Gravity Falls

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Gravity Falls
Gravity Falls logo.png
Genre Mystery
Adventure[1]
Comedy[2]
Fantasy[2]
Created by Alex Hirsch
Directed by John Aoshima
Aaron Springer
Joe Pitt
Rob Renzetti
Matt Braly
Stephen Sandoval
Sunil Hall
Creative director(s) Michael Rianda (Season 1)
Voices of
Opening theme "Gravity Falls Main Title Theme",[3] composed by Brad Breeck
Composer(s) Brad Breeck
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 34 (list of episodes)
Production
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
Release
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 (2012-06-15) – present (present)
External links
Website
Production website

Gravity Falls is an American animated television series created by animator Alex Hirsch[4] 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.[5][6][7]

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.[8] Hirsch was called in to do a pitch for the Disney Channel for a show based on the short pilot.[8] 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.[9]

On May 31, 2014, it was announced that the second season would air on Disney XD and Disney Channel.[10] On June 14, 2014, it was confirmed that season 2 would premiere on August 1, 2014 on Disney Channel,[11] with the rest of the season airing first on Disney XD as Disney XD is considered the new home for the series.[12]

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".[13]

Overview[edit]

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, 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.[14]

Cast and primary characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Alex based the character on Jesus Chambrot, an animator he was friends with at CalArts.[17][18] Alex emulates Jesus' "blunt-like consonance" way of speaking through Soos' voice.[19]
  • Wendy Corduroy (voiced by Linda Cardellini)[14] – A 15-year-old[20] girl who is a part-time employee at The Mystery Shack.

Recurring[edit]

  • Bill Cipher (voiced by Alex Hirsch) - A powerful demon that can be summoned and released into a person's mind.
Film director David Lynch was asked to voice Bill, but declined. Alex voices the character with what he calls a "bad impression" of Lynch.[22]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 20 June 15, 2012 (2012-06-15) (preview)
June 29, 2012 (2012-06-29) (premiere)
August 2, 2013 (2013-08-02)
2 TBA August 1, 2014 (2014-08-01) (Disney Channel)
August 4, 2014 (2014-08-04) (Disney XD)
TBA

Development[edit]

Concept[edit]

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.[23]

Production[edit]

Gravity Falls' main production offices are located at Disney Television Animation in Glendale, California.

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."[23]

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."[23]

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.[23]

Ciphers[edit]

At the end of every episode, there is a ciphered text in one of many substitution ciphers:

Season 1

  • Caesar cipher, hinted at by a voice in the opening sequence, which played backwards says "three letters back".[24] 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,[24] 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.

Season 2

  • 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."

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Gravity Falls has received critical acclaim from television critics.[25] 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." [26] Los Angeles Times Robert Lloyd referred to the program as "...gently twisted, with some Disneyfied action and heart-warming folded in".[27] 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.[28] 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".[29]

Ratings[edit]

A special preview of the series following the Disney Channel Original Movie Let It Shine was watched by 3.4 million viewers.[30] 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. In August 27, 2015, Gravity Falls was ranked as the best TV show in 2015.[31]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2012 40th Annie Awards Production Design in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production[32] Ian Worrel Nominated
Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production[33] Kristen Schaal Won
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Animated Show[34] Gravity Falls Nominated
41st Annie Awards Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children's Audience[35] Gravity Falls Nominated
Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production[35] John Aoshima Nominated
Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production [35] Alonso Ramos-Ramirez Nominated
Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television: Animation[36] 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[37] Waddles Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation Ian Worrel for "Dreamscaperers" Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Animated Show[38] Gravity Falls Nominated
2015 42nd Annie Awards Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience[39] Gravity Falls Won
Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production[39] 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

DVD releases[edit]

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 (2013-10-15)
Even Stranger "Double Dipper", "Irrational Treasure", "The Time Traveler's Pig", "Fight Fighters", "Little Dipper", "Summerween", "Boss Mabel", "Bottomless Pit!" August 26, 2014 (2014-08-26)

Broadcast[edit]

Disney Channel[edit]

The series preview in Canada on June 15, 2012 and premiered on July 6, 2012.[40] The show started broadcasting in the United Kingdom and Ireland on July 20, 2012 as a preview and officially premiered on September 7, 2012.[41] In Australia and New Zealand it previewed on August 17, 2012 and premiered on September 24, 2012.[42] It also premiered in Southeast Asia on October 27, 2012.[43] In India it premiered on September 16, 2013.[44] In the Middle East region, the series was previewed on October 19, 2012, and premiered on November 10, 2012.

Disney[edit]

In the United Kingdom it previewed on July 19, 2012 and premiered on September 7, 2012.[45]

Other[edit]

In Australia, the show airs on Disney XD and 7mate [46] 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.[47] In Indonesia, the show is broadcast on RCTI on August 17, 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IMBD.com: Gravity Falls". imdb.com. 
  2. ^ a b "Amazon.com: Gravity Falls Season 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "iTunes: Gravity Falls Main Title Theme (from "Gravity Falls") - Single". iTunes. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ BETTER GRAB SOME SUNGLASSES, THE FUTURE AROUND HERE IS BRIGHT, Disney Channel Medianet
  5. ^ "Watch the Series Preview of Gravity Falls Friday, June 15". Disney. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ Lowry, Brian (June 12, 2012). "TV Reviews – Gravity Falls". Variety. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ promo on YouTube[dead link]
  8. ^ a b Brooks Barnes (August 17, 2012). "An Undercurrent of Darkness, Even at Disney". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Christina Radish (2012). "Creator Alex Hirsch Talks GRAVITY FALLS, How He Ended Up Making a Show for the Disney Channel, His Love for TV Animation and More". Collider. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "TV Guide - First Look: Disney XD Premieres New Gravity Falls Shorts". Wicked Local West Bridgewater. May 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  11. ^ "Twitter / _AlexHirsch: The Shack is Back! Gravity Falls Season 2 premieres Aug 1st 9:00 PM on the Disney Channel, fools!". Twitter.com. 2014-06-14. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  12. ^ "Second Season of "Gravity Falls" Premieres Friday, August 1 on Disney Channel and Monday, August 4 on Disney XD". The Futon Critic. 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  13. ^ a b Lin, Joseph C. (June 12, 2015). "J.K. Simmons to Join Cast of Disney's Gravity Falls". Time. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Gravity Falls". Disney Channel Media Net. May 2012. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "The Inconveniencing". Gravity Falls. Season 1. 13 July 2012. Disney Channel. 
  16. ^ a b "Blendin's Game". Gravity Falls. Season 2. Episode 8. November 10, 2014. Disney XD. 
  17. ^ "Interview: Alex Hirsch Returns To His Weird, Monster-Filled Childhood In Disney's 'Gravity Falls". 15 June 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Alex Hirsch's Answer To A Question In Reddit AMA". Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  19. ^ Lin, Joseph C. (1 August 2014). "Disney’s Gravity Falls Creator on How to Create a Show for All Ages". Time. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  20. ^ "Verified Twitter of Alex Hirsch Stating Wendy's Age". 30 July 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "A Tale of Two Stans". Gravity Falls. Season 2. Episode 12. July 13, 2015. Disney XD. 
  22. ^ "Verified Twitter of Alex Hirsch Stating Their First Choice To Voice Bill". 27 September 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c d Adams, Erik (2012-09-28). "Comedy Showrunners Week: Alex Hirsch on the real in the unreal of Gravity Falls". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  24. ^ a b "Why Gravity Falls Is the Smartest Cartoon on Television". Adam Warrock (AKA Z) at Wired.com. September 28, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Gravity Falls – Season 1 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. June 29, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  26. ^ Lowry, Brian (June 12, 2012). "Gravity Falls". Variety. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  27. ^ Lloyd, Robert (June 11, 2012). "Review: Bouncy, weightless fun with 'Gravity Falls'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  28. ^ Hinckley, David (June 29, 2012). "New animated Disney series 'Gravity Falls' rises to an endearing level of tween cool". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  29. ^ Blum, Matt (June 28, 2012). "Gravity Falls Rises to the Level of Disney Channel’s Best". Wired Magazine. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Friday Cable Ratings: 'Let it Shine' Premiere, + US Open, 'WWE Friday Night Smackdown', 'Common Law', 'Fairly Legal', & More". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  31. ^ Kain, Erik (August 27, 2015). "'Gravity Falls' Is The Best Show On Television". Forbes.com. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  32. ^ Beck, Jerry (3 December 2012). "Annie Award Nominations 2012". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  33. ^ Beck, Jerry (2 February 2013). "Annie Award Winners". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  34. ^ Lewis, Casey. "Teen Choice Awards Nominations Announced! Who Made The Cut This Year?". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  35. ^ a b c Amidi, Amid (2 December 2013). "Complete List of 2013 Annie Award Nominations". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  36. ^ "The 61st MPSE Golden Reel Awards Nominees (Television)". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  37. ^ Shenton, Zoe (2014-03-30). "Kids' Choice Awards winners: One Direction, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake and more". 3am & Mirror Online. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  38. ^ "FIRST WAVE OF "TEEN CHOICE 2014" NOMINEES ANNOUNCED". Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  39. ^ a b Amidi, Amid (1 December 2014). "Annie Award Winners". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  40. ^ "Schedule". Family.ca. July 6, 2012. 
  41. ^ "What's On TV". Disney UK. September 7, 2012. 
  42. ^ Gravity Falls - Sneak Peek - Disney Channel on YouTube
  43. ^ "Gravity Falls - Disney Channel Asia". 
  44. ^ "New show debuts on Disney Channel today". Times of India. September 16, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Gravity Falls" UK Promo: New Episodes on YouTube
  46. ^ "Gravity Falls on 7mate, Sydney, Guide for 21/4/14". http://www.guidetv.com.au/. April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  47. ^ "'Gravity Falls: Um Verão de Mistérios' estreia na telinha da Globo dia 10" ['Gravity Falls: A Summer of Mysteries' debuts on the small screen of the Globe on the 10th]. Globo.com (in Portuguese). May 8, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 

External links[edit]