How Gargoyles Redefined Cartoon Villainy

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Published on 20 Sep 2021, 15:00
In the '70s and '80s, cartoon villains were mostly petty losers. Characters like Doctor Doom and Skeletor would be defeated by the end of the episode, only to shake their fist and grumble at their minions until their next episode rolled around... and things played out mostly the same all over again.

But Gargoyles co-creator, co-producer and writer Greg Weisman wanted to change that.

Gargoyles, which ran from 1994 to 1997, was a Disney show about ancient monsters that are -- as the opening credits put it -- "stone by day, warriors by night." But it would become much more than that, gaining a cult following in the years since it first aired that has kept it near the top of the animation landscape from that time period. And much of that reputation is the result of how Gargoyles treated its villains... and how, in doing so, it helped to redefine cartoon villainy in the '90s.

Watch the full video where we talk to co-creator Greg Weisman and star Jonathan Frakes (David Xanatos) about how the Disney cartoon Gargoyles turned its villains into winners, and helped to redefine cartoon villainy along the way.