How about we start with great news that the series will be returning to our screens on the 15th of February (that’s today)!!! But I suppose that is only important to those of you who have seen it, for those of you who haven’t let me give you the run down.
There is nothing quite like Gravity Falls, an animated series well beyond it’s time that mixes some truly great voice actors including the likes of Kristen Schaal, Alex Hirsch, Jason Ritter & John DiMaggio (Bender, Jake the Dog) amongst others with story lines and jokes that the whole family can enjoy. I know you have heard that before only to have been met with the likes of Disney/Pixar’s Cars (sigh), but this is definitely written just as much for the adults as it is for the kids… don’t let the Disney label fool you.
The series follows twins Dipper & Mabel Pines who – for unexplained reasons – have been sent to live with their Grunkle (Great Uncle) Stan in Gravity Falls, Oregon where nothing is quite what it seems and adventure and mystery are only present around every corner (usually waiting with a handful of sand to chuck in your eyes).
Upon moving to Gravity Falls, Dipper (voiced by Jason Ritter) finds a mysterious book buried in the ground that seems to outlay almost like a manual the crazy and wonderful happenings of the town such as Giant Vampire Bats, rainbow puking Gnomes and Floating Eyeballs. After telling him to trust nobody, the book seems to end abruptly (and disconcertingly for Dipper) as if the author had just disappeared off the face of the planet. The twins tackle each adventure with a sense of heroism and child like ignorance.
Dipper is a plucky underdog hero type character with a strong moral code and a taste for adventure. When not adventuring he spends most of his time chasing after his crush Wendy, a strangely tall teen with typically unenviable teenage friends.
Mabel is quite possibly the most charming character ever written into anything ever, with a combination of childlike wonder, an innate ability to see the good in any situation along with the truly incredible voice acting of Kristen Schaal (Flight Of the Conchords, 30 Rock) she is a personal favourite of mine and with quotes like “Grunkle Stan, I am an arts and crafts master! Why do you think I always have this glue gun stuck to my arm?” I’m sure you will all agree.
Other main characters include Grunkle Stan who lives and works in the ‘Mystery Shack’, a tourist trap that specialises in low quality urban legend memorabilia and fright gimmicks. Grunkle Stan is a man who would like nothing more than to just sit around reading the latest issue of ‘Gold Chains For Old Men’ while trying to sell lemons as yellow oranges for twice the price.
Grunkle Stan has a loyal and blissfully ignorant employee named Soos who, with a smile on his face, tackles all the jobs no one would ever want to do. At the same time Soos loves to be in the centre of the action whether it is on a money making scheme with Grunkle Stan or a monster hunting adventure with the twins. Both Grunkle Stan and Soos, along with a myriad of others, are voiced by creator of the show Alex Hirsch who based the show on his childhood experiences alongside his twin sister.
The series involves such great characters as The 8th ½ President of the United States, Rumble McSkirmish, The Multi-Bear, Robbie (voiced by T.J Miller), Little Gideon “the child psychic,” The Trickster (A Halloween ‘loser candy’ monster) and John DiMaggio as Manly Dan to mention just a few. This show never ceases to amaze and surprise me with it’s smart, inventive story lines and dialogue, I fell in love with this show within the first five minutes of episode one and have been hooked ever since.
Speaking of being hooked, Hirsch also served as Co-Developer, Creative Consultant, Writer and Storyboard Artist of Fish Hooks and was a Writer and Storyboard Artist on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. For someone who is only 27 he seems to be doing very well for himself! According to Hirsch’s Twitter feed the first season will comprise of “21 full half hours for your amusement and delight.” If you haven’t already seen it, then you are in my opinion truly missing out on one of the best cartoons of recent times.