Gravity Falls is not your normal kid’s show… although, by today’s standards, maybe it’s pretty close. Following the adventures of siblings Dipper and Mabel, the show is filled with the odd and mysterious happenings of Gravity Falls, Oregon. Sent to stay for a summer with the great uncle, or “grunkle,” Stan, the pair soon learn that The Mystery Shack, a tourist trap house of oddities run by said grunkle, is the least strange thing the town has to offer.
Dipper and Mabel, awesomely sarcastic and witty characters, stumble onto a secret journal detailing some of the curiosities at play in the town, and surrounding woods, and learn that you don’t have to go far to be lost in the madness of zombies, ghosts, and wicked gnomes.
While the show revolves around the mysteries and supernatural, it is clearly always aