You might remember me making the geek-tacularly passionate case that Disney’s Gargoyles, cult-classic animated series from the ’90s . After all, a lot of you agreed. There are a lot of ways to adapt the story of our stone-by-day warriors-by-night heroes, and make it amazing. Live-action would obviously rock – pun absolutely intended – as would traditional animation, in the same style as the original, just kicked up a few notches and given a full big-screen budget. (Original voice cast perfection, please!) So would CGI, now that we’ve got technology that has to seem like magic to anyone who might suddenly find themselves transported here from the 10th century. Or maybe even just from 1994.
Well, we still don’t have a movie. But if the powers that be ever decide that it’s time to hear our cries, I found some outstanding fan-made concept art they can use as a starting point. Check out these amazing renditions of our beloved Defenders of the Night, courtesy of The expression ‘Jalapena‘ is tossed around so much nowadays, but really, feast your eyes…
Our Clan Leader’s design isn’t changed all that much – and it doesn’t have to be. There’s not much that could be improved from the original. Everything here is just more detailed. Check the texture of his skin (almost looks like dragon scales) and added leather bracers. Also, I love the claws. We weren’t able to get this level of definition in the animated TV series – also, it might have been a little scary even for kids who dug this kind of thing – but given the right budget, and the wonders of the 21st century, a movie could pull out every stop and give Goliath the big-screen adaptation he deserves.
Another relatively unchanged design, because honestly, why mess with perfection? I mostly just really like seeing details we, again, don’t really get in the show, but know are there, like the red jacket that actually looks like something you could pick up and wear. And the realistic hair color. (I knew her hair probably wasn’t actually blue-ish, because of the whole comic-book coloring convention, but you never really know, I’d be here for punk Elisa…)
Here’s where we start to deviate just a little from the original designs. Check out the tartan pattern on her clothes – which actually look a little more functional than what she’s got in the show. Or at least more likely to stay on in fights in the air. But I’m really digging the adapted wing shape and talons. I also just really love how Demona looks subtly more… monstrous. She’s a primary antagonist in the show, and meant to be terrifying. Sexy, sure, but she’s an ancient nightmare. Let her be frightening. And then tragic and multidimensional and complex, because this is something else Gargoyles is known for, its complicated and amazing villains and female characters. And when they combine? Yes.
It is a rare fan who didn’t have a crush on Brooklyn at some point. He seemed to be the conventional pretty boy of the Manhattan clan. Which is pretty interesting, since he’s also probably the least humanoid of the main cast. (Chicks dig the beak? And some dudes.) And I dig the daring redesign. The animalistic elements give him much more of a feeling of being an entirely different species, conjuring up an otherworldly impression – while still totally recognizable. I also love the longer ‘mane’ of hair, and Scottish woad designs. Very Braveheart. I have to think he’d approve. Especially once he finds out what the movie version of Braveheart is.
Another outstanding varation – and this one looks actually a ton more practical than the one we know and love. He could wear pants a lot more easily for one thing. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Original Lex’s wings are shaped like a flying squirrel’s, flaps of skin attached to his arms/legs/sides. They look like they’re pierced so he can wear a loincloth and appear on daytime television, but they would make things like human-style clothes pretty tricky.) I also love his enlarged ears and added horns – and wicked wing-tip hooks I just noticed. Lex is a cutie, but he can get pretty dangerous too. Also, five fingers. Took me long enough to get that, too. (They have four in the show!)
There’s the puppy! Look at those fangs. Look at those big, pretty, prehistoric-looking fangs, and entirely believable facial structure, rhino-like musculature, returning subtly scaly skin tone and vertebral spike detail! Who’s going to get a belly rub for looking so good? This boy!
I know, no Hudson or Broadway – or Xanatos – but where we’re missing them… we’ve got more than enough extra material to feast our eyes on. (And I trust that whenever they show up, they’ll look amazing.)
Have some background and setting art! Because the world of Gargoyles is gorgeous and atmospheric, and this artist is going to make it look as glorious as its characters.
Castle Wyvern and Environmental Concepts
Excuse me while I fan-flail wildly. Holy Scottish Moor mise-en-scene, Batman? Castle Wyvern has never looked so gothic-drama misty atmospheric.
But that’s not all. Because we have to take night and day into consideration. That’s kind of important in a show like this, where the action rises and falls with the sun.
By Day, By Night…
And that’s all ancient history. You know, so to speak.
We’ve got a whole ‘nother century to explore – the 20th. (Or 21st, if we’re giving the franchise a true modern-day reboot.) It’s a whole new world. And this one has skyscrapers.
Xanatos’ Eyrie Building With Transported Castle
With Empire State shown for scale. No, Xanatos has no ego. None.
Welcome to the New Age…
Okay, lastly, here are two pieces that just made me freak out a little. (In a good way!)
Look at that above image. Look how it perfectly captures the feeling of disorientation and the overwhelming wonder of looking at an entirely new world, so unfamiliar that it might as well be your first step out into an alien landscape. It’s perfect. It’s dizzying. Also it communicates the sheer, bone-shaking chill of winter so well that it actually makes me a little bit angry. (Or the closest emotional equivalent. Art-feelings are weird.) Have you ever experienced that? Art so good that it’s somehow upsetting? Well, now you have. It’s that painting of Lexington looking up at the wintery city. It’s making me feel things. Welcome to New York, little guy. This city is gonna hate you, but you’re gonna save it anyway.
Like the one above, this piece is really making me feel things. All good art does. That is one safe city. I’d feel safer if he were here in real life. This is very much an age of darkness, and a world of fear that we’re living in right now. I think many of us feel a lot like Lex up there, for a lot of reasons. And I’d really like our nights to be filled with heroes instead of superstition and the sword. Gargoyles did that for us when we were kids, and in times like these, we really could use them back.
Of course, it’s also making me feel, “Gosh, I want a Gargoyles movie, and I want it based on this amazing concept art, or something like it. It’s really about time.”
You can check out a lot more amazing works at or . It’s really worth a look.
What do you think? Show some love in the comments!
Just remember to keep all commentary respectful. This talented artist is a human like you, giving us their work on their own time, for the love of the art and the characters. Rock on, and see you again real soon!
Gargoyles: An amazing movie that hasn’t been made yet, with this fantastic concept art as the visual basis, yes or yes?1 Votes
Author of the Chameleon Moon Series! A geeky goddess who digs sci-fi, fantasy, books, games, and especially amazing fan-created content!