A Station Eight Fan Web Site
All Batman (animated) questions:
1.What are your favorite episodes in "Batman: The Animated Series"?
2.a)What do think of the episodes in "The New Adventures Of Batman And Robin" compared to TAS?
2.b)What do you think of the change from Robin to Nightwing and the arrival of Robin II?
2.c)What do you think of the design (look, costume, voice cast, etc) changes in mostly all the characters compared to the 'TAS'?
3.What do you think of the episodes in "Batman Beyond" compared to the two previous series?
4.a)Have you seen any Batman animated movies "Mask of the Phantasm", "Sub-Zero", "World's Finest" and "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker"?
4.b)Any favorites among them? What's your opinion?
5.What do you think of Harley Quinn (I think she was first introduced in the Batman universe through the animated series)?
6.What do think of Mark Hamill's performance as the Joker?
1. God, it's been SO long. And there were so many in those first 65, particularly after Alan Burnette took over as Producer. It was great stuff though. And I loved Mask of the Phantasm.
2a. I don't think I saw any of those.
2b. Didn't see how they handled it. Never loved it so much in the comics.
2c. See above. I didn't see them.
3. I've only seen a few Batman Beyond. And while I think it's well-made I don't quite love it. I guess the new Batman reminds me too much of Spider-Man. I like Spider-Man, but I don't really want to see Batman acting like Spider-Man.
4a. I've seen the first and the uncut version of the last.
b. I liked them both, actually. But Mask blew me away.
5. She's fun.
Ian>Um... thank you, I think, for complementing my questions. (I was passing through to see what other questions had been posted as long as I was online and saw your comment).
Greg>I hope my questions better exemplify your preferences, but you and I both know I can be error prone on occasion. I can think of instances both where I was your student and not proofing myself well enough as an interviewer (the latter being the greater embarrassment) where that was the case.
(And I just had to go look up embarrassment. I always have to stop and think about the "r"s and "s"s...)
The fact that you are looking things up is good in and of itself.
By the way, it was nice to see you and Jen and Alan and Zach and Ana and Ambrosia at Keith David's performance. I hope you all had a great time. (And I'm sorry I didn't warn you about the expense. I didn't know and was caught off guard by the cost myself.)
For those of you in the Greater Los Angeles area looking for some much needed diversion...
Keith David (the voice of Goliath, of course) will be singing and performing live at CINEGRILL inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard (between La Brea & Highland) at 8pm on both Friday, September 21st and Saturday, September 22nd, 2001. My wife and I will be going Friday night. It would be great to get a nice garg-fan turnout. And I know that I personally can use the break from news reports, etc. Reservations are suggested but not required. Call: (323)466-7000.
Hope to see at least a few of you there.
July (and thus August) ASK GREG questions are done.
Now I'm just over a week behind. I can live with that.
FYI, for any fans living in the Los Angeles area:
Keith David (the voice of Goliath and Thailog and Officer Morgan) is performing live at the Cinegrill (at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard) at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, September 21st and 22nd, 2001.
I'll be going on the 21st, and I hope to see at least a few of you there.
If you've never heard Keith sing, you are SO in for a treat. The guy is brilliant.
after the first season, why was it decided to put Goliath's voice over the original opening theme music? i remember the first time i heard it i liked it cuz it was new, but now i think i prefer the just music version, so i'm curious to why it was done.
I probably prefer the music-only version as well. Though I think Gary Sperling did a great job writing the naration and Keith did a fantastic job reading it.
It was my idea, nevertheless I was really on the fence about it. It seemed that it might help new viewers understand the basics of what was going on. Is there anyone out there for whom this was true?
At any rate, I didn't think it was ideal, but I didn't think it hurt too much either. The final decision was made by my boss Gary Krisel.
How do you feel about male actor given there voice to female character in cartoons? How about the other way around? Do you thnik it would work in gargoyles?
These decisions would all have to be made on a case by case basis.
Where can *I* buy a copy of Cree Summer's CD?
Everyone eat Round Table pizza!
