Gravity Falls facts for kids

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Gravity Falls
Gravity Falls logo.png
Genre Mystery
Adventure
Comedy
Horror
Created by Alex Hirsch
Directed by John Aoshima (Season 1)
Aaron Springer (Season 1)
Joe Pitt (2012–2014)
Rob Renzetti (2014)
Matt Braly (Season 2)
Stephen Sandoval (Season 2)
Sunil Hall (Season 2)
Timing:
Larry Leichliter (Season 1)
Creative director(s) Michael Rianda (season 1)
Voices of


Opening theme "Gravity Falls Main Title Theme", composed by Brad Breeck
Composer(s) Brad Breeck
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 40 (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; 14–20)
Rob Renzetti (supervising producer)
Running time 20–24 minutes
Production company(s) Disney Television Animation
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Broadcast
Original channel Disney Channel (2012–16)
Disney XD (2014–16)
Picture format
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original run June 15, 2012 (2012-06-15) – February 15, 2016 (2016-02-15)
Other websites
Official website
Production website

Gravity Falls is an American animated television series produced by Disney Television Animation that first aired on Disney Channel (then later transitioned to Disney XD) from June 15, 2012 to February 15, 2016. Created by Alex Hirsch, the series follows the adventures of Dipper Pines (voiced by Jason Ritter) and his twin sister Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal) who are sent to spend the summer with their great-uncle (or "Grunkle") Stan (voiced by Hirsch), in a mysterious town full of paranormal forces and supernatural creatures. The kids help Stan run "The Mystery Shack", the tourist trap that he owns, while also investigating the local mysteries.

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 Disney Channel for a show based on the short pilot. 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, while Stan was based on his own grandfather of the same name.

On June 14, 2014, it was confirmed that Season 2 would premiere on August 1 and on August 4 of the same year on Disney Channel and Disney XD respectively , with most of the season two episodes airing first on Disney XD, as it is considered the new home for the series. On November 20, 2015, Hirsch announced that the series would finish with its second season, stating that he chose to do it for the show to end with "a real conclusion for the characters". The show culminated with a one-hour finale titled "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls", that aired on February 15, 2016.

A 68-hour marathon aired on Disney XD from February 12, 2016, up until the finale on February 15, 2016, with the entire series airing in order. Due to only having 39 episodes before its airing, the show was looped four times to fill the 68-hour slot.

Hirsch has stated he remains open to continuing the series with additional episodes or specials.

Overview

For their summer vacation, 12-year-old Dipper Pines and his twin sister Mabel are dropped off from their home in Piedmont, California to the fictitious town of Gravity Falls, Roadkill County, Oregon to live with their Great Uncle Stan Pines (often shortened to Grunkle Stan), who runs a tourist trap called the 'Mystery Shack'. 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 begin unraveling the local mysteries. With appearances from Wendy Corduroy, Mystery Shack cashier; 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

Main

  • Dipper Pines (voiced by Jason Ritter) – The 12-year-old twin brother of Mabel Pines.
  • Mabel Pines (voiced by Kristen Schaal) – The 12-year-old twin sister of Dipper Pines.
  • Grunkle Stan (voiced by Alex Hirsch) – The great-uncle of Dipper and Mabel Pines.
  • Soos Ramirez (voiced by Alex Hirsch) – The 22-year-old handyman at the Mystery Shack.
  • Wendy Corduroy (voiced by Linda Cardellini) – A 15-year-old girl who is a part-time employee at The Mystery Shack, whom Dipper also has a crush on.
  • Stanford Pines, also known as The Author (voiced by J. K. Simmons) – Grunkle Stan's six-fingered long-lost twin brother. Promoted to main cast after the tenth episode of season 2, having briefly appeared in a silent capacity in previous episodes.

