Reviews: Gravity Falls
As good as anything from the days of The Disney Afternoon.
Yeah, I got some problems with so much of Disney's television output these days, but I won't get into that here. It just makes it all the better when they really make something splendid! Though the D's Phineas and Ferb was long the gold standard for contemporary western animation series, Gravity Falls does it one better, and is showing no signs of slowing down yet! Bringing back memories of darker "kids'" fare of yore, Gravity Falls is that rare show that in no way condescends or panders to its intended demographic. Its delightfully twisted "backwoods town with a dark (though technically, innumerably many) secret(s)" setting is guaranteed to haunt the nightmares of young and old alike... when we aren't too busy laughing our asses off at the lovable character-derived humor, that is. Because, you see, beyond the trappings of all the spooky weirdness, Gravity Falls is a show about family and friendship, about growing up and growing wiser (...you'll get there someday, Mabel). There's a great sense of continuity as the seasons chug along (lacking any official statement, I'll just attribute this to inspiration from Arthur because that'd just be ridiculously awesome); characters recall past mistakes and at least try to learn from them, if not always to great success. Everyone has their strengths and flaws, and "happy endings" don't always make everyone happy. The depiction of lovable everykid-but-not-quite Dipper's hopeless infatuation with an older girl is some sad fucking true-to-life shit, man. You can tell the writers aren't cooking up these situations from outta nowhere, even if they're using a recipe book that more often and not includes unusual ingredients such as cryptids, secret societies, and perhaps the creepiest villain seen in "kids' entertainment" for decades now. And most of all, whenever my neural pathways randomly trigger some reminiscence of Gravity Falls, the first thing to pop into my mind is the palpable mystery of it all. Regardless of age demographic, there have been precious few recent shows with quite its Twin Peaks-ish aesthetic of feverish mystique. This is the kind of timeless show that transcends age; more than anything, it hearkens back to the classic animation series of the '90s.
Pretty good but could do better
Don't get me wrong, this is one of the more daring disney cartoons to come out when they stopped making the derivative "X characters go to school" cartoons due to the Getting Crap Past The Radar and a genuine creepy story arc similar to the Disney Afternoon era. The main problem I have with the show is the voice work. The main three, Dipper, Mabel and Gruncle Stan i find are slightly miscasted or misused. Dipper sounds unconvincing as a kid, I wish they had someone like Zack Shada (Finn) from Adventure Time to do his voice. The jokes about his age in "The Inconviencing" would ring more truthfully. Kristen Schall's Mabel doesn't sound as energetic as in Bobs Burgers and I love her work, its so energetic and manic I can tell how funny an episode will be based on her voice. This is more nitpicky but I think Brian Doyle Murphy from The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack would have made a better Stan, the one they got sounds like an imitation of him. It feels like he would be better if it was a professional VA. The others are pretty well casted and the humor is great but hit and miss a few times for me. One of the funniest things I've seen was Mabel practice kissing the leaf blower. I've the first two and the convinence store episode and were good. I loved the old man in the second episode's monlouge of how he built robots to avoid emotional problems (funny buy sad if you think about it) but I wish there was more focus on the mystery of the book and the Stan's connection with the vending machine secret lair. Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated did a good job keeping focus with the mystery of the old Mystery Inc and Mr.E himself. Overall really great with a smidgen of lost focus and technical issues.
While I heard quite a bit about Gravity Falls, I thought it was worth watching for the night. Lots of people like it, so, I thought, why not? Anyways, the episode I watched was "Into The Bunker". After watching the episode, anyone can tell me this was a bad one to start out with, considering it ends with... well. Watch it for yourself. One thing I thought was notable about it was it confidence about going into mature subjects. The concept of death, while not explicitly stated, was prevalent through the entire episode. I was honestly shocked at the commercials for the Cartoon. It paints it as a cute friendly slice of life story, similar to Phineas and Ferb. What I got instead was a 24 minute long tale about a, to be honest, terrifying creature. The Sub-Plot is not obnoxious, something few Disney shows seem to work well nowadays. The sections where they expand the plot and sub-plot are so connected, I was honestly surprised when the Wendy that Dipper confessed to was actually the fake one. I was so used to cartoons taking time out of the main plot to talk about the sub-plot, I did not see it coming. However, the most important thing about the series, is that I feel with the characters. When I watched the Suite Life on Deck, I did not care about the characters, and thus the plot. In this series, however, despite me watching less than one episode, I actually felt scared when they saw the Shapeshifter, and it tore at my heart when Wendy declined Dipper. All in all, it is a great series, and I hope future cartoons take cue from this.
