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Candle Cove (Cartoon Pilot)

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Skin taker candle cove animated pilot

A screenshot of the Skin-Taker from the pilot.

Candle Cove was a pilot episode for an animated series, pitched by Caroline and Lisa Barker back in 1985. It was unsuccessful and never picked up by DiC, as it was expected.

While the pilot wasn't approved, bootleg copies of the video surfaced in 1994. The plot was supposed to be a reboot or a prequel to the classic TV Show, featuring a human, pre-transformed version of The Skin-Taker as its main character.

According to critics, it was the first failed attempt from ex-developer Caroline Barker to revitalize Candle Cove for the new generations.

Proposed Episodes

The plot for some episodes (via a notebook with brainstorm and lists) have been confirmed:

  • There was going to be an episode where the characters of Candle Cove met the characters of The Nickerbocker's Tale , who were going to be played by live actors.
  • There apparently was going to be a very disturbing episode where the Earl of Wax caught Auburn and tried to torture information out of her. Since she never gave in, the torture grew worse and worse. Eventually she escaped, but she was horribly hurt from the incident, and depressed, and then she was going to meet The Skin-Taker.

Rejected Episodes

Episode concepts rejected from being made

  • One rejected episode involved Janice meeting her mother's ghost. However, cost was a major issue preventing this, along with disturbing content, as Janice would see her mother giving birth to her, which was not appropriate for a children's show or public television at the time.

Episode Concepts

Episode ideas still being decided on whether to accept or reject.

  • Red Mary's past and Lillian's past were going to be revealed in the same episode. Red Mary was going to reveal hers through a monologue she tells a prisoner she captured, and Lillian's was going to be revealed as a result of Auburn finding her diary. Auburn's father was also going to be revealed to be the Skin-Taker/ Thade Soben.

Reception and Legacy

The pilot was criticized for its bad animation (product of an unknown animation studio), the moral ambiguity of his main character (unthinkable for the eighties), as well as for it being aimed toward tweens or teenagers instead of the kid audience of the original TV show.

It is believed Caroline Barker was too worried about appealing to the teenager audience and she took too much pitch from her daughter, which drastically affected the tone of the cartoon. She seems to feel disappointed that the show didn't take off like she thought it would. Although the show wasn't picked up, their characters and plot lines were used for the novel series by Lisa Barker.

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