Oh! And sign up for G2002!
And write to Disney asking for Gargoyles DVD's! (Greg, you can tell Mr. Fukuto that I'll by Gargs on DVD, and I don't have a DVD player.)
I love Cree's CD. Have you tried a record store?
OK. I just saw my first full episode of Gargoyles. It was pretty good, but I couldn't believe whose voice I heard speaking for one of the characters. I thought I heard Jonathan Frakes, (Commander Riker, from Star Trek:TNG), as the voice of the man, he's name eludes me for the moment, who creates a mechanical gargoyle suit. I remember this creator, didn't he once try to kill the Gargoyles at one point, now he's there friend? It's all a bit confusing. I think I should watch a few more episodes to get the full picture. How in heavens name were 'they' able to get Jonathan Frakes to be the voice of one this character?
Jonathan audtioned for US and we cast him in the part. We also got Marina Sirtis and nearly a dozen other Trek actors from all of the Star Trek series that had aired at the time.
Off-topic for Gargoyles, but have you seen Keith David's latest performance in 2000's "Requiem For A Dream"? His role is small but instrumental, and overall it's a powerful movie (although certainly not for children).
On that note, do you find, in general, that voice talent has a harder or easier time transitioning into live acting (or vice versa)? Clearly, the environments are different, and I wonder if live acting is more difficult for people used to studio recording.
I haven't seen Requiem for A Dream. Just don't get out to many movies these days. But I have no doubt that Keith was great. Cuz Keith is ALWAYS great.
I think these days, live action actors are transitioning to animation with relative ease. And many actors go back and forth all the time.
But there are some animation specialists who don't do both, largely because they aren't interested in live action. Doing cartoons was the goal.
Hi, Greg. Sorry, my question isn't related to Gargoyles. I'm mainly writing out of curiousity to know the name of the actor replacing Jim Varney as the voice of Cookie in "Team Atlantis", for which I was told you're doing the voice directing. I spoke with Corey Burton, and he couldn't remember the guy's name at all, and Tad Stones says he can only remember his first name.
I know curiousity killed el gato, but I've always been a fan of Varney's work and would just like to know a little more about the actor chosen to fill those large shoes.
Steven Barr replaced Jim as Cookie on the series (which was cancelled) and on the home video which should still be forthcoming some day.
Steven was great. I will say that as a director I told him NOT to be too concerned with mimicking Varney. That he was going to be playing the character for 39 episodes and he had to make it his own. To capture the spirit of Jim's work, but not be slavish to the sound.
I gave James Taylor the same advice for doing Milo Thatch, vis-a-vis Michael J. Fox.
I know that for certain characters, you already have a voice actor in mind before you cast them (like Ed Asner for Hudson). Now that you've met Crispin Freeman, I was wondering if you've considered him for the voice of any particular character in the spinoffs you've planned (in the hopes that they will one day get made).
I actually asked him which character he'd like to voice, and he said Griff (but basically he's a big fan of the "Pendragon" episode itself).
Well, I love Crispin, now. But I also love Neil Dickson, so Crispin's not getting Griff.
To be honest, I haven't thought that far out. Or at least that way. But now you've got me thinking...
What part did Roddy McDowell play in Gargoyles?
This question actually deals with the credits listing of the series (yeah, I know it seems I have too much time on my hands, but that's beside the point).
Two things about GARGOYLES' credits stood out. The first you already talked about--the writers recieving credit at the beginning of episodes during the first season. The second however I also found to be quite interesting--GARGOYLES actually gave a true cast list. Usually in these Disney shows, when the credits say, "With the Voice Talents of..." they just lump the actors' names together without telling who they played. GARGOYLES was the first Disney animated series I know of (BUZZ LIGHTYEAR did it later) that actually listed both the actors and the characters they played. This enabled me to (when I started taping the episodes and could hit pause) more fully discover just how diverse and talented this cast was. I could recognize names and see if a person played multiple roles, and I was quite pleased.
