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'Gargoyles' Take Wing

October 23, 1994|N.F. MENDOZA

According to folklore, gargoyles are stone statues by day, fearsome winged creatures by night.

Now there's Disney's version, put forth in a new series called Gargoyles, that takes mythology one step further: Gargoyles (the "good" ones) are nocturnal crime fighters against the barbarians of modern Manhattan.

Just as production on another dark and dramatic series--Warner Bros.' "Batman"--has gone to slumber, Disney was planning this week's premiere of its first dramatic animated series. It will be introduced in a five-part miniseries.

"It's shaded enough for adults, but there's a lot of action for kids," says Michael Reaves, the series' head writer and a story editor.

Series development director Greg Wiseman credits his interest in gargoyles--as well as some previous in-house development--as the catalysts for the show.

The statues, he points out, were originally carved to ward off evil. "I asked that question and we let our imaginations go and we wound up with this show," he says. "Gargoyles" draws on myth--some of which, he acknowledges, is made up here.

Lead gargoyle Goliath (voice of Keith David) "defines a lot for the show, making it more dramatic. The show is still humorous, but has more drama than any of our other (animated) shows. Goliath's behavior, his world view, really defines the show. Goliath, he adds, represents a perpetually optimistic viewpoint.

"It's really a very good, sophisticated comic book," describes Reaves, who also adds that the relationship between the "good" gargoyles is one of loyal friendship. "At its core, it's about good triumphing over evil," says Reaves, "but throughout the gargoyles are always aware of how much they need each other."

The five-part miniseries "Gargoyles" premieres this week, Monday-Friday, at 4 p.m. on KCAL. Beginning Nov. 4, it will air at 4 p.m. Fridays .

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