Gravity Falls along with Phineas and Ferb are the only shows I watch a lot on Disney Channel. Their other shows are either okay or terrible. Anywys, Gravity Falls is a creative mystery tv series and is the edgiest Disney show I have ever seen. They got away with blood splattered over the Bill Cipher page in "Dreamscapers" and Dipper getting a bloody nose in "Gideon Rises". With each new episode, there is a mystery to solve. It's a great series and a show for all ages. It's relatable for kids, teens, adults, and paranormal species too. It's got a nice dark twist and is one of Disney's best works.
I personally think this is the weakest Gravity Falls episode so far. The body switching cliche I hate. It's been done to death by the likes of Dragon Ball, Fairly OddParents, and Wizards of Waverly Place. I honestly got tired of it. Also, Candy and Grenda were so annoying for me. Scratch that, just Candy. I find Grenda enjoyable to an extent, but Candy was one-dimensional, annoying and unfunny to me, and I'm beggining to hate her now. And the scene when it shown a bunch of people switching bodies because of the carpet made me groan. It got old really fast. Also, the conflict between Dipper and Mabel doesn't make much sense until the end. They agree that they shouldn't be in the same room with eachother. But when they find a room, they compete over it. Why compete? One person moves into the room, problem solved. But by the end of the episode where it revealed that neither one wanted the other to move out, I guess they were just competing out of spite. Still doesn't make much sense though. There are things I like about this episode though. Grunkle Stan is at his worst here, and nearly every scene with him made me laugh. Especially when he gave a talk about puberty to Mabel, who was in Dippers body.
- Stan: And now you know where babies come from.Mabel: Goodbye childhood.
Gravity Falls Thus Far
This is a good show. Period. Anyone who tells you different is either a die-hard Phineas And Ferb fan or someone who really needs to get over their Disney hate. On a channel filled with nothing but shitty live-action shit, there's finally another good animated show to watch. Not only does it beat it's channel's competition, but it stands high along with other channel's great shows like Adventure Time and Regular Show, and may grow to be even better yet. I was skeptical of this show at first, for two reasons. One, DISNEY CHANNEL... and two, it's popular with people on Tumblr, which in my opinion has become the American equivalent of 4chan. But after getting chewed out by my friends several dozen times, I decided to check it the fuck out. And lo and behold, I have discovered possibly my favorite animated show on TV. I watched the 17 available episodes... I have had a spoonful of greatness and damn, I'm hungry for more. I won't waste time describing shit. This show has great music, great atmosphere and artwork, decent animation, an entertaining, well-rounded cast of characters (the twins, especially) and an intriguing Myth Arc building up. The comedy has yet to miss with me, it's all been consistently good, but unlike a lot of Western Cartoons, this show has some sense of character as well. Our leads, Dipper and Mabel are interesting, entertaining and a believable pair of 12-year old twins thrown into weird situations. Dipper is what happens when you toss Dib (Invader Zim) and Naota (FLCL) in a blender and elevate him to Nice Guy status. His futile attempts to appear more mature than he is are well done, even if I've seen it before and know how this kind of thing normally ends. I could do without his Precocious Crush, because again... we all know what these things end, but it does throw a certain degree of realism into the mix. His energetic sister is a constant stream of amusement, being just so silly and fun. I usually don't like overtly girly girls but she does it with some class and a degree of self-awareness that is admirable. She feels like a twelve year old girl and that's some accomplishment. They don't bicker as often as you'd think, and when they do, it's over things most kids would fight about. A refreshing take on the sibling team concept. I'm almost out of words, so I'll just say, GO WATCH THIS SHOW.