1) Is there any story behind this, like there was for giving the writers' credit up front?
2) Whatever the case, I'm glad I could know who played who.
I don't know if this would qualify as a story, but I liked how Batman the animated series listed who played who. It seemed to show more respect for the actors (and as I was a fan of Batman) more respect for the fans who might be VCRing the thing and want to know.
So we followed their lead. And I'm glad we did. I tried to talk SONY into doing that for Starship and/or Max Steel, but they weren't interested.
First of all, I just wanted to say that I love Gargoyles and would like to thank you for sharing your idea with us.
I was watching the episode; 'Vendetta' and I couldn't believe Vinnie. I am very curious to find know, how did you think of this character?
Thanks for your time.
A combination of factors went into the creation of Vinnie.
In no particular order:
1) We asked Jeff Bennett to play the role of a dumb Gen-U-Tech security guard. He put on this great Vinnie Barbarino voice (from Welcome Back, Kotter). It was hilarious.
2) I had this idea to do an episode about the nameless schlub that the gargoyles had effected without ever knowing it.
3) Brynne Chandler had this idea about Goliath getting a pie in the face.
4) I had a separate idea about Wolf and Hakon teaming up to get vengeance on Goliath.
It all just came together. Strangely. The episode was supposed to be a comedic change of pace from the rest of the series. I don't think the animation supported the comedy very well. But it was the first episode I ever voice directed, so I'm fond of it.
I've read your awnsers on my last two questions today, but unfortunately, you havn't understood them both. So, now I will explain them again:
Let's take the question with the actors first. Well, if there will ever be a movie, and if you will be able to work on it, I know, that you will do almost everything to get the voice actors in it. But, what if the pruducers or directors will tell you, that the movie needs some stars, who will get people in it, who are new to the show. I know, that all this will probably never happen, but use your imagination...
And for my second question, I meant an ep, in wich you will show, what would have happened, if the gargs would have allied with demona, or what would have happened, if ..., well, think about it
hope you'll understand
1. I get it. I'm just not interested. It's a hypothetical based on a hypothetical based on a hypothetical. That stuff doesn't grab me.
2. Another "What if..." story. I get it. I understand. I just don't care.
Did you have Characters for Gargoyles planed to use the the voices of: Patrick Stewert, Lenerad Nemoi, William Shatner or any other characters from star trek?
BTW, Gates McFadden isn't the voice of Fox is she? I don't think so, but I can't find her name on any credits, and that would be a good part for her.
Also, why were so many Star Treak actors used as voices, besides that most of them did great jobs(puck)?
It doesn't work that way. We create characters first. Then we cast. We did try to get Patrick Stewart for a couple of parts, but he was too expensive for us.
Fox was voiced by Laura San Giacomo, who currently is part of the cast of "Just Shoot Me" on NBC.
And the reason we had so many Trek actors was because:
a) Marina auditioned for us and nailed the part of Demona.
b) Jonathan Frakes auditioned for us, and after us ****ing around for awhile, was cast as Xanatos.
c) After that when we were casting guest rolls, it was only natural to think of Trek actors since we already had two of them sitting in the booth.
d) I was not unaware of the publicity value, but we never cast a Trek actor just for the sake of casting a Trek actor. If they didn't seem right for the roll, we didn't consider them.
Did you know that in Disney's newest Animated Classic ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE, the Atlantean princess Kida is voiced by Cree Summer? She did a great job, but I found this a little disconcerting because I'm used to that voice yelling death threats, laughing psychotically, and hitting on any available machinary. :-)
Yes, I very much knew that because I'm voice directing Cree as Queen Kida in the spin-off series Team Atlantis. It wasn't quite the shock to me, as Cree has done many, many voices since she was a little kid, including Penny, I believe in Inspector Gadget and Max in Batman Beyond as well as Hyena in Gargoyles.
Anyone who came to the Gathering learned all this first hand from Cree herself, who showed up on the 24th of June, despite feeling under the weather. She's just terrific. She's also a GREAT SINGER. She gave me a copy of her C.D. And she's recording a new one now.
