|Created by||Alex Hirsch|
|Directed by||John Aoshima
|Creative director(s)||Michael Rianda (Season 1)|
|Opening theme||"Gravity Falls Main Title Theme", composed by Brad Breeck|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||36 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Alex Hirsch|
|Producer(s)||Tobias Conan Trost (line producer, season 1)
Brian Doell (line producer, season 2)
Suzanna Olson (line producer, season 2 episode 12; 14-)
Rob Renzetti (supervising producer)
|Running time||22-30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Disney Television Animation|
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Original channel||Disney Channel (2012-present)
Disney XD (2014-present)
|Picture format||1080p HDTV|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||June 15, 2012– present|
Gravity Falls is an American animated television series created by animator Alex Hirsch for Disney Channel, now on Disney XD. The series follows the adventures of Dipper Pines (voiced by Jason Ritter) and his twin sister Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal) in the fictional town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, while on summer vacation. At the start of the series, twins Dipper and Mabel are sent to spend the summer with their great-uncle (or "Grunkle") Stan, in the mysterious town full of unexpected situations that involve various paranormal and supernatural creatures. Grunkle Stan has the kids help him run The Mystery Shack, the tourist trap that he owns. The twins try to adapt to the weird surroundings but sense there is something strange about Gravity Falls and begin to unlock its secrets. When Dipper uncovers a cryptic journal that offers insight into the town's mysteries, he and Mabel use it and their enthusiastic desire to solve the imminent mysteries that surround them. The series officially premiered on the Disney Channel in the United States on June 15, 2012.
Series creator Alex Hirsch first coined the concept for the show in an 11-minute low-budget student film which he made at the California Institute of the Arts. Hirsch was called in to do a pitch for the Disney Channel for a show based on the short pilot. The Disney Channel bought the idea and started airing the series in the summer of 2012. The series was inspired by Hirsch's own childhood experiences with his twin sister during their summer vacations.
On May 31, 2014, it was announced that the second season would air on Disney XD and Disney Channel. On June 14, 2014, it was confirmed that season 2 would premiere on August 1, 2014 on Disney Channel, with the rest of the season airing first on Disney XD as Disney XD is considered the new home for the series.
On June 12, 2015, it was announced that J. K. Simmons would be joining the cast of the show in a recurring role as Stan's twin brother. It was also announced that the show would be returning for the second half of the second season on July 13, 2015 with the episode "A Tale of Two Stans".
For their summer vacation, 12-year-old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are dropped off from their home in Piedmont, California to the fictitious town of Gravity Falls, Rogue Hill County, Oregon to live with their Great Uncle Stan Pines (often shortened to Grunkle Stan). Things are not what they seem in this small town, and with the help of a mysterious journal that Dipper finds in the forest, they realize that their everyday lifestyle has changed. With appearances from Wendy Corduroy, Dipper's crush; Soos Ramirez, friend of Dipper and Mabel and handyman to Grunkle Stan; plus an assortment of other characters, Dipper and Mabel always have an intriguing day to look forward to.
Cast and primary characters
- Wendy Corduroy (voiced by Linda Cardellini) – A 15-year-old girl who is a part-time employee at The Mystery Shack.
- The Author a.k.a Stanford Pines (voiced by J. K. Simmons) - Grunkle Stan's six-fingered long-lost twin brother.
- Fiddleford Hadron "Old Man" McGucket (voiced by Alex Hirsch) - The "local kook" of Gravity Falls, and former friend of Stanford.
- Bill Cipher (voiced by Alex Hirsch) - A powerful demon that can be summoned and released into a person's mind.
- "Li'l" Gideon Gleeful (voiced by Thurop Van Orman) - A young con artist and rival of Grunkle Stan.
- Pacifica Elise Northwest (voiced by Jackie Buscarino) - Pacifica is the most popular girl in Gravity Falls.
