Was Disney's most popular cartoon show. Perhaps more than any other Disney production, the series has inspired an intense fan following. Disney acknowledged this with their selection of the show as their first animated series released for DVD retail in a season collection format. In 1997 there began an annual fan convention known as The Gathering of the Gargoyles. Fans shared costumes, fan-fiction and even had discussions to further develop the overall anatomy of the Gargoyle characters. The convention was officially discontinued in 2009.
References many William Shakespeare plays with its character names: Queen Titania, King Oberon, and Puck from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Ophelia from "Hamlet", Princess Katherine from "Henry V", and the title character from "Macbeth". However, MacBeth's backstory in "City of Stone" is based more on the history of the actual King MacBeth of Scotland. In addition, the relationship of the various personalities of Coldstone mirrors the central characters of "Othello", and are named as such in the scripts.
Many of the characters' names are very symbolic. For example: Fox's parents' last name is Reynard, as in "Reynard the Fox." Most obvious, however, are probably the show's main character and villain: Goliath and David Xanatos, as in "David and Goliath."
The show was originally pitched as a comedy series. The basic premise remained the same: approximately one-thousand years ago, Gargoyles were not merely stone statues, but real flesh-and-blood creatures. But, unlike the noble protectors of the final shows, these Gargoyles were mischievous troublemakers who frequently drove the local humans nuts. This development went through several versions before being scrapped, in favor of the now darker, more serious tone of the show.
Originally, David's last name was Xavier, but Greg Weisman worried that he would be associated with the Marvel Comics hero Professor Charles Xavier, then appearing in X-Men: The Animated Series (1992). He took most of the name Xanatos from the Greek deity of death Thanatos, but with the first initial of Xavier. The character was also originally going to be the descendant of the wizard who froze the Gargoyles in their stone forms. (Wolf was eventually the character who was an enemy descended from an enemy of the past, Hakon.)
A bi-monthly comic series from Slave Labor Comics continued the story from directly after the three-part finale episode Hunter's Moon, ignoring Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles (1996). The comic series ran eight issues, and had one spin-off: "Bad Guys". Issues 9-12 of the comic are contained in the second volume trade paperback. There are three trade paperbacks: "Gargoyles: Clan Building, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2" as well as "Gargoyles: Bad Guys", totaling approximately eighteen issues. The controversial Goliath Chronicles season aired on Disney's One Saturday Morning format on ABC. Except for the pilot, Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles: The Journey (1996), which is an abridged version of the first comic, it was produced without the involvement of series creator Greg Weisman, and is largely not considered canonical by fans or Weisman, who has only seen each episode once and refuses to view them again.
Elisa Maza's last name was originally Chavez. When Salli Richardson-Whitfield was cast as Elisa, her race was changed from Latina to African-American and Native American, and her appearance even model led after Whitfield's. (Chavez was used as the police captain's name.) "Maza" is a Sioux word meaning "iron".
According to Greg Weisman, the character of Lexington would have eventually realized that he is, in fact, homosexual. Weisman admits, however, that this is unlikely to have ever been overtly acknowledged, as the idea of sexuality within a Disney animated property may have been considered "inappropriate". However, in the official comic book continuation, published by Slave Labor Graphics, Weisman has enjoyed some more leeway on this matter.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
As of 2011, this is the only Disney animated property to feature nearly all of their main characters being killed in one form or another. Granted, nearly all of the main characters are alive and well by the show's end, but no other Disney cartoon series has featured so many characters dying, even if it was just a "dream sequence", or "alternate reality".