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Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken

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Country  United StatesJapan
8/10 IMDb

Language  English
Director  Saburo HashimotoTakamitsu KawamuraKazuo Terada
Release date  January 31, 1995
Genre  Animation, Action, Crime, Family, Fantasy
Writer  Eric Luke, Michael Reaves

Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken is a direct-to-video animated film from The Walt Disney Company. The film is actually the five-episode pilot ("Awakening") of the animated television series Gargoyles edited into one long feature film, approximately 100 minutes in length. As a result, numerous scenes from the original broadcast episodes were cut due to time constraints. In addition, a number of scenes were also moved around and some dialogues were changed. The episodes were produced and aired in 1994, and the film was released to laserdisc and VHS in February 1995 and featured an interactive VHS/LD board game. As the pilot episodes have been released to DVD as part of Gargoyles: Season 1, this feature is unlikely to be released independently again.



In 994, Castle Wyvern of Scotland is attacked by Vikings, led by the ruthless Hakon. The resident warriors struggle to repel the attack until the sun set, and at night, the seemingly lifeless stone gargoyle statues awaken, revealing themselves to be real living gargoyles. Goliath and his powerful gargoyle clan subsequently defend the castle and successfully forced the Vikings to retreat. The human captain of the guard sees them as heroes, but their heroism appears to do nothing to earn appreciation from Princess Katherine, the court wizard Magus, or the other human residents, most of whom still see their gargoyle protectors as monsters and treat them with prejudice. Goliath's lover and the Captain argued that the gargoyles deserve more praise and dignity, especially since their castle was built on top of the land that originally belonged to the gargoyles, but Goliath adamantly insists that they must endure being misunderstood and protect the castle and all of its residents. The Captain urged Goliath to take his clan away from the castle the following night, but Goliath remains determined to protect the castle.

Meanwhile, three youthful gargoyles and their dog-like gargoyle hound are unfairly harassed by a paranoid mother in the courtyard, and despite their efforts to appease, they are forced to frighten their harassers to defend themselves. Goliath subsequently reprimands them for threatening the humans they were meant to protect, and ordered them to remain in their nesting caverns where the clan's eggs are resting. Goliath and his older gargoyle mentor then proceed to chase after the Vikings but realize they were led into a diversion. Unable to return to the castle in time, the sun rose, forcing them back into stone sleep.

At the castle, the castle is once again attacked by Hakon and the Vikings. But the captain of the guard, disgusted by scorn and prejudice of his people, betrayed the castle and Princess Katherine to the Vikings, and the battle was lost during the day. Although he wanted to leave the castle to the heroic gargoyles, the Captain failed to convince Goliath to leave the castle with his clan the previous night, and he fails to convince Hakon that the Gargoyles won't chase after them. He watched as Hakon destroyed the gargoyles while they were helpless in their stone sleep. At night, Goliath and his mentor finally return home to find the castle in ruins, the inhabitants gone, and most of his gargoyle brothers and sisters in rubble. Only the three gargoyle youths and their hound survived because Goliath previously sentenced them into the caverns. Enraged at the murder of their siblings and Goliath's mate, the survivors pursue the Vikings.

Far from the castle, the Vikings set up camp with Princess Katherine, Magus, and the other townspeople as their captives. With nowhere else to go to, having betrayed his people, the Captain remained with the Vikings, and Hakon taunts Magus by passively burning pages from Magus' magic book of spells, the Grimorum Arcanorum. When the surviving gargoyles arrive to free the people, Hakon and the Captain flee with Princess Katherine, leaving Magus behind. Goliath pursues them, while the other gargoyles defeat the Vikings. Although he townspeople are saved, Magus is enraged that the gargoyles' arrival may have caused Katherine's death at Hakon's hands, and so he casts a curse on them.

