When Buffy The Vampire Slayer ended in 2003, fans were still yearning for more stories about the Scooby gang. Unfortunately, some of the actors were ready to move on from the seven-season series (not including the five seasons of Angel). But luckily, there seemed to be a natural solution to this issue when the creator, Joss Whedon, went to pitch the next best thing — an animated spinoff. There was only one issue: no network wanted to pick it up. Although Buffy clearly proved to be a successful show with a strong following, Whedon couldn’t find a place for the animated series, which seemed like a no-brainer for the industry. It turned out that one of the main issues for it not happening was cost.
Whedon wanted the series to be at the level of another successful show, Batman: The Animated Series, in both quality animation and its knack for delving into “darker” storylines. Luckily, Whedon went on to create the cult classic TV series Firefly and direct big budget Marvel films like The Avengers and Age of Ultron. He also started a comic book series for the beloved characters of the Buffyverse that follows the events after the series ended. Next up, Whedon is set to direct a solo Batgirl film. BUT, if Whedon could find time in his busy schedule to pick up Buffy: The Animated Series, here are 15 reasons why it would work!
15. RETURN OF OLD CHARACTERS
While we love the original Scooby gang in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, there are other characters who we grew to love but unfortunately ended up leaving the show. An animated Buffy series could bring back some of our faves including Riley, Buffy’s one-time boyfriend in seasons four and five, or Oz, Willow’s lover-turned-werewolf. There could also be a return of the ever-alluring Dracula, who was one of the few vampires that Buffy had trouble slaying.
They could also bring back Ethan Rayne, the arch nemesis and rival of Rupert Giles, who also served as an antagonist in the second, third and fourth seasons. If we really cross our fingers, perhaps a reboot could bring Tara back! Maybe, just maybe, someone can stop the bullet that pierces her heart and she can get more time with Willow. Maybe?
14. RETURN OF REAL VAMPIRES
In the early 2000s, it seems like we were being bombarded with vampire stories. After the end of Buffy and Angel, we got True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Being Human and the Twilight series. Of course, the latter is often criticized for not having “true” vampires since they only “glittered” in the sunlight and weren’t always as menacing as say, Angelus. Either way, those days are over. There aren’t any more vampire shows on TV anymore, and that sucks… ironically.
With the return of Buffy in animated form, fans of the vampire lore could get another dose of their favorite supernatural foe. This could especially be great since one of Buffy’s strengths was the ability to have engaging vampire characters who we grew to love, hate or sometimes both. Most of all, the animated series would mean more Angel and Spike. And to that we say, yes please.
13. ADULT CARTOONS WORK
Aside from cost, one of the reasons that Buffy wasn’t picked up to be an animated series was because networks couldn’t decide what time slot to fit it in. It was considered too adult to be a kid’s cartoon and studios were convinced that older people wouldn’t watch an animated series. However, that has since been proven wrong with the rise in popularity of adult cartoons.
An animated Buffy series would fit right in the growing number of adult cartoons on air now like Netflix’s Bojack Horseman and FX’s Archer and Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty. Whedon claimed that he wanted the animated Buffy series to have the same feel and seriousness of Batman: The Animated Series, and now would be the best time for it as the idea of adult cartoons becomes more and more recognized as a viable genre and producers realize that there’s a market for it.
12. WOMEN IN ANIMATION
There are only 20% of women in the animation industry, according to Women in Animation, an organization dedicated to equaling out that statistic so that it’s 50-50. Since Buffy is known for championing girl power, what better way than to continue that sentiment than by helping the organization in its mission by hiring women animators?
There’s Brenda Chapman (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt), Deborah A. Anderson (Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, Batman: The Brave and The Bold) and Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko & Hatchin, Samurai Champloo, Yuri On Ice) to name a few women in animation who’ve been steadily killing the game. An animated series centered around Buffy, one of the biggest feminist icons in pop culture, would be a natural fit to to put the shine on women in animation as well.
11. MORE SLAYERS
One of the biggest moments in Buffy The Vampire Slayer is when Willow is able to cast a spell to activate every potential slayer across the world to be a full-fledged slayer. While readers of the Buffy comic book have been introduced to new slayers, the additional characters would be new to Buffy fans who haven’t been following the comic book series.
It could also work for previous slayers. In the original series, we get introduced to a few slayers of the past including Xin Rong, a Chinese slayer and Nikki Wood, a black slayer from the ‘70s, who were both killed by Spike. The animated series could give a chance for fans to see the other hundreds of slayers of the past and get more in depth stories about them.
10. THE CHANCE FOR CROSSOVERS
To say Buffy The Vampire Slayer is extremely popular, is an understatement. So, if the animated series was green-lit, we’re sure that creators across the world would to want to collaborate in some way with any new venture out of the Buffyverse. Stephen Byrne, who worked on a Serenity comic, created a teaser concept for the animated series in 2014, which has since gained over 700,000 views on YouTube. Now the animator works on the popular mashup comic Justice League/Power Rangers.
Along with Whedon, we’re sure there could be a way for a mashup to happen between the Buffyverse and Marvel or DC. There could also be a crossover with Veronica Mars, since Mars’ creator Rob Thomas and Whedon are huge fans of each other’s works. A Buffy animated series could finally bring these two worlds together.
9. MORE FEMALE CHARACTERS
Supergirl is hitting her stride on the television screen and Wonder Woman is all set to be on the big screen with her first solo feature film in June. But there aren’t many strong female characters for girls to look up to in Western animated series. While there’s DC Super Hero Girls, which reimagines DC’s popular villains and heroes as high schoolers, and the reboot of The Powerpuff Girls on air now, it’s barely enough in comparison to the amount of countless shows with male leads.
With the addition of an animated Buffy series to the TV roster, we’re sure the show can recapture what it does best: empowering girls. An animated Buffy series could also bring more serious topics that the aforementioned shows usually aren’t able to touch on. As an adult cartoon, Buffy could hit on harsh realities faced by people of all ages as well as the day-to-day nuances of life.
8. A NEW GENERATION
It’s been 14 years since the last episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer aired and 12 years since the last episode of Angel. That means there’s been an entire generation of teenagers who grew up in a world without these monumental shows. Italso means that there’s an entire group of people who don’t know why the words “The Body” can bring tears to any Buffy fans’ eyes or why “The Gentlemen” brings us so much terror.
If we brought back the world that started with Buffy through an animated series, there’s a good chance for the newer generation to get into the series and for older fans to relive their love for the show with the possibility of new storylines. It also add more votes towards the fans who are in favor of shipping Buffy and Angel or Buffy and Spike together.
7. THE WHEDONVERSE
As we’ve mentioned before, Whedon was able to find success with other shows as well, including 2002’s Firefly and 2009’s Dollhouse. When the inevitable success of an animated Buffy series, we’re sure the animation door will open for Whedon to bring those shows back as well. With the cult following of Firefly, we already know that there’s a hardcore fanbase ready to watch anything related to the space western.
Whedon could also bring forth his other Buffy-related ideas that never came to fruition like Ripper, a series that focused on Giles’ younger years when he was much darker, hung out with warlocks and went by the moniker of the series, or Slayer School, a series where Buffy trains fellow slayers that were awakened after the events of season seven. There were also ideas for a solo venture for Faith as well as Spike. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the Buffyverse.
Remakes and reboots have been “in” lately. The ever-popular ‘90s anime Sailor Moon was rebooted in 2014 as Sailor Moon Crystal, The Powerpuff Girls are newly animated as well in a 2016 series of the same name. Not to mention, Power Rangers made it back to the big screen this year in a new film. Full House, The Magic School Bus, Baywatch and Bill Nye are some others that have made their way past the ‘90s and back into our world.
There’s even talks of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air making a comeback as Will Smith is in talks to reboot the show. So, why not Buffy as well? Buffy The Vampire Slayer was one of the defining shows of the ‘90s and early ‘00s, and we say it’s about time that it got a reboot or remake as well, especially wit its loyal, and thirsty, fanbase.
5. 20TH ANNIVERSARY
The year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary since Buffy The Vampire Slayer first aired. Because of that, there’s been a lot of fanfare for diehard Buffy fans. Entertainment Weekly did a full spread and interview with Joss Whedon and the cast including Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanaz, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters and Seth Green. There have also been a number of our own articles, including the funniest moments from the series, deaths of beloved characters and a definitive ranking of biggest bads of the series.
Needless to say, it’s been putting us in our feels and giving us the sudden urge to have a binge. But the worst part is that we can’t even soothe our aches. Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel were taken off of Netflix last month. If there was an animated series in the works, we could at least be soothed by the prospects of a new show. If only.
4. FOLLOW THE COMICS
Buffy The Vampire Slayer ended with Willow casting a spell to awaken all of the potential slayers while Angel ended at the beginning of the end of the world as they knew it. But that wasn’t the real end to the series. Technically, the Buffyverse never ended. After Buffy and Angel stopped airing, Whedon continued the story with a comic book through Dark Horse Comics and later IDW.
In Season Eight of Buffy, she rounds up 500 of the 1,800 slayers in the world to mobilize and defend innocent people from big and small bads. The series also spun off into other comic book series including Angel: After The Fall, which follows up Angel’s final season, Spike, a solo series based on the popular (and problematic) British vampire, and Angel & Faith, which follows the two as they fight against evil in London.
3. NO MORE ORIGINALS
Sarah Michelle Gellar embodied Buffy Summers in a way that we’re not sure anyone else could. The same goes for Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris, David Boreanaz as Angel, Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles, James Marsters as Spike and the rest of the cast.
In the recent interview Entertainment Weekly, Whedon said that if a continuation of a live action series were to happen, it would follow the actors at their ages now — which we’re not against at all. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever come back to continue the live action series. Although, they all signed up for to voice the animated series, with the exception of Sarah Michelle Gellar. And while it’s possible to start with fresh faces, it’s not guaranteed to capture the same magic that made us Buffy fans in the first place. An animated series on the other hand…
2. THE FRAMEWORK
If the series happens, creators wouldn’t have to start all the way from scratch, since Whedon already created a three and a half minute piece for an animated pilot and seven scripts that could be put into play. At a Director’s Guild’s event, Whedon said that the scripts were created to explore storylines that could only happen to Buffy and the gang in their animated forms. One episode, as revealed by one of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer scriptwriters, Jane Espenson, follows a shrunken down Buffy who’s reduced to the size of six inches for an episode titled “Teeny.”
As we mentioned before, when Whedon pitched the series in the early 2000s, it couldn’t find a home. But now, series are getting picked up due to multiple streaming options. Between Netflix, Hulu and countless others, we’re sure an animated Buffy series could find a home. And they already have a head start!
1. WHEDON HASN’T LOST IT
Joss Whedon is anything but a one-hit-wonder. After seeing success with Buffy and Angel, he went on to create cult classics. He has only continued to be in high demand as he went on to write and direct bigger projects including the 2012 horror comedy film, Cabin in the Woods and the big budget superhero films we mentioned previously.
Next up, he’s slated to direct Batgirl’s solo film and a forthcoming horror slasher film set around WWII. (It’s title has yet to be revealed.) In any case, it’s clear that Whedon hasn’t lost his touch and if he decided to pursue an animated Buffy series again, we’re sure that it would be another certified win under his belt, not that he really needs much of those these days. But we still do!
Do you want to see a Buffy Animated series? If so, what would it look like and what stories would it tell? Let us know in the comments!