"Dreamscapers"/"Rise of Gideon"
Yes, it's a rather tired plot. The villain gets the deed, wants to build theme park, turns out it's a ulterior motive to find MacGuffin. However, in the capable hands of this writing team, the two parter "Dreamscapers" and "Rise of Gideon" is some of the best stuff Disney Channel has put out in years. With the closure of Summer 2013, we're all a tad teary-eyed. I say goodbye to friends going off to college. I myself prepare with diligence for the coming year. Yet there will still be that niggling thought in the back of the mind that says this goodbye might be longer than usual. With "Dreamscapers", we are FINALLY treated to Bill Cipher, who poses the final challenge in a long and evolving saga of the supernatural. To say this is Dipper's arc completion is an understatement. He has fought clones, demons, bulls, and heartbreak only to have a no bars held match against the master of the book. Their match is only possible from Dipper realizing the challenges of life are there to aid him. The similarities between a younger Stan and present day Dipper is touching, and adds some much needed closure. "Rise of Gideon" was a tad predictable, but to see the genuine heartbreak was a good touch. It leads you believe that is the last time we'll see these characters. To think they had just become a family. The pacing did in fact trick me into believing this was the end. They laid it on thick, making it truly a scenario in which the entire town lived their lives unabated, with only our heroes left to suffer. All good Disney shows must end with the hero triumphant, though, and it did just that in a bit of a rushed Deus Ex Machina. Sure, it would have been cooler to see Lil' Gideon escape at the last moment. However, the last scene could not have been done better. It sets up the nature of a possible Season 2 so very well. It symbolizes hope, the unknown, discovery. Then again, isn't that what Gravity Falls is all about?
Completely Shocked Me With Awesomeness
I admit, I was a bit skeptical at first upon hearing that Alex Hirsch was the main creator of this. I was never a fan of Fish Hooks nor Flapjack, two series he also worked on, and found the humor of his shows "odd" to say the least. So when I tried Gravity Falls out of curiosity... God, it blew my mind. The characters are likable and realistic, each of them the kind of people you could probably see in real life (Yes, even Mable), which automatically makes the show more bearable to watch than a bunch of overly-flanderized, semi-offensive "high school" clique characters. Dipper is sensible, mature, and intelligent yet also socially awkward, considerably weak, and having a precocious crush that can be almost painful to watch him advance on, which makes it much funnier. Mable is so eccentric and optimistic, it's practically impossible not like her, and yet often overreacts and has moments of boy-craziness, making her more realistic. They don't have that typical "bickering siblings" shtick many shows use, but aren't cheesy "buddy-buddy" type siblings, having the occasional small argument but still caring about each other in great lengths. The animation is surprisingly impressive considering the simple, cutesy looks of other Disney cartoons, and gives it a very woodsy feel, and the character designs and movements are always clean, crisp and smoothe, with the fight scenes being drawn out quite well. Alex Hirsch's writing is amazing, with enough jokes to have you hurting your ribs but also with dramatic and tear-jerking scenes that just get you in the heart so you want to keep on watching. But the best part about the series? Well, that's a bit hard to explain. There's just something about those tiny hints, the sadistically evil characters, all those clues and crypts and hidden messages that just pulls you in, and makes you keep theorizing and thinking of new possibilities. I found myself re-watching many an episode because of this. The whole creepy vibe underlying the series captivates you, and you want—no, need—to no more. The mystery theme behind GF, the intelligence behind it... that's what makes it truly great.
Gravity Falls is one of those shows that just makes me happy simply by watching it. It's heartfelt, clever, cute, funny, sometimes a little creepy (freezer monster and summerween, for instance), so it's pretty much like many cartoons I watched as a kid, and a show that kids and adults alike can thoroughly enjoy. Not to mention a breath of fresh air after many sub-par shows being put out by Disney Channel, with the exception of Phineas and Ferb. I won't repeat what many others have said about this show, so bottom line, it's one of the best animated shows of the decade, and you should check it out.
