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Inside Warner Bros.' aborted Buffy the Vampire Slayer cartoon that would have staked the franchise

Warner Bros. almost aired a Buffy the Vampire Slayer cartoon, and it would have been terrible.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Image credit: 20th Century Studios

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In the early '00s Kids WB almost developed a Buffy the Vampire Slayer animated series.

Thank goodness it never got off the ground. It turns out, Kids WB had some horrible ideas for the animated series.

Buffy creator Joss Whedon initially envisioned an animated series that would have the same tone as the live-action drama. There were plans for 20th Century Fox to produce the series, which would then air on Fox Kids. The Fox Kids programming block ended in 2002, forcing 20th Century Fox to shop the television show to other networks. Kids WB was interested….but they had some notes.

During a Writing in Animation panel at WonderCon 2024, several cartoon writers spoke about the ideas Kids WB had for the series. None of it sounded like Buffy.

“When Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on television, it went over to Warners’ kids department, and they were like, ‘Should we develop this as an animation version.’ They got several notes. The main one being, ‘Does she have to have Slayer in the title? Does so much of it have to be at night,’” Craig Miller recalled.

“Should she have a special kind of a wand to get rid of vampires,” Robert N. Skir added. “All the stabbing stuff, that’s imitable,” Miller said.

According to Jeph Loeb, 13 scripts were written for the unproduced series. However, these scripts were made before Kids WB gave their notes, so there are no magic wands. If you’re curious about what it could’ve been like, a three-minute demo reel was produced, and it’s currently available on YouTube.

How to watch the Buffyverse (including Angel) in release and chronological order.

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Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar
Joshua Lapin-Bertone: Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.
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