Recurring

  • Waddles (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker; Neil deGrasse Tyson as guest) – Mabel's pet pig.
  • Candy Chiu and Grenda (voiced by Niki Yang and Carl Faruolo, respectively) – Mabel's best friends.
  • 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 dream demon from another plane of existence that can influence or control citizens of Gravity Falls through a trans-dimensional mindscape.
  • "Li'l" Gideon Gleeful (voiced by Thurop Van Orman) – A young con artist and rival of Grunkle Stan.
  • Toby Determined (voiced by Gregg Turkington) – Homely proprietor of and sole editor for the Gravity Falls' Gossiper.
  • The Northwests (voiced by Jackie Buscarino, Nathan Fillion, and Kari Wahlgren) – The most popular and wealthy family in Gravity Falls, they are a father (Preston), a mother (Priscilla), and a daughter (Pacifica).
  • Robert "Robbie" Stacy Valentino (voiced by T.J. Miller) – A local teenage Emo boy who is Dipper's primary rival for Wendy's affections.
  • Tambry, Thompson, Nate, and Lee (voiced by Scott Menville, Michael Rianda, and Jessica DiCicco) – Wendy's four friends.
  • Manly Dan (voiced by John DiMaggio) – A lumberjack, Wendy's father.
  • Lazy Susan (voiced by Jennifer Coolidge) – The owner of Greasy's Diner who always has one eye closed, and is Stan's crush.
  • Tyler Cutebiker (voiced by Will Forte) – "Local Enthusiasm Enthusiast", the current mayor of the town.
  • Shandra Jimenez (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) – The reporter of Gravity Falls.
  • Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson and Keith Ferguson) – The two police officers of Gravity Falls.
  • Bud Gleeful (voiced by Stephen Root) – Stan's rival, Gideon's father, and a car dealer.
  • Abuelita (voiced by Matt Chapman) – Soos's grandma, who lives with Soos.
  • Gnomes - (voiced by Alex Hirsch) – Living garden gnomes that wanted Mabel to be their queen.
  • Gompers - (voiced by Frank Welker) – A goat who lives on the Mystery Shacks's property.
  • Blendin Blandin (voiced by Justin Roiland) – a worker at the Time Anomaly Correction Unit who has frequent encounters with Dipper and Mabel.
  • Agent Powers and Agent Trigger (voiced by Nick Offerman and Jeff Rowe) – Two government agents that investigated Stan's portal and the town itself.
  • Ghost-Eyes (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) – An inmate at the Gravity Falls Prison who is friends with Gideon.
  • Xyler and Craz (voiced by John Roberts and Gregory Michael Cipes) – The two main characters of Mabel's favorite movie, "Dream Boy High", who often appear in her daydreams.
  • Time Baby (voiced by Dave Wittenberg) – A time giant and the last of his kind, Time Baby serves as leader of the Time Anomaly Correction Unit until he is vaporized by Bill Cipher. According to a cryptogram, it will take Time Baby 1,000 years to re-assemble his molecules, and when he is back, he is going to be very cranky.

Episodes

List of Gravity Falls episodes

Development

Concept

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.

Production

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Gravity Falls's 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."

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 24 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.

Broadcast

The first twelve episodes of Gravity Falls aired in a regular weekly slot on Disney Channel starting in mid-2012, but subsequent episodes were broadcast without similar regularity; it took until August 2013 to broadcast the remaining eight episodes of the first season. The second season began airing a year later in August 2014, transitioning over to Disney XD, but again without any regularity to when new episodes would be first broadcast. According to Disney XD, as each episode took about six months of work to complete, they opted against stockpiling episodes to show weekly but instead take advantage of the serial nature of the show, broadcasting each episode as it was completed and making an event out of it.

Ciphers

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". This cipher was used in episodes 1–6.
  • 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 the given number. It 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 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".
  • Season 2 also uses the symbol cipher mentioned above.

Reception

Critical reception

Gravity Falls received critical acclaim. 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". Erik Kain of Forbes called Gravity Falls "the best thing on TV at the moment". Kayla Cobb of Decider called Gravity Falls "one of the most structurally smart shows ever created".

Ratings

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. WatchMojo.com ranked Gravity Falls as the third best cartoon of the 2010s.

Later moving on to Disney XD, the episode "A Tale of Two Stans" became the highest-rated telecast ever on Disney XD, with 1.91 million viewers. The series finale "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls" beat that record, being watched by 2.47 million viewers in the United States.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result
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 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 John Aoshima for “Tourist Trapped” Nominated
Best Writing for an Animated Series Michael Rianda & Alex Hirsch for “The Inconveniencing” Nominated
Best Voice Actor in an Animated Series Alex Hirsch Nominated
Best Voice Actress in an Animated Series Kristen Schaal Nominated
Best Artistic/Visual Achievement in an Animated Series 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 Won
2014 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animated Animal Sidekick Waddles Nominated
66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation Ian Worrel for "Dreamscaperers" Won
2014 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
British Academy Children's Awards International Production team of Gravity Falls Won
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Animated Show Gravity Falls Nominated
2016 43rd Annie Awards Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience "Not What He Seems" Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Matt Braly for "Northwest Mansion Mystery" Won
Outstanding Achievement, Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Ian Worrel and Jeffrey Thompson for "Xpcveaoqfoxso (Weirdmageddon)" Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Alex Hirsch, Shion Takeuchi, Josh Weinstein, Jeff Rowe, and Matt Chapman for "Not What He Seems" Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Gravity Falls Nominated
Peabody Awards Children's Programming Gravity Falls Nominated
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show: Animated Gravity Falls Nominated
44th Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Shion Takeuchi, Mark Rizzo, Jeff Rowe, Josh Weinstein and Alex Hirsch for "Weirdmageddon Part 3: Take Back the Falls" Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Kevin Locarro, Andrew Sorcini, Nancy Frazen and Tony Mizgalski for "Weirdmageddon Part 3: Take Back the Falls" Nominated

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