In 1994, Disney took risks when they introduced the world to their new, darker cartoon series, Gargoyles, to the Disney Afternoon. Before this cartoon, Disney kept their cartoons to a light tone, friendly to all ages. While Gargoyles is not the darkest and most adult-themed cartoon that modern viewers can find, it helped changed the cartoon landscape. One of the strongest features of this cartoon was the complex cast of characters.
Gargoyles introduced its audiences to a wealth of rich characters that fleshed out the concepts of good and evil. Instead of painting a landscape of blacks and whites, the characters blended their motives to create a sea of grey morals. Even the villain that wanted to kill all humans, Demona, had motives that made her decisions relatable and tragic.
Likewise, Gargoyle’s production team pushed the limits of what a cartoon could do during this decade. They surprised their executives by having two of their villains marry then have a child. They also played with tropes, such as Disney’s tendency to send off villains through via falling to their doom. Even their heroes had faults, with one accidentally nearly killing Elisa Maza.
So, it is no surprise that fans of the Gargoyles cartoon fondly look back at the cast. So, join us as we narrow down the top ten characters from the cartoon.
Presenting the top ten characters from the Disney Afternoon cartoon, Gargoyles
Before Goliath’s time, Hudson led the gargoyles of Castle Wyvern. The younger members of the clan, including Goliath, respected his wisdom and experience. However, as he realized that his age prevented him from holding up to their foes, he decided to step down. Even though he no longer led the clan, Goliath kept him as a trusted mentor and advisor.
Unlike other elderly characters in cartoons, Hudson did not bore the younger members of the cast with tales of the past. Instead, he called upon his experience to guide them as necessary through their challenges. His age has given him the patience to outlast their younger foes as well.
Not long after he woke up to the modern age, Hudson quickly adapted to enjoy the lounge chair and televisions available. Thus, he spends most of his nights watching television with Bronx at his side. Thus, he also usually opts to stay at the Gargoyles’ home, whether it was the castle or clock tower, to keep watch.
Large in girth, personality, and statue, Broadway supports his brothers as a sturdy member of the Manhattan Clan. While never explicitly mentioned, the show suggests that Broadway, Brooklyn, and Lexington are approximately the same age. Each of them is coming of age as adult Gargoyles, but they stay wide-eyed and ready to explore the modern world.
When off on his own, Broadway often indulges in the cuisine available, even in the 10th century. He loves food and trying out new feasts. He has even used a giant turkey egg as an impromptu club while fighting off Vikings. However, he will not choose food over protecting his clan and others.
Sadly, Broadway’s desire to explore the modern world has led him to trouble. One night, after watching a western film, Broadway visited Elisa Maza at her apartment. As she cooked a snack for the two of them, Broadway picked up her handgun and began playing out the scenes that he saw from the film. This tragically led up to him accidentally shooting Elisa in the back, which nearly killed her. From that moment on, Broadway hated guns and those that hock guns to the streets.
Few of the Gargoyles’ foes have as much experience hunting down their kind as Macbeth, though his actual quarry has always been Demona. The pair shares a magical bond that has kept them alive for centuries.
Back in the 11th century, Macbeth first met Demona when she saved him while the Hunter, an assassin, murdered his father. At that time, he saw Demona as a potential ally. Thus, as an adult, Macbeth sought out Demona’s aid once he learned that the Hunter who murdered his father was Gillecomgain and hunted down Gargoyles across Britain. During the confrontation with Gillecomgain, Macbeth saved Demona’s life.
Thus, later, when Prince Duncan posed a threat to Macbeth and his family, Macbeth sought out Demona’s assistance once again. However, she was old at this time and initially denied his request until the weird sisters, daughters of Oberon, appeared to offer a bargain between the pair. Thus, Macbeth traded his youth to Demona as the two became bonded in eternal life.
