- Disney’s live-action Gargoyles reboot is concerning because the original series was beloved for its dark tone and complex storytelling.
- Despite having a strong fan community, turning Gargoyles into a live-action series instead of animated feels like a step in the wrong direction.
- The lack of a proper conclusion for the animated Gargoyles series makes an animated sequel more appealing, but Disney’s choice reflects Hollywood’s preference for live-action over animation.
Although Disney’s announcement that they are rebooting Gargoyles is exciting news for fans of the 1990s animated series, this live-action remake is actually a perfect example of one of Hollywood’s longest-running and most disappointing trends. Gargoyles originated as an animated television series in 1994 and ran for 3 seasons until 1997. The show follows a group of Scottish gargoyles who are reawakened in New York City and become its nighttime protectors. Though not one of Disney’s most well-known properties, Gargoyles was praised for its complex character arcs and storylines, and is considered a cult classic.
Because Gargoyles already has a strong fan community, there should be no question about the success of Disney’s Gargoyles remake. In fact, a Gargoyles movie adaptation has been anticipated for years. However, certain aspects of this new project are already worrying. Gargoyles is a franchise with many expectations to uphold. Really, it is more than just a 1990s animated series. The show had a dark tone and a more complex method of storytelling which made it stand out from other Disney projects of the time. Therefore, the Gargoyles reboot has massive shoes to fill, and unfortunately, it is already arguably taking a step in the wrong direction.
Disney’s Gargoyles Reboot Is Live-Action (Not An Animated Sequel)
The main problem with Disney’s Gargoyles reboot is that it is live-action, not animated like the original series. According to recent reports from Disney, the series is currently in development with Atomic Monster, the production company run by The Conjuring director James Wan. Also on board as executive producer, writer, and showrunner is Gary Dauberman, who is known for his work on Annabelle. Despite these big and exciting names, Gargoyles’ issue is persistent. The original series thrived even as an animated series, and yet Disney, as is its purview these days, has decided to turn this beloved property into live-action.
In actuality, it should not be that surprising that Disney is making Gargoyles live-action. For years now Disney’s live-action remake strategy has been in place, wherein the company meticulously goes through its catalog of classic animated films and makes live-action reboots. While some have succeeded, others have failed miserably. However, just because Disney can make Gargoyles live-action doesn’t mean that it should. Ultimately, it comes down to two factors. First, Gargoyles became popular as animation, and so arguably, should remain that way. Secondly, Hollywood as a whole is not appreciating animation nearly enough, and an animated Gargoyles reboot could get the ball rolling.
The Animated Gargoyles Show Never Got A Proper Conclusion
Apart from just live-action versus animation discourse, there is another valid reason why the Gargoyles reboot should be animated: the original Gargoyles never got a proper ending. Despite garnering a vast fanbase, Gargoyles season 3 was not a success either critically or commercially, and so the series was quietly canceled. Therefore, the series was never able to offer up a true conclusion for its characters, leaving many audience members hanging. Ultimately, what would be better than a Gargoyles reboot, live-action or not, would be an animated Gargoyles sequel that picks up where the original series left off.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Disney. From what they have announced, it seems that the Gargoyles reboot will be a full live-action retelling. This means the story will start from the beginning, and likely, will take new and different paths than the original series did. Ultimately, this means that audience still won’t get an ending to the original Gargoyles. However, if the reboot is successful and remains that way, hopefully it can run for three seasons or longer, which would maintain Gargoyles’ legacy while also finishing what the 1990s series could not.
Hollywood Keeps Favoring Live-Action Content Over Animated
In the end, Disney’s choice to make a live-action Gargoyles reboot rather than an animated one reflects a long-held Hollywood tradition of preferring live-action content to animation. To this day, many audiences still believe that animation is reserved for children only, despite the fact that there are plenty of animated series and movies that have done well with adult audiences. Gargoyles is an example of this. Although it originated as an animated series, it still maintained a strong fan base of adults.
Overall, this is a disappointing belief that means that genuinely strong and entertaining animated content is overlooked in favor of more live-action series. Disney’s Gargoyles reboot is just another entry in this long line. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Gargoyles remake will be bad. In fact, this project definitely has some silver linings to it, namely its horror-movie producers. Hopefully, even in live-action format, the Gargoyles reboot can recreate the magic of the original series, or better yet, improve upon it.