Interview with the creator of Gravity Falls, Disney Channel's fun new cartoon

NewImageLast month I bought a season pass on iTunes for a new cartoon series on the Disney Channel called Gravity Falls. My family was about to take a long plane trip and even though I didn't know anything about the show, the artwork alone gave me a hunch that it would be something my 9-year-old daughter Jane would like.

She ended up watching The Powerpuff Girls the whole time on the plane instead, but when we got home we watched Gravity Falls together and we loved it. It's about a brother and sister (Dipper and Mabel) who go to the Pacific Northwest to spend the summer with their "Grunkle Stan," a fez-wearing proprietor of "The Mystery Shack," which trades in occult items, crpytozoological specimens, and other Fortean curiosities. The woods surrounding the Mystery Shack are populated by bigfoots and jackalopes, while the town's human residents are even stranger.

Intrigued, we got in touch with the creator of Gravity Falls, Alex Hirsch, and Jane asked him a few questions:

NewImageWhat is that hat Grunkle Stan wears? Does he ever take it off?
Like all cool people, Stan wears a fez pretty much constantly. According to legend, it gives him special powers, like the ability to cover his bald spot, and a place to hide his parking tickets. He bestows the fez upon Mabel in a future episode, and she learns of its awesome responsibility...

IMG 2160
What are the weird symbols that you can see for a second after the theme music at the start of the show?
I have no idea what you're talking about.

In one of the first episodes Mabel got a grappling hook. Will she use it in an upcoming episode?
Trust me -- Whenever Mabel is offscreen, she's using her grappling hook, usually in ways not intended by its user manual. (It doesn't make a great toothbrush) The grappling hook will return later this season, and it will be worth the wait!

Which episode was the most fun for you to make and why? We recently did an episode featuring an old-school arcade game character who enters Gravity Falls. It was awesomely animated by pixel animation genius Paul Robertson, who was lots of fun to collaborate with. Fans of Street Fighter and seeing Dipper get roundhouse kicked in the face will not be disappointed!

There's a new episode go Gravity Falls airing tomorrow! Here are the details:

NewImage Gravity Falls: "Time Traveler's Pig" - When Dipper wishes he could go back in time and undo a mistake he made, he discovers there is a time machine that can help him do just that. Meanwhile, it's love at first sight for Mabel when she wins a pet pig at the fair, in a new episode of "Gravity Falls," premiering Friday, August 24 (9:30 - 10:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel.

Also airing tomorrow on the Disney Channel: a new episode of Phineas and Ferb, another favorite in our house.

Gravity Falls | Disney Channel


  1. An original toon, on Disney Channel?

    Two seasons max.

    (Sorry for the unbridled skepticism. Please prove me wrong, Disney.)

  2. I sat in a panel at Comic-con 2011, waiting for the following one,  it was for a cartoon which they showed one of the episodes. It was a twilight parody about a girl wishing a boy was a vampire. It turned out he wasn’t a vampire but was something else. It was hilarious. Every so often I remember it and wonder what show it was. Thanks for letting me know. :)

  3. Who cares about phineas and ferb!?
    Who cares about the grapling hook!?
    Why do Stan, Soos, Li’l Gideon and his dad have FIVE fingers!?
    Why do #2 and #3 have SIX fingers!?
    Where is #1 and are there more than 3 books!?


    Ya blew it… Great Job.

  4. Paul Robertson is amazing. Note: Much of his art is not safe for work.

    Here’s one place to find some:

  5. Pac NW? “Mystery Shack”? Somebody has been to “Ye Olde Curiosity Shop” on Seattle’s waterfront… :)

  6. Glad to hear we aren’t the only ones with our TV (apparently) hard-wired to Disney Channel.

  7. I totally love this ‘toon. 

    I turned my 13 and 15 year old nieces on to it when they visited last month. They’re Disney Channel addicts, but only of those horrible hip-teen-girl comedies. It never occurred to them, apparently, to watch Gravity Falls.

    The whole Zombie Boyfriend thing hooked them. The gnome barfing rainbows sealed the deal.
    * * *
    Oregon has, or had, a Mystery Spot tourist trap. I’m not sure if it is still in operation. I wonder if Hirsch was inspired by it.

  8. “Gravity Falls” has much much better writing than industry average.  The subtle offhand jokes are delightful (i’m assuming the sproglings don’t even know who the hell Larry King is).  …and for-gawk-sakes don’t let it be cancelled before the “3” on the six fingered hand is explained.

    and what’s with that giant “Wendy” on the right-side of the promo scene at the top of this article? “*all* will be revealed!” ok fine.

    1. Oh, no, mon. It does not say Wendy. It says, Welcome to Jamaica, have a nice day!
      /punchline to my favorite joke

  9. I have watched from the beginning (hat tip to Superpunch), and it’s a great show.   Goofy enough and with enough references to keep an adult engaged, but not so highbrow that a kid can’t enjoy it too (presumably – no kids in my house).  Loads of interesting little details have been revealed so far that appear to be heading for a season- or series-long arc.  I’ll keep watching as well.

  10. The random letters on the right side of the image are a substitution cypher that says (spoiler alert): “STAN IS NOT WHAT HE SEEMS”

    1. Jane and I just figured it out a couple of minutes ago. I was about to write a post, but you beat us to it!

  11. Kristen Schaal needs to voice like… all the cartoon characters. She and Jon Benjamin should just have a show where they voice like forty characters each, all with the same voice.

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