Disney brings animation skills to television

By Mark Vitale

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Walt Disney Television Animation has done many different types of shows from comedy like "Darkwing Duck" to adventure like Disney's "Aladdin." Their new show, "Gargoyles," is different because this is the first dramatic series done for "The Disney Afternoon," Buena Vista's national programming service for Disney cartoons.

"Gargoyles" is the story of a legendary race of stone beings that come to life after sunset. As the story goes, in the past the gargoyles lived to protect their castle from Viking invaders, until a spell was cast upon them and the gargoyles reawakened in modern-day New York City.

"Gargoyles" doesn't have high-quality animation found in Disney movies like "The Lion King," but it is one of the best animated shows on TV, with few exceptions. There are impressive compositional perspectives, explosive special effects, and, for the most part, smooth animation.

Not everything about the show is a raving success though. While the animation is very good for television, a few areas are downright sloppy, especially scenes with flying gargoyles. They're extremely stiff and don't even look as if they are flying it looks more like they were starched to death.

The overall idea for the pilot episode was interesting, but it does not always live up to its full potential. Interestingly, the show's gargoyles are developed characters, but the humans in the story are not. But the humans are not what this show is about. "Gargoyles" works because the audience is sympathetic toward the creatures. When the gargoyles are magically confined to stone, the audience feels sorry for them. Humorous scenes like a gargoyle playing on a lap-top computer makes everyone laugh.

While there are problems, "Gargoyles" is a strong addition to Disney's television repertory. The show's animation is much better than other TV animated shows, like "Beavis and Butthead," and comedy and drama are nicely balanced throughout the show.

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