Goliath catches up with Hakon, the Captain, and Katherine, and confronts the Captain for his treachery. When Hakon blames the slaughter of Goliath's siblings on the Captain, the Captain angrily attacks him and they both fall off a cliff to their deaths, and Goliath manages to save and free Katherine. But when he returns, he finds the remaining members of his clan in stone sleep, unable to wake even at night. Realizing that Katherine is alive and well, Magus realizes his grave mistake, and because the pages from the Grimorum Arcanorum needed to break the spell were burned, the gargoyle clan will remain cursed in stone sleep until "the castle rises above the clouds". Grief-stricken and alone, Goliath leaves his clan's eggs in the care of the guilt-ridden Katherine and Magus, and requests Magus to cast his spell on Goliath, so that he can remain with his clan and share their fate.

A thousand years later, in 1994, opportunistic billionaire David Xanatos claims the long abandoned Castle Wyvern and has it reconstructed at the top of his skyscraper in New York City, along with the sleeping gargoyles. Goliath finally awakens and happily reunites with his clan, but they are shocked to awaken in a completely different world in the late-20th century. Xanatos explains that he recovered and translated the Grimorum Arcanorum, and followed its instructions to awaken the gargoyles, written by Magus, and now he approaches them as a friend. But not long after their awakening, the castle is suddenly attacked by a group of armed commandos from a helicopter. The gargoyles defend the castle against the attackers until they fled.

After the fight resulted in falling debris and damages to the streets below, police detective Elisa Maza climbs up to the castle to investigate the battle, and discovers Goliath and the gargoyles, but they manage to hesitantly befriend each other. The gargoyles decide to name themselves after various locations in New York and explore their new surroundings. The elder mentor names himself Hudson. The young trio name themselves Brooklyn, Lexington, and Broadway, and name their hound Bronx.

Meanwhile, Xanatos reunites Goliath with his mate, who reveals herself to have survived the massacre of their clan and survived until the modern time, and the two lovers happily reunite. Having earned their trust, Xanatos convinces the clan to help steal back important data discs that were supposedly stolen from him during the commando attack.

After they return successful, Elisa goes to speak with Goliath in private about the theft, until they are suddenly attacked by the same commandos from before. They manage to survive the attack through the night, and Elisa defends the sleeping Goliath during the day. Elisa investigates the theft and reveals to Goliath that the commandos were employed by Xanatos, and that Xanatos has been manipulating Goliath.

No longer needing the gargoyles, Xanatos sets his clan of robotic steel gargoyles to destroy them, but the real gargoyles manage to fight back and destroy the unintelligent robots. Xanatos and Goliath's mate reveal their true colors to the gargoyles and attack them armed with powerful laser guns. Goliath's lover reveals that her name is Demona, and that she is conspiring with Xanatos. She also reveals that a thousand years ago, before their clan was massacred by the Vikings, she conspired with the Captain of the guard to betray Princess Katherine and the townspeople so that the gargoyles can have the castle all to themselves, as the castle was built on their land and was rightfully theirs to begin with. But after many betrayals and deaths of their kind, she now hates all of humanity and considers the human race as their enemies. Goliath and the rest of the clan reject her desire to fight against the human race, and so she decides that Goliath is also her enemy and decides to kill him. As Demona is about to shoot Goliath, Elisa arrives just in time to intervene and tackles Demona, and Demona accidentally fires her laser weapon at the castle, destroying a portion of it. Demona and Elisa fall from the collapsing castle ledge, but Goliath catches and saves Elisa, while Demona continues to fall.

Xanatos is arrested for possession of stolen property. The few surviving gargoyles now accept their new lives in their new home in New York, with Elisa now their friend and confidante.


  • Thom Adcox Hernandez as Lexington
  • Edward Asner as Hudson
  • Jeff Bennett as Brooklyn, Magus, and Owen
  • Clancy Brown as Hakon
  • J.D. Daniels as Tom
  • Keith David as Goliath
  • Bill Fagerbakke as Broadway
  • Jonathan Frakes as David Xanatos
  • Patrick Fraley as Brendan
  • Ed Gilbert as Captain
  • Peter Renaday as Commander
  • Salli Richardson as Elisa
  • Marina Sirtis as Demona
  • Kath Soucie as Princess Katharine
  • Frank Welker as Bronx
  • References

    Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken Wikipedia
    Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken IMDb