Even though Macbeth became king of Scotland for a time, with Demona at his side, his happiness was not to last. One night, Demona mistakenly believed that Macbeth was prepared to betray her clan, so she ordered her gargoyles to abandon him on the night of a devastating attack from Duncan’s son, Canmore. That night, Canmore slew Macbeth and mortally gravely wounded Demona. However, both survived because of their bond. Sadly, Macbeth could not return to his family, since all saw him die, so he lost everything that night.
From that night on, Macbeth swore to hunt down Demona and end their bond. Thus, he is neither ally nor friend of the Manhattan clan’s gargoyles.
Lexington appears to be the youngest of the Manhattan clan’s trio. He often is wide-eyed and ready to explore new concepts. He is also the smartest out of the group, quickly picking up new skills like mechanics to create machines for his brothers. If there was an issue that required technical understanding, the rest of the clan turned to Lexington.
Sadly, his naiveté got him into trouble, especially when he presented himself to a group of television heroes, the Pack. While he believed that the group stood for the same ideas that he and his clan did, the reality was that they were all looking for a challenging new hunt. Thus, they quickly took the opportunity to lure Lexington and Goliath into their clutches so that they may challenge their skills and hunt down the Gargoyles.
After this event, Lexington despised the pack and their leader, Fox. He also learned not to simply trust what he saw on television. However, as time passed, Fox gave birth to her son, Alexander, who led to Lexington seeing the softer side of the woman.
Existing in a magical isle, protected from the rest of humanity, Angela grew up separated from the rest of humanity, outside of the three human stewards of her clan. Since time on Avalon passed differently than time in the rest of the world, Demona was only a young adult Gargoyle once she met up with Goliath, her father. At first, Angela had no idea who her parents were.
Unlike the standard Gargoyle from Castle Wyvern, Princess Katherine raised Angela. Thus, she felt strong importance to family bonds and in knowing who her parents were. Despite Goliath’s insistence that she is a child of the entire clan so that her parentage did not matter, she persisted. Eventually, she won over Goliath, and he admitted to both her and he that he was her father.
Later, she also learned that Demona was her mother. While she despised Demona’s ideology, Angela still tried to reach out to her mother. She also hoped to heal the strife between Demona and the rest of the Manhattan clan. Still, she understood that Demona’s ways needed to change before she could be at peace with the others.
The final member of the Manhattan Clan’s trio was Brooklyn, who acted as the older and more mature member of the three. He often took on moral challenges that showed his maturity. For instance, he dealt with half-truths as Demona momentarily swayed him to her cause. However, after she enslaved Goliath under an obedience spell, he saw that her bitterness and hatred would not help them deal with humanity’s fear of Gargoyles.
Unfortunately, Brooklyn is also impetuous, especially over subjects that he is passionate about. Upon discovering an escaped experiment, Maggie, Brooklyn insisted on saving her, despite her fear of him. His single-minded quest to save Maggie from her captors led to him requiring saving from Broadway. In time, Maggie warmed up to Brooklyn. Still, his passion for saving her led to Elisa’s brother, Derek, becoming a mutated human-cat-bat creature.
Later, when Goliath decided that he needed a successor who would lead once he no longer could, all three members fought for the position. In the end, Brooklyn proved to have the rational mind required to become the next leader of the clan. Thus, he took on the role of leader sooner than he expected while Goliath was away on his Avalon quest.
4. Elisa Maza
In a new time, foreign to the Gargoyles of Castle Wyvern, Goliath needed a human ally that he could trust. Even though Goliath initially frightened Elisa, she quickly adapted to the Manhattan clan and became their most trusted human ally. She used her detective skills to lead the clan away from Xanatos’ machinations. Thus, she continued to help gather clues on the Gargoyle’s foes and threats.
Elisa was a second-grade detective from the 23rd precinct in the New York Police Department. Thus, when the clan had to find a new home, she quickly set them up in the clock tower that overlooked her precinct. She also helped deter any investigations on the Gargoyles’ activities while also bringing their human foes to justice.
Even though Elisa and Goliath were two different species, the two formed a semi-romantic relationship. This relationship only briefly had a moment of potential when Puck turned Elisa into a Gargoyle. However, the pair always acknowledged that they were from two distinct species, so remained close friends throughout the series.
