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Aris Katsaris writes...

I believe you've said that Gabriel will learn he's Coldstone and Coldfire's son (and I think vice-versa as well). To what extent will he *care* about this? As much as Angela cared about her own parentage? Less so? Will he be completely uninterested, considering only the Princess/Guardian/Magus to be his real parents?

Greg responds...

I think he'd care more than, say Broadway. Probably not as much as Angela. The difference is that Coldstone and Coldfire wouldn't care at all. That is, they'd be thrilled that all their children survived. To them, Angela is as much a daughter as Gabriel is a son. They were too distracted to deal with that in Possessions. But if I had been able to get back to that....

Response recorded on March 11, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

This question's also a Norse mythology one. In the cosmology of the Gargoyles Universe, where do you see Asgard fitting in, since the Aesir are part of it? Do you see it as on Avalon, or as a "home away from Avalon" for Odin and the other Norse gods?

Greg responds...

Home away from home.

Response recorded on March 03, 2000

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Michael Norton writes...

How are the two Gargoyles and the vegetation from Guatemala faring on Avalon?

Greg responds...

I imagine the vegetation is fairing well. But Jade and Turquesa are no longer on Avalon. They were needed back on Guatemala, so I think they left Avalon A.S.A.P. Of course, we all know that Avalon sends you where you need to be. So I'm sure they had a few adventures of their own. But I imagine their back in Guatemala by now.

Response recorded on February 20, 2000

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lisa writes...

HI GREG!
you said that when you wrote avalon part one it was to long so some of the scenes were taken out. what were those scenes about?

Greg responds...

First off, I didn't write Avalon, Part One. Lydia Marano did.

I'm sure it was too long. (Most of our scripts were.) But I don't have it with me at this moment, and I don't remember anything in particular that was cut. Probably there were a few little trims here and there. No major scene cuts.

Avalon, Part Two had WAY more cuts.

Response recorded on February 17, 2000

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AWAKENING, PART THREE

Watched this with the family half an hour ago...

More random observations...

RE: Our supporting cast...

Who knew that Brendan & Margot would wind up being so important? Credit Marina Sirtis, for making Margot so gloriously bitchy.

And then there's Vinnie's first appearance on that motorcycle. Of course, no one knew Vinnie existed back then, which is thoroughly appropriate to his character.

And credit Keith David with breathing real life into Morgan the cop. Morgan didn't even have a name then. He was just a place holder, someone for Elisa to respond to. But Keith made me interested in him.

Little things still bug me. Xanatos' floating ponytail in the scene where he and Elisa first meet.

In the Kitchen, the Freezer door was supposed to have one of those easy to open latches on the inside. The irony being that Broadway could easily extricate himself, if he just knew how to operate the latch (or even what it was). Something a kid could do, assuming the kid was born in the 20th century. But BW has to bust down the door.

In the original script and the recording of that script, it's Brooklyn who says "So many wonders..." and it's Broadway who says "Goliath said not to let anybody see us." But in those early days, lots of people in L.A. and in Tokyo kept confusing their names (and Bronx's) so the animation came back as you see it. And it was easier to re-record the voices then to reanimate. (Or am I getting all this totally backwards? I just saw the show again half an hour ago, and already, I'm confused.)

(CAVEAT: In all these little things, I'll probably be pointing out animation errors here and there. But please understand, I think most of the animation we got, particularly from Walt Disney TV Animation - Japan, was brilliant. I think those guys did a great job and don't get enough credit. But anecdotes generally come out of when things go wrong, not when they go right, so it may seem like I'm talking about mistakes more often than not. Sorry, in advance to Roy Sato or anyone else who might take offense.)

When Elisa is first being checked out by the Trio, there was a scene in the original animation where Brooklyn seems inordinantly interested in her behind. We had to call a retake, cuz the guy was practically drooling. I wonder if that's where I got the idea that Brooklyn would fall for anyone in a skirt (or with a tail).

Also, after Goliath saves Elisa from falling off the building we have a point of view shot from her. It begins at Goliath's feet and pans up to his face, as she takes him in. In the original animation, the pan started at his head and panned down. That seemed less effective, so we had our editors reverse the pan, without calling for a retake.

At the end of Act Two, the door slides open revealing Demona in silhouette, clearly plotting something with Xanatos. That always really bugged me. I didn't want to give away that she was alive in this episode. I didn't want to know who Xanatos was talking to. How did you guys react to this? Did that spill everything? Did any of you not know that Demona was alive? Did any of you, by this point, not know that she and Xanatos were the bad guys?