- Robert "Robbie" Stacy Valentino (voiced by T.J. Miller) - Robert "Robbie" Stacy Valentino is a local teenage punk rocker boy who is Dipper's primary rival for Wendy's affections.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||June 15, 2012
June 29, 2012 (premiere)
|August 2, 2013|
|2||TBA||August 1, 2014
August 4, 2014 (Disney XD)
Prior to working on the series, series creator Alex Hirsch's primary inspiration growing up was the popular animated sitcom, The Simpsons, where he observed that "animation could be funnier than live-action. That animation didn’t have to just be for kids. That it could be satirical and observational and grounded in a sense of character interaction." Hirsch graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, and was hired to work as writer and storyboard artist for the Cartoon Network series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, where he was paired up with Pendleton Ward, the creator of Adventure Time. Afterwards, he moved on to co-develop the Disney Channel animated series, Fish Hooks, shortly before he pitched (and was subsequently green-lit) Gravity Falls.
Hirsch explained in an interview with The A.V. Club during production of season 1, that a typical episode is conceived in a room reserved for writers, where a simple synopsis is presented, and from then on dramatic structure is defined, and the plot is modified to include a character-driven subplot, which Hirsch expresses as "the hardest thing ... to find a character story that actually uncovers, explores, or pushes tension—on something our characters care about—that is properly explored via the magic or monster or impossibility of the week."
B- and A-stories are created, and are given to a writer to produce an outline, which is then subsequently checked-off by Hirsch for feedback. The writer produces a draft from these edits, where more notes may be given. Hirsch states that he and creative director Mike Rianda may personally create a draft for themselves before a final script is produced, in which the dialogue from the draft received from the writer is majorly revised; Hirsch states that the revising process "is not a discredit to our writers—it's just we have a very particular vision. In particular, I usually rewrite almost all of Dipper's dialogue and most of Mabel's dialogue, just because I have them in my head. Me and Mike will stay up for about 48 hours prior to the delivery of every script. We'll take the weekend, we'll work all night, we'll drink Red Bull, we'll sleep on the couch in shifts like maniacs, we'll slap each other in the face."
A script is delivered, which then gets translated into a storyboard, where feedback is received from Hirsch to the board artists if a certain element, such as a gag, doesn't work. Afterwards, a pitch for the episode is given to the network, where they do a read-through, and then the episode is either checked out by the network, or retooled in the small amount of time allocated before an animation studio must receive something to work with.
At the end of every episode, there is a ciphered text in one of many substitution ciphers:
- Caesar cipher, hinted at by a voice in the opening sequence, which played backwards says "three letters back". This cipher was used in episodes 1-7
- Atbash cipher which is announced in an episode in Caesar cipher that it will be used this time, This cipher was used in episodes 7-13
- A1Z26 cipher is a simple substitution cipher decoded by substituting the nᵗʰ letter of the alphabet for given number was used in episodes 14-19
- A combined cipher is a mix of two or more ciphers seen in the show. The first time such cipher has been used is at the end of "Gideon Rises." It's solved by converting to letters using the A1Z26 cipher, then flipping the letters with the Atbash cipher, and finally by using the Caesar cipher. Season 2's combined ciphers start with the Vigenère cipher.
- A symbol cipher appears in the 2 part season finale. It also frequently appears in the journals. The symbols for J, Q, X, and Z are currently unknown.
- Vigenère cipher which is used in the end credits like all the other ciphers. The keyword for the cipher is hinted at by subtle clues in the episode. The voice at the end of the theme song hints at this cipher so when played backwards it says "Key Vigenère."
Gravity Falls has received critical acclaim from television critics. Brian Lowry of Variety stated, "The show has a breezy quality that should play to kids, and tickle some twinges of nostalgia among their parents." Los Angeles Times Robert Lloyd referred to the program as "...gently twisted, with some Disneyfied action and heart-warming folded in". In his review, David Hinckley of New York Daily News called Gravity Falls, "quirky and endearing", and offered praise for the character of Mabel Pines. Matt Blum, writing for Wired, favorably compared the show to Cartoon Network's animated program Regular Show and Disney Channel's animated program Phineas and Ferb, hailing Gravity Falls as "clever, strange, and somewhat poignant".