Proving that fear and hatred proved a vicious self-destroying spiral, Demona became her own worst enemy. Initially, she saw the hatred and prejudice that humanity showed to her kind, so she turned to despise them in turn. Thus, she tried to remove humans from Castle Wyvern by convincing the captain of the guard to permit the Vikings to invade. Unfortunately, Goliath insisted that most of the clan remained at the castle, thwarting Demona’s plan. She only survived the massacre of her clan by running away that night, fearing for the worst.
Repeatedly, Demona feared that humans would turn against her, so she betrayed her human allies, one after another. Also, over and over, her decisions led to the death of those she cared about. She abandoned Macbeth to his English foes, leading to the death of the Gargoyles under her command. She slashed the face of a young boy, which led to generations of hunters who swore to rid the world of every Gargoyle. In the end, her actions crafted each and every one of Demona’s enemies.
Still, she acted out because she passionately cared about the survival of her species. She felt that she understood the best way for Gargoyles to exist, so she did everything she could to make a world that would be safe for them. However, her centuries of bitterness ruined her best intentions.
When the Manhattan clan required moral guidance and strength of convictions, they always turned to their leader, Goliath. Not only could Goliath guide his clan in the right direction, but he also was the largest and strongest member. Back in the 10th century, he earned the name Goliath, from the humans for his strength and stature. Likewise, he became an intimidating foe for any enemies of Castle Wyvern and the gargoyle clan.
Even though Goliath diligently protected those under his command, his protective side also caused issues of their own. For instance, he refused to see that Castle Wyvern no longer remained the safehold for his clan as it did in the past. So, he kept his clan there despite the threat of Xanatos’ return hanging over them. Eventually, Elisa had to convince the other members of the clan to abandon the castle for their safety.
Also, when Goliath donned the Eye of Odin, his protective side overtook all reason. He entrapped Elisa and the others just so that he could keep them safe and protected. This all occurred because he wanted to protect the Eye of Odin from its rightful owner, Odin. He did not trust the word of the old man that he was indeed the Norse god.
When it came to exploring the new modern age, Goliath preferred to stay by Elisa’s side rather than explore on his own. Otherwise, he caught up with the current age by reading books.
1. David Xanatos
Who could stand above Goliath and the rest of the cast other than the man who won even when he lost, David Xanatos? Xanatos never lacked a plan to keep him focused on his goals. He layered each of his plans with contingency after contingency so that he would remain on top. Xanatos’ ability to win no matter the choices of our heroes led to a tv trope that is named after him[SC1] .
Xanatos proved his ability to adapt and stay on top during the episode, The Edge. During this episode, the Gargoyles thwarted his attempts to frame him with his steel clan. However, he remained victorious in the end. For, he not only regained the Eye of Odin whilst claiming the insurance money. He also proved that he could stand toe to toe against the best warrior around, Goliath.
Likewise, he created his own wealth by traveling to the past and sending both a coin and a series of instructions to himself. This ancient coin originally gave Xanatos twenty thousand dollars, but he turned that small fortune into a multinational corporation. He also became one of the wealthiest men on the planet.
As the series progressed, Xanatos evolved with the rest of the cast, especially after he started a family with Fox. While he proposed to her because they were genetically compatible, highly intelligent, and shared the same goals, he proved to genuinely love Fox. Thus, when the Gargoyles helped him fight off Oberon so that he could keep his son, he softened toward them.
In the end, he became their ally, safely housing them in the Castle Wyvern once more. Though, he never lost sight of his goals.
Who were your favorite characters from Disney’s Gargoyles?
Do you agree with our list of the top ten characters from Gargoyles? We’ve shared with you our picks for the top characters from the cartoon. However, we would love to hear from you. Which characters were your favorites?
Do you have old and used Disney Gargoyles toys?
If you have a collection of old and used toys, you can turn those toys into cash. There is no reason to let those old toys collect dust. Contact us today to sell your Disney Gargoyles toy collection.
Made In Collaboration With:
Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!