"Awakening", titled Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken on VHS, is the five-part series premiere of Gargoyles.
In the year 994, a medieval castle in Scotland is attacked by Vikings, but they are repelled by guards with help of gargoyles - a race of winged creatures that come to life at night, but sleep during the day as stone statues. While the captain of the guards sees them as heroes and defenders of the castle, the princess, magi and others feel revulsion towards them. Goliath and Hudson go after the Vikings before they regroup but find out it was a diversion and are caught by daybreak outside the castle. The castle is then attacked by Vikings and is betrayed by captain of the guards, who lets them inside. When Goliath returns the next night, he finds all gargoyles on the walls are smashed and the castle is razed.
Goliath and his mentor return to the castle and find their clan has been smashed during the day. Finding three of their younger surviving comrades, they plan vengeance on Hakon, his vikings and the castle's Captain of the Guard who had betrayed them. Believing the princess was killed in the attack, the Magus curses the Gargoyles into their stone sleep until the castle rises above the clouds. He cannot revese it as the page of counter-spells has been burned. Goliath reunites Princess Catherine and the Magus and, unwilling to live without his family, asks him to cast his spell on him.
Having been awakened in Manhattan in the year 1994 by industrialist David Xanatos, a furious battle breaks out causing detective Elisa Maza to investigate and discovers then befriends Goliath. Xanatos informs Goliath that three important computer disks had been stolen during the raid and implores their help to retrieve them.
Goliath and Elisa name the former leader Hudson after the Hudson River before going to explore the city. In Central Park, Goliath and Elisa are ambushed by the men who had attacked the castle. Goliath turns to stone and Elisa saves his life by drawing the guards away from him. It is revealed that Goliath's mate had survived the attack on the castle as well, and in thanks agrees to retrieve the data disks.
The clan goes to retrieve the data disks, Hudson goes to an underground bunker with Bronx. Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington attack a Cyberbiotics tower on land while Demona and Goliath take their airship, which Demona mercilessly sets to crash before they escape. After Elisa discovers and tells Goliath about Xanatos' deception, he reveals robotic Gargoyles to kill the group. Demona also reveals her name and her allegiances both with the Captain at Wyvern and with Xanatos. When both she and Elisa are put in danger, Goliath must make a choice of who to save.
Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken was the direct-to-video animated movie recut of the five episodes, edited into one long feature film, approximately 90 minutes in length. As a result, numerous scenes were cut from the original broadcast episodes due to time constraints. In addition, a number of scenes were also moved around and some dialogue was changed. This version of the pilot was released to Laserdisc and VHS on January 31, 1995, and featured an interactive VHS/LD board game.
As the full-length episodic version of "Awakening" was released to DVD as part of the Gargoyles: The Complete First Season DVD set, the condensed movie version is unlikely to be released independently again.