A special preview of the series following the Disney Channel Original Movie Let It Shine was watched by 3.4 million viewers. The series garnered high views on its fifth episode, which aired on July 13, 2012, and attracted 3.6 million viewers. On March 15, 2013, the episode "The Deep End" was watched by 4.5 million viewers after the premiere of Wizards of Waverly Place 's The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex, becoming the highest rated episode of the series so far. WatchMojo.com ranked "Gravity Falls" as the third best cartoon of the 2010s. On August 27, 2015, Gravity Falls was called the best TV show in 2015 by Forbes.
Awards and nominations
|2012||40th Annie Awards||Production Design in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Ian Worrel||Nominated|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Kristen Schaal||Won|
|2013||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Animated Show||Gravity Falls||Nominated|
|41st Annie Awards||Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children's Audience||Gravity Falls||Nominated|
|Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production||John Aoshima||Nominated|
|Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production||Alonso Ramos-Ramirez||Nominated|
|Golden Reel Award||Best Sound Editing in Television: Animation||Gravity Falls||Nominated|
|PAAFTJ Television Awards||Best Animated Series||”Gravity Falls”||Nominated|
|Best Directing for an Animated Series||“Gravity Falls” John Aoshima for “Tourist Trapped”||Nominated|
|Best Writing for an Animated Series||“Gravity Falls” Michael Rianda & Alex Hirsch for “The Inconveniencing”||Nominated|
|Best Voice Actor in an Animated Series||Alex Hirsch for “Gravity Falls”||Nominated|
|Best Voice Actress in an Animated Series||Kristen Schaal for “Gravity Falls”||Nominated|
|Best Artistic/Visual Achievement in an Animated Series||“Gravity Falls” Phil Rynda (production design), Ian Worrel (art direction), Chris Houghton & ‘C’ Raggio IV (character design) & Mark Garcia (storyboard) for “Fight Fighters”||Nominated|
|Best Main Title Theme Music (New Shows Only)||“Gravity Falls” Disney Channel||Won|
|2014||Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Animal Sidekick||Waddles||Nominated|
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation||Ian Worrel for "Dreamscaperers"||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Animated Show||Gravity Falls||Nominated|
|2015||42nd Annie Awards||Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience||Gravity Falls||Won|
|Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production||Rob Renzetti||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production||Luke Weber, Alonso Ramirez Ramos, Neil Graf & Steve Heneveld||Nominated|
|5th Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Animated Series||Gravity Falls||Nominated|
|67th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation||Alonso Ramirez Ramos for "Not What He Seems"||Won|
|Collection||Included episodes||Release date|
|Six Strange Tales||"Tourist Trapped", "The Legend of Gobblewonker", "Headhunters", "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel", "The Inconveniencing", "Dipper vs. Manliness"||October 15, 2013|
|Even Stranger||"Double Dipper", "Irrational Treasure", "The Time Traveler's Pig", "Fight Fighters", "Little Dipper", "Summerween", "Boss Mabel", "Bottomless Pit!"||August 26, 2014|
The series preview in Canada on June 15, 2012 and premiered on July 6, 2012. The show started broadcasting in the United Kingdom and Ireland on July 20, 2012 as a preview and officially premiered on September 7, 2012. In Australia and New Zealand it previewed on August 17, 2012 and premiered on September 24, 2012. It also premiered in Southeast Asia on October 27, 2012. In India it premiered on September 16, 2013. In the Middle East region, the series was previewed on October 19, 2012, and premiered on November 10, 2012.
In the United Kingdom it previewed on July 19, 2012 and premiered on September 7, 2012.
In Australia, the show airs on Disney XD and 7mate while in Chile, the show is aired on Canal 13 on November 24, 2013 under its programming block CuBox. In the Philippines, the show is broadcast on TV5 beginning on May 4, 2014 while in Brazil, the show began airing on Rede Globo on May 10, 2014. In Indonesia, the show is broadcast on RCTI on August 17, 2014.
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