Toon Zone Talks to Greg Weisman, Part Four: "W.I.T.C.H."
Toon Zone would like to welcome readers to the fourth and final installment of our four-part Greg Weisman interview. Previous installments will be linked at the end of the interview.
Ever heard of the Jetix/Disney cartoon series W.I.T.C.H.? No? Well, that’s going to change. The series acquired a cult following during its first season, and Greg Weisman plans to make sure that audience continues to grow after he takes over the reigns from former editors Andrew Nicholls and Darrell Vickers in season two.
The series, based on an Italian comic-style magazine created in 2001, focuses on Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin (hence “W.I.T.C.H.”), five teenage girls who learn that they have been chosen to guard the walls between parallel universes. For this purpose they have been given the powers of the elements, such as water, fire, earth, and air.
What makes this a unique series is the approach to the characters, all of whom are fallible and utterly human.
Weisman, who is currently producing and story-editing the second season of W.I.T.C.H., says he plans to stick to what has come before in the animated series and then add some “more.”
official website”Fans of the first season, the comics and the novels will like what we’re doing,” says Weisman. “We’ll be using much more of the source material.”
He also thinks fans of his previous series work, such as Gargoyles and Roughnecks: Starship Troopers, will find something worth tuning in for.
The W.I.T.C.H comic has been published in several countries and more than twenty-seven different languages, so Weisman thinks that might help bring in a larger audience. Believing W.I.T.C.H. to be on the brink of being a breakout hit, he hopes that remembering the roots of the propetry will help bring in new fans to the second season.
Current fans of the series shouldn’t fear that he’s going to give it a major overhaul. Weisman says the transition will be seamless and that all character voices, model sheets, and so on, will not be touched. He plans to roll with what has been given to him, and he guarantees that the already devoted fans will have nothing to worry about.
“It’s my bread and butter,” he says, “And I think we’re succeeding in making it action-packed, coherent, strong and all the other buzz words I take very seriously.” He adds that he’s excited to work with the W.I.T.C.H. crew, citing them as great inspiration in getting a handle on the series.
Roughnecks: Starship TroopersWith the aid of an ace writing staff, Weisman says that while he plans to keep the continuity from the first season, he will make sure the storylines evolve. Time will pass in the series, in contrast to most other animated programs, where neither years nor characters change. “That kind of thing may work for the Road Runner,” he says. “But for a show where the characters grow it will be all the more meaningful.” Instead, he plans for the show’s timeline to come full circle, beginning right where the previous season left off, on the last day of winter, and moving into spring, through summer and fall, and concluding on the first day of the following winter.
Weisman believes that characters need to grow over a series in order to maintain the believability of the universe, and they can’t do that if it’s the same repeated backdrop for every episode. While he’s only been given twenty-six episodes, he thinks this will give him and the show’s staff plenty of time to explore a year in the world of the W.I.T.C.H. characters. But he doesn’t know if the concept will stick around in the future.
“Twenty years from now will they be making episodes where the W.I.T.C.H. girls are forty? Who knows?” he quips.
The second season of W.I.T.C.H. is scheduled to begin in 2006.
Be sure to get the latest updates from Weisman himself at his The Batman. Also, check out the three previous Weisman interviews, including discussions on Gargoyles, The Batman, and Gargoyles.
W.I.T.C.H airs Mondays and Fridays on Toon Disney, Wednesdays at 7:00am & weekends at 9:30am on ABC Family, and Saturday mornings on ABC (all times Eastern).