Today no talk, just the question:
In "Sanctuary", Macbeth got a picture of Elisa hanging in his livingroom. Was that a joke by the writers, or have you too not noticed it untill yet?
By the way: do you know, that John Rhys-Davies will play Gimli in the Lord of the Rings movie?
OK, that's all
I knew John was in the movie, not what he was playing.
I have noticed that there is a picture that looks like Elisa. At present I have no explanation for it. It certainly wasn't in the script.
YEESSS!!! The contest is over! Strike! Ok, so let me think for a question...
How will the future in 2198 look like? Dark (like in Blade Runner) or the shiny-super-hero-future with no wars, no deseases etc.?
Ok, thank you for awnsering. Hope you will read this before the Gathering ( Sorry, can't come :-(. The 23 June is my birthday, and to fly from Berlin to LA is a toooo big birthday present :-((((() Anyway, hope you have, or had, some fun there. Greet Jonathan Frakes from me ;-)
Jonathan was in Israel during the Gathering, so I didn't see him.
The future looked bright in March of 2198. Not perfect, but pretty shiny. With a lot preserved intentionally from nature and older periods.
Things took a dark turn with the arrival of the Space-Spawn.
What is the story behind the "Better than Barney" thing?
It's a long story. A Gathering Story. I just told it, like five times, last weekend. Bit burned out on it now.
Ask me some other time. Or come to G2002.
(But the short answer is that it's something that Bill Faggerbakke once said in defense of the series.)
Were all the characters drawn to resemble, in some way, the actors/actresses that voiced them? Like Xanatos and Franks for example.
No. Or at least largely no.
Xanatos was literally designed years before Jonathan Frakes was cast in the role.
Elisa's basic design didn't change much either, but we did send pictures of Salli Richardson to Mr. Takeuchi, the character designer who was working on her final model in Japan.
The human versions of Goliath, Hudson, Lex, Brooklyn and Broadway were influenced by the actors who played them. But only a bit. We had to stay faithful to the gargoyle base forms.
Hello Mr. Weisman.
I don't come here often, but occasionally I'm struck by the urge to quiz you on something. I was browsing the questions you're fielding, and I was struck again by something I notice every time I visit this page. There seems to be some preoccupation here with "the mind of the other." I noticed another poster make reference to your interest in it (although I cannot find any record of your having initiated the discussion).
While the series was still active I saw you invoke this theme frequently whenever you emphasized the cultural shock that the gargoyles experienced in modern America, and I appreciated the fact that you treated our linguistic tendencies to "name everything" as a curious human social construction. It helped to push the idea that these creatures were _not_ human and that we could not understand their natures or their motivations from within the context of human sensibilities. I see there is some similar talk here of the fay, and the notion that their essential nature might be something that is sufficiently far removed from humans so as to be outside our understanding. All of this puts me in mind of the anthropomorphic problem that the SETI administration outlined for dealing with the idea of extraterrestrial intelligence's. Human beings have a tendency to ascribe human values to non human species, and beyond that have considerable difficulty in contextualizing "the mind of the other" without unconsciously resorting to the context of human sensibilities.
Which brings me to the reason for this post; because being a student of the sciences (and probably less attached to my humanity than most people), I have found reason to be extremely critical of some of the aspects of the way the anthropomorphic problem is treated within the natural sciences as it applies to non-human animals. Generally speaking, my problem is that some of the more archaic ethical distinctions that are made between humans and other animals have their foundation in the premise that the ascription of certain mental capacities ( reflection, emotion, etc.) are the ascription of _uniquely human_ qualities. The fact that this premise, itself, is socially constructed rather than informed by data, seems to be lost on at least most _social_ scientists. What is troubling me is that I have begun to observe this kind of thinking migrate into the popular domain through science fiction. I don't really follow sci fi, but I've seen star trek, and I have had occasion to see the half-dozen or so other popular sci fi programs that one can find on television. I see a trend wherein the heroes casual disintegration of a planet is commonly justified with the hazily defined and indistinct ethics of "It did not harbor any sentient life."