Elisa says something like "This is where Dracula shows up." when she's walking through the corridors of the castle. If you take that literally (and you might as well), then you gotta figure that someday, Dracula will be roaming that very hallway.

Elisa loses the first in her series of guns, when Goliath crushes it near the end of Act One.

Goliath tells a joke: "And please, don't fall off the building this time." Goliath tells a joke. Can you believe it? It wasn't bad either. We should have let him tell jokes more often.

Elisa's surprise that Goliath can talk is indicative of what I thought a 20th (or 21st) century initial response to the gargs would be. That's why Goliath Chronicles' trial episode bugged me so much. I don't think humans would take for granted sentience. And I think most humans, those less open than Elisa, wouldn't even buy talking as enough evidence that the gargs weren't just beasts. (Cf. Margot Yale.)

Goliath is a pretty begruding hero. That's somewhat unique for cartoons. Elisa asks if there are more gargs, and Goliath responds: "Barely." He cuts her very little slack. But already you can see their relationship developing. I still think Hudson's expression after Goliath sweeps Elisa up into his arms is just priceless.

In that same scene, Hudson gets named for the river. I love that scene, as I loved the scene where Tom, Brook and Lex are talking about names. Of course, the desire not to name most of the gargoyles until we got to NYC '94, was mostly pragmatic. It allowed us to use those fun, cool NY names for most of the characters. But once we came up with the rationale for it, and once I managed to explain it to everyone, I really fell in love with the concept. Hudson's lament, here, that humans don't think something is real until they've put there stamp on it, is, to me at least, so damn true. And Elisa's response is so feeble and circular. "Things need names." Pathetic. But I'm no different. <SIGH> I'm such a human. But I aspire to gargoylosity. Anyway, after Hudson points to the river, and Elisa basically tricks him into taking that name, she used to have a line, as I may have mentioned before, where she said (under her breath) "Good thing we weren't facing Queens" -- implication being that Hudson nearly ended up being called Queen, I guess. It was always funny, but S&P didn't care for it, and I couldn't really defend it. So out it went. We tried another version, where she just says, "Good thing we weren't facing East." But it didn't play. So out it went too.

The thing that struck me most, however, was the almost thorough lack of action in this episode. After all that Viking stuff in Part One, and Vikings and a full act of commandos in Part Two, Part Three is a mood and character piece. Sure Elisa falls off a building, but that was a problem easily solved. Until the commandos' Central Park attack in the last seconds of Act Three, nothing else happens that could genuinely qualify as action. That was mostly a result of what was once a four-parter being turned into a five-parter. The reason we made that change is because Michael Reaves wrote a brillaint four-part script. It was amazing. But it was WAY too long. I was faced with either having to make drastic cuts (as I would later have to do in Avalon and Hunter's Moon) or expand it. Fortunately, Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston saw the wisdom of expansion. For one thing, it would save us money. But also, it made sense because we could run the five parts across a whole week of the Disney Afternoon like a mini-series special event. It wouldn't require us to re-program one day of that first week. So we were all agreed, the four parter would become a five parter.

But that meant adding act breaks, and redividing everything. The episode that most benefited was Part One. In the orignal version, Part One covered all of what is currently part one, plus the first act of what's currently part two, i.e. ALL the Scotland stuff. The episode ended with Goliath's "suicide". A great ending, but we would have obviously had to cut a TON out of the flashback. This way we were able to expand into part two and preserve almost all of the story.

So Part Three winds up being nearly action-free. And by the way, I love that. I still think the episode works great, and it proved to me that the charcters themselves could really hold the audience's attention. (I'm such a proud papa. Unashamedly so. It must be pretty obnoxious.) I wish we had always had the luxury to be so... well, luxurious. To expand and play character. But generally a half-hour format makes it tough. I'm very sick of writing half hours, actually. But the powers that be in Animation believe that kids can't or won't sit through an hour long show.

As usual, I welcome posts here responding to this episode. Both your original reaction to seeing it for the first time, and your current reaction if you've seen it again recently.


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Aris Katsaris writes...

Is Boudicca the only gargoyle beast of the Avalon clan? And does the fact that gargoyle beasts seem even rarer than normal gargoyles mean that their species is in an even worse danger of extinction?

Greg responds...

No, she's not. But the beast species is, generally, in even greater danger of extinction than gargoyles.

Response recorded on February 10, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

How did the Avalon gargoyles learn how to glide? After all, their human foster-parents were obviously in no position to teach them themselves how to do it.

