a Greek death god. Greg Weisman later looked up the name in a phone book and found it, though with a different first name than "David." This helped to give the name credibility when anyone argued that it didn't sound like a real last name.

"Fay" is a term for the Third Race

No one is quite sure where this came from, but the fandom has latched onto it and hasn't let it go. The term "fay", or "fey", or any of its various spellings, has never been used in Gargoyles canon, and as Greg Weisman has stated his dislike for the term, it is not likely to appear. Furthermore, only some of the Third Race have the aspect of British or Irish fairies, with others being drawn from different mythologies altogether, including Greek, Norse, Native American and Egyptian.

They do have several other names, including Oberon's Children, the Fair Folk, and the Dark Elves. But not "fay".

Xanatos was modeled after Jonathan Frakes

While it is true that Xanatos resembles his voice actor, Jonathan Frakes quite a bit, the character was designed by Bob Kline years before Jonathan auditioned for the part, got cast, fired, and then re-hired as the voice of David Xanatos.

On the other hand, playing Xanatos did inspire Jonathan in his performances as Riker's clone, Tom Riker, on Deep Space Nine.

Demona's townhouse is called Destine Manor

Demona's townhouse has no specific name. Not in the series, not in the memos, not in the comics, and not in any canon-in-training source. This is an invention of fanfiction that has caught on, like the term "fay" for the Children of Oberon. But that doesn't make it any less inaccurate.

Most importantly, it's not a manor. It's a townhouse in Gramercy Park.

Demona's eyes are green as a gargoyle

An animation error.
What Demona's eyes actually look like.

A lot of people, especially with fanart, are under the impression that Demona's eyes are green when she's a gargoyle. While they are definitely green when she's in her human form, in her true form, her irises are black, just like any other gargoyle. The one time her irises did appear to have color, it was an animation error in "Sanctuary". And actually, they were miscolored blue. Her eyes were miscolored green throughout "Tyrants", though.

Fox uses a last name

Fox was born Janine Renard but she has since changed her name to just Fox. It was never "Fox Renard", and when she married David Xanatos she didn't become "Fox Xanatos" either. She is just "Fox" (similar to Cher and Madonna), although she doesn't mind being referred to as "Mr. and Mrs. Xanatos" or "David and Fox Xanatos" collectively with her husband, but "Fox and David Xanatos" would be more accurate. [6]

The Quarrymen wear blue uniforms

In The Goliath Chronicles, the Quarrymen tended to wear standard, dark blue uniforms. In the SLG comic book, they wore black uniforms. Also the original script for "The Journey" called for black uniforms.

A Female Gargoyle Is Called a Gargess

No. The word "Gargoyle" connotes no sex. There's no need to feminize it to Gargess or whatever in order to talk about a female of the species. [7]

Gargoyles premiered on February 3rd

Keith David sets the record straight. Click to enlarge.

On his twitter account, Keith David announced that Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015, marked the 20th anniversary of the first season of Gargoyles, meaning the premiere of "Reawakening". Many people misread him, and assumed that he was referring to the 20th anniversary of the premiere, which occurred on October 24th.