This trend is scaring the hell out of me; because the expression "sentient" is not really used within the scientific community, so it does not have any agreed upon definition attached to it and there is no objective data informing the idea of it. The word seems to have infiltrated popular culture, however, where it finds frequent expression. That's what's bothering me. I see a lot of the same hazy ethical reasoning on this board. A number of messages expressing the confusion that humans in your story were subject to when they "mistook the gargoyles for animals rather than sentient beings" and in doing so, justified a campaign to exterminate them.
I would hope that a reasonable group of people would be given pause by the almost casual disregard for life that is being demonstrated with the prioritization of one life over another based upon the presence or non-presence of this seemingly magical endowment. Because if I am reading the intentions of the contributors to this board accurately, then it would appear their position is that if the occupants of that clock tower had been a group of stray dogs or a family of polar bears, then annihilating them with a wire guided missile would have been perfectly reasonable. "It's all right. It didn't harbor any sentient life." I would encourage the fans that come to this site to give some thought to what it is they mean by "sentience." What is the content of this sentience? If it entails that a creature can react to it's environment, anticipate, reflect and emote, then it should be pointed out that what available data exists indicates that this capacity is only about as exclusive a domain as most land based vertebrates.
I guess they shouldn't have disintegrated that planet after all. I hope to encourage others to give this issue the thought that it requires. I am also hoping to elicit some commentary from you, on the matter of how you perceive "the mind of the other." What mental distinctions do you draw between humans and gargates or faeries. I would be interested in hearing you address the notion.
Thank you for writing. It certainly gets me thinking.
I'm probably as guilty as anyone of overusing, or rather overbilling the issue of "sentience". I think the concept has its uses. But it's probably used as a crutch too often.
Certainly, I don't want to see a family of polar bears, anthropomorphic or otherwise, blown up by a guided missile.
I don't much like the idea of destroying planets. In science fiction or otherwise.
As to this "mind of the other" concept...
Well for starters, I don't believe I did initiate the discussion of it -- unless you're including my constant admonishments to posters here that they are thinking like a human.
The previous post by Demoness and my response are a perfect example. She thinks Oberon is out of line. But she's thinking like a human, and a biased one at that. (I don't mean to pick on you, Demoness.) Oberon has a valid point of view. We may not like it, but it seems justifiable to me.
But the question of the mind of the other, was posted here initially by someone else. ( I can't remember who it was at this moment. ) I only just answered it in the last few days. Since you posted YOUR question, hopefully you've seen my response to that one.
And to reiterate, my response was that I'm still (in our universe) interested in the mind of US. Not the OTHER. But one way to explore that is to put ourselves in the shoes of the OTHER. Finding and describing and bringing the OTHER to life, whether as a Gargoyle or as a Child of Oberon, is for me an exercise in EXTRAPOLATION.
For example: If I was me, BUT I turned to stone every day AND I aged at half the rate I currently do PLUS most of my species had been exterminated 1000 years ago, ETC. -- then WHAT WOULD I BE LIKE?
For me, it's less about investing in species then in individual characters. Each with his or her own UNIQUE LIST of "extrapalatory parameters" (I just made that phrase up.)
It's really no different with a character like Elisa. After all, I'm a white Jewish male from California who has spent his entire adult life working in fiction. Elisa is an African-American/Native-American female from New York who's spent her adult life fighting crime. To understand her, I need to extrapolate.
However, in order to understand individuals of another species, I need to know more about that species. I need to envision the parameters that I will use to fully create their characters. So I've done that. In many ways, to me, gargoyle culture represent a kind of ideal. Not perfection, which doesn't personally interest me. But an ideal. Purpose. Loyalty. Oneness with the world they live in. Etc. I've borrowed things that I admired from multiple cultures and from my imagination, and I've tried to weave it into a coherent whole that fits the biology that I assigned them. These biological limits also create parameters for extrapolating character. Yes, the turning to stone thing. But also the group egg laying on a twenty year cycle. This naturally leads into the group child rearing thing. One is biological. One is cultural. But they are linked by extrapolation.
