Sunday, October 17, 2010


"The written word is all that stands between memory and oblivion. Without books as our anchors, we are cast adrift, neither teaching nor learning. They are windows on the past, mirrors on the present, and prisms reflecting all possible futures. Books are lighthouses erected in the dark sea of time. "

Isn't that a great quote? Doesn't it sound like it came from some famous person, or author? Well it's actually from a tv series featured on Toon Disney in the early 90s. But wait! Don't scroll down the page in disgust yet! This was back in the days when Disney had quality entertainment, and cartoons were entertaining to people over the age of 9! IMDB has a glowing review of it. When I was little, my mom had taped the first three episodes on VHS for my brother and I. We watched that movie, literally, dozens of times. A few years ago I discovered the whole thing is on youtube-just search Gargoyles season-episode-part (i.e., Gargoyles 1-1-1 for the first part of the first episode, or Gargoyles 2-13-2 for second season, 13th episode, 2nd part, etc.)

The series features a clan of Gargoyles who are stone building decorations by day, but when the sun sets, their stone exterior bursts as they emerge roaring, ready to defend their city. Only humans are mostly afraid of gargoyles, calling them monsters and shunning them. The main conflict between the gargoyles themselves is whether or not they should defend the humans who hate them. The gargoyles start off in Scotland in the 900s A.D. and because of a spell end up in New York in the 1990s. Action, drama, romance, and good vs. evil ensues like a classic comic book, all with really good plot, complex characters, and somewhat cheesy lines.

The idea of gargoyles which come to life to protect people is not a part of fairy lore, but the storywriters interweaved characters of fairy lore-and Shakespeare-into the plot. Oberon, Titania, and Puck get involved, and the history of the Gargoyles turns out to be interweaved with the history of the story of Macbeth (...not exactly the way it happened in Shakespeare's play, though). It's also got a very pro-reading message, as evidenced by the quote. The second half of the second season has some characters taking a trip to various lands where mythical legends from each country turns out to be true. I've already mentioned that Goliath, the main Gargoyle, is sort of like a Beast figure. So guess what Goliath and Elisa go as for Halloween:

(skip to 1:10)

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