Greg responds...

Trial and error.

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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MAui writes...

Hi there ;)

Just wondering...where did you guys come up With the Name Bouhdicca? (sp?) thanks alot, have a ncie day ;)

Greg responds...

Boudicca was a Celtic female warrior. I don't actually know that much about her. Brynne Chandler Reaves and/or Lydia Marano chose that name.

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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Heather N. Allen writes...

I'll mention here that I've reintroduced myself to Gargoyles only this summer via fan webpages and I've managed to get Toon Disney for only a month. Therefore, while not completly updated on every detail of each episode, I do remember quite a bit from the original airdates of them. And if this question has been asked before, forgive me, but I've only frequented Ask Greg for three months. If it's in the archives somewhere, just point the way. SOOO, without further ado...

I remember in a past question where you mentioned recycling characters. (Morgan, Margot and Brendan, Vinnie, etc.) While watching the AVALON episodes, I noticed that many of Angela's rookery sibs were identical to those gargoyles seen in Demona's renagade clan from 2nd century, right down to the clothing. As I understood it, she collected THEM from other clans that were destroyed throughout Scotland. No way for their eggs to end up in Wyvern's rookery, or even on Avalon for that matter.

So, here's the question: were these gargs mearly another batch of recycled characters? And if so, why use them on Avalon? Did you see any kind of conflict coming from this? Or is there another reason altogether that I'm missing entirley?

By the way, I REALLY envy you for having created such a great story, with all these fictional and factual elements mixed in to create the best animated series ever. Wish I'd thought of it :)

Greg responds...

If you're looking for the "Behind the Scenes" answer it's pretty obvious. We couldn't afford to design multiple clans of background gargoyles everytime we did a flashback story or went to Avalon. So we reused the models, figuring most people wouldn't notice.

But there's also a within the Universe explanation that works for me. When a Gargoyle clan gets too large for it's location, it splits and colonizes. The Wyvern Clan had been living in relative peace under Prince Malcolm. In my mind it got up to about 100 or so Gargoyles and Beasts. That was too large a number for Wyvern to sustain, so approximately half of the gargoyle population moved on to found a new colony, start a new clan. But all the eggs were left behind in the established Wyvern rookery. The new colony obviously didn't fair any better than Wyvern ultimately, but Demona collected up a few of its survivors, during the Maol Chalvim/Duncan era.

But some of those survivors left eggs behind at the Wyvern rookery, which explains why there are some look-alikes on Avalon.

As for the clothes.... Give me a break.

Response recorded on February 03, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

This is more of a comment/correction rather than a question. I think that you've miscalculated a date. In a previous Ask Greg question you had said that you had once calculated that the gargs both in Avalon and in the real world will lay eggs at 2008. I think that must have been a mistake on your part: I believe that gargoyles lay egg in their 50th or 49th year (biological 25). That would mean that in Avalon-time 50*24=1200 years. The gargs at avalon should lay their eggs only 1200 real-world years after they were hatched. That in turn means that if they were hatched around somewhere around year 1040, they shouldn't lay eggs until 2240 or something like that...

Anyway thought I should mention this...

Greg responds...

No, that's not right.

God knows it's been years since I did this math, however I think you are operating on faulty assumptions.

Yes, the Avalon eggs hatched in 1044.

Thus by 1995, Angela, Gabriel, Ophelia, et al. would all be biologically twenty years old. That's way past Gargoyle puberty in my book. So what remains is for their internal clocks to be in sync, so to speak, with the natural rhythms of the Earth that would put the females "in heat" (for lack of a better term). That would next occur sometime in late 2007 or early 2008.

That easily puts, say, Ophelia in synch with Angela and Obsidiana out in the real world. The difference comes twenty years later in 2028, when the latter two might again lay eggs. But to Ophelia she would have only just laid her first egg a mere 20 months ago. I don't know whether that's enough recovery time for her, enough time for her own internal cycle -- but in any case her first egg certainly wouldn't have hatched yet.

It's also worth considering whether Ophelia and Angela might have been "in heat" in Avalon in 1988? Maybe they were, and maybe Katharine was preaching abstinence in a major way.

Suddenly, I feel like this is Christine's show. :) [No, I haven't read her fan-fiction, but boy have I heard rumors.]

In any case, for those of you with dirty minds, I think Angela was a virgin even at the time of "The Journey". (Broadway too for that matter.) Not so sure about Ophelia.

Response recorded on February 02, 2000


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