[Or... and I know this sounds silly but... perhaps they are linked by truth. By the fact that they exist in the Gargoyle Universe. As I've said many times before, sometimes this show flowed so well and easily, that it just seemed like I was tapping into something that existed. (But that's got nothing to do with this discussion, so let's ignore it.)]
And yet, from my point of view, all this is used to further illustrate the human condition. I don't think Oberon does or should think like us. But don't we all know a couple people with a little Oberon in them.
Keith David has said, as recently as seven days ago, that when he grows up he hopes to be like Goliath. And I personally think, that flawed as he is, Goliath is a wonderful role model. So we, as humans, can learn from Gargoyles. And we, as humans, can learn from Margot Yale as well. Maybe as a negative example. Maybe as something more down the road.
Ending Hunter's Moon with Jon Canmore becoming the human equivalent of Demona, was not an accident. They arrived at that point in two very different ways -- each, I hope, well informed by his or her species. (Or well extrapolated.) Nevertheless, the similarities between them are obvious and represent a "lesson" for us all.
All that stuff interests me MUCH, MUCH more than the exercise of creating something fully OTHER, just for the sake of achieving that.
Someday that may not be true. Aliens could land in Washington D.C. tomorrow and then comprehending the OTHER for the sake of understanding the OTHER will become a BIG priority fast. But for the time being, the human race is effectively alone in the universe. And before the aliens land, I'd like us all to get to know ourselves MUCH, MUCH better. In that sense, an Oberon, a Goliath, a Nokkar, are all just tools to that end.
The concept of sentience, comes in again, as I said, as a crutch. A convenient distinction between Bronx and Goliath, for example. Let's say you're from Russia. You don't speak English, and Goliath doesn't speak Russian. Still you have a hope that one or both of you may learn to speak the other's language. Dialogue is possible.
Bronx isn't ever going to speak Russian or English. That's the distinction. For what it's worth. In a moral sense, I'd say it's not worth MUCH at all. In a PRAGMATIC sense, we're not being honest if we don't admit it MEANS a lot.
Now. I don't think sentience is a WALL. Koko the gorilla can communicate in sign language. And I've got to say, I'm not sure that whales and dolphins aren't squealing complex philosophical discussions every day of the week. (Which is confusing because Dolphins have an eight day week, and whales have a thirty-seven day week. But what are you going to do?)
But even including a Bronx or a Cagney has value in the show. How do we respond to them. How do they respond to us? It's fun to do "The Hound of Ulster" and try to understand how an "animal" responds to various stimuli. It's still extrapolation. Now, with Bronx, I can cheat. I can keep him a beast and anthropomorphize him to my heart's content, because that species doesn't truly exist. I can make him as intelligent as I want. My goal there is to simply be consistent. Bronx can't start responding like Scooby Doo one day. You get the idea.
It's still about us understanding us and our place in the world. If in my own small way, I'm helping to open minds, helping to pave a bit of a way for when the aliens DO LAND, then great. But first and foremost, I'm asking us to KNOW OURSELVES.
Anyway, I feel like I'm starting to get repetitive. But this whole thread intrigues me. Feel free to post again with a follow-up. And everyone's welcome to join in.
WHo does the voice of Fox Xanatos? Its been bothering me for weeks.. please let me know. email@example.com
Laura San Giacomo. Currently a regular on "Just Shoot Me".
In your opinion, if Gargoyles ever became a motion picture, out of the well known actors, who do you think might best play Macbeth?
I say Sean Connery. He's got the looks (well use too, stick some hair on his head and he's fine), the accent, and he's played a King and warrior before. :)
We just had this discussion here. Check out the Ask Greg Archives under Macbeth, or Live-Action Movie or Voice Talent.
If any of your spin-offs went through, do you think you would be able to get all the same voice cast back?
Largely. Getting Roddy McDowell or Ed Gilbert might be tough.