Very likeable show
I started watching Gravity Falls with my sister only because I had nothing better to watch, and I ended up becoming a really big fan of the show. I really love it! One thing I like about the show is how the Brother Sister Team of Dipper and Mabel is both realistic and lovable. Me and my younger sister relate to those two a lot. My sister is always on the run doing crazy and ridiculous things, and I'm always trying to be calm and smart. That made me care for both characters on a personal level. Not only that, every main character in the show has something that we both love: Soos's loyalty even though he's kind of dumb, Stan's sarcasm and Wendy's love for breaking rules. It's a pretty colorful cast. I also like the hilarious spin the writers put on the supernatural aspect of the show. Even though my sister was afraid of the monsters before she actually watched an episode, after watching the series she was laughing at practically every joke even if the monster was on-screen. I liked the Fight Fighters episode because of the Street Fighter parody and the Summerween episode because it had maybe the freakiest monster of the show so far, who also had the strangest origin. The theme song, besides being catchy as hell, is full of secrets and I was listening to it closely to hear the voices at the end every single time. And, wouldn't you know it, my eight-year-old sister prefers this show to My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic! I was surprised. Gravity Falls is showing a lot of promise, and it's only on it's first season. I will be waiting for more episodes.
This show reminds me of my childhood, both the entertainment I loved and the stuff I did. The main characters are twins Dipper and Mabel. Dipper is smart, but a little uptight, and wants be be seen as older than he is. Mabel, on the otherhand, is energetic, eccentric and maybe a little crazy. Their relationship, however, is what makes them shine. They are neither rivals nor exactly alike. They argue sometimes, but they ultimately love one another. You believe that they're real kids and real siblings. We also have their hilarious grand uncle that they're staying with for the summer. They call him Gruncle Stan. He's a con artist who runs The Mystery Shack. Working there is cool girl Wendy who Dipper crushes on, and their man-child mentor Sues. But all is not well in the town of Gravity Falls. There is mystery afoot. Yes, the town is overrun with strange goings-on, and Dipper and Mabel are in the midst of it. The show runs on both humor and mystery. It should appeal to children with some of its content, but I'm 23 and I love the hell out of every episode. I'm often genuinely invested in what's going on, and the humor always gets a laugh out of me. Whether it's obscure references, getting stuff under teh radar, or visual jokes, it's always funny.
Wait...This Is A Disney Channel Show?!
I remember when DC had some shows worth watching- American Dragon, Kim Possible, etc. Then it started focusing on sitcoms, and lost my interest. Then came Gravity Falls. I was almost certain that this was supposed to be a Cartoon Network show. It was much edgier and scarier than standard Disney fare- it was like nothing else the network had played! I have become infatuated with this show and hope that it continues to delight people looking for good animated shows.
Wow. This is amazing.
Let's face it, Disney's shows are taking a downhill curve. All but one of their current sitcoms are about music (Shake It Up, Austin & Ally, and A.N.T. Farm, the one that isn't is Good Luck Charlie, which is actually fairly entertaining.) At time of writing, they're so desperate as to show Suite Life of Zack and Cody reruns for three hours every day. Phineas and Ferb, the previous best cartoon, has stopped making new episodes, only specials now.But all that is turning around. Gravity Falls has had a total of four episodes so far, and it is still one of the most consistently funny (and also slightly disturbing. Freezer monster and possessed Mabel anyone?) shows I've ever seen. Bravo Disney, you FINALLY picked up the right series. ONWARD,AOSHIMA!
Check it out.
When my Cousin first showed me this series, I enjoyed it, it was mysterious and funny, and it had a story arc. The animation is crisp, the opening is good, the callbacks and Checkovs Guns (The shabam! gnome appearance in the book, was very clever, as was the time traveler in the background) are fun to watch, as is the mystery arc.
- I like Mabel, she is especially adorable, but I also like her take on the Cloudcuckoo Lander: She's silly, but not oblivious (Like in the Lil Gideon Debut, I especially like that little bit of Reality Ensues). For too long, I've seen the Cloudcuckoo Lander archetype being so rage-inducing oblivious bordering on Too Dumb To Live. Mabel is very laid back and optimistic, but not that stupid, I think that it makes her more realistic take on the archetype.
- What I don't like is the Dipper Wendy plot, I've seen it too often, Pre-teen boy has a onesided crush on an older girl, and it's treated as cute, until the older one lets them down gently. Don't get me wrong though, The Inconveniencing had some of the series creepiest visuals (The brain eye thingy reminded me of some of a Courage The Cowardly Dog villain), and is one of my favorite episodes.
- The Brother Sister relationship is also very good. Like the Cloudcuckoo Lander trope, I think the series does a better take on it. The twins get on each others nerves, but do love each other. Most sibling antics are played for comic sociopathy, and it's hard to see that they like each other as siblings. Dipper and Mabel have some silly moments together, that makes one just go Awww.
- I never focused on the codes, but they are a nice bonus.
- The Shows humor rarely dips into too childish territory, and the series remains firmly in the "for all ages" or family fun slot.
- Check this show out, Alex Hirsch is doing a great job (I didn't like Flapjack, but I love this). I highly recommend it.
Tourist Trapped Review
Tourist Trapped was the pilot episode for Gravity Falls, a show I am becoming more and more in love with. Tourist Trapped introduces Dipper as a ready to believe, mature, and observant hero. Mabel is his sister, and she's perky and sees the best in absolutely everything. Their great uncle, or Grunkle Stan, is a money-obsessed man who likes to trick people with his Mystery Shack, where he lives and works. Soos is a friend to the kids, ready to help and very resourceful, and Wendy just had a small moment that happened to be absolutely hilarious. Then Dipper finds a book in the woods. A book called 3 (actually, it's volume 3 of a bigger book), that reveals that Gravity Falls, the town the show takes place in, is more than it seems. Paranormal stuff, you know. Hilarity and adventure ensues. The animation is nice and has an amazing art style that captures the feel perfectly. The characters have amazing voice actors and the jokes are sure to make anyone laugh. Some jokes are for older viewers but there's only one I can think of in this episode, which has to do with the description of zombies. In Tourist Trapped, Mabel finds a boyfriend named Norman. And Dipper thinks he's a zombie. The standard "get proof" thing ensues and Dipper is seemingly proven right about halfway into the episode, which is when he drives a golf cart to Mabel's rescue. A shocking and somewhat funny reveal happens however - Norman's not a zombie. He's a bunch of gnomes in a hoodie, who want Mabel to marry all 1000 of them so she can be their queen. Yikes. After a chase back to the Mystery Shack, Grunkle Stan conveniently and humorously is showing people the most distracting object ever. Granted, it even distracted me from what I was supposed to be paying attention to while I was watching the show, but whatever. After a risky plan is carried out and the many, MANY gnomes defeated, Grunkle Stan lets the two pick one item each from the gift shop. Dipper picks a hat which I assume he will wear many times in the series, but Mabel humorously chooses a grappling hook. End. The episode was funny and a great introduction to Gravity Falls. The animation was close to spotless and the premise was corny yet carried out in a way that made it interesting. I'd recommend the episode and the show to anyone who wants a paranormal show with a lot of wit and heart. For the kids, too.
Finally Something Else to Watch on Disney Channel
Seriously, the only thing I ever watch on Disney Channel is Phineas And Ferb, which doesn't belong with the rest of that stuff in the first place. Now! Gravity Falls is changing that! This show is awesome! It's surely to become a classic in no time, and I'm hoping it will send Disney shows in another direction. I could just be dreaming out loud, but Gravity Falls is like nothing I've seen on Disney Channel. Not Kim Possible, not Phineas And Ferb, nothing. But if there were more shows like this on Disney, I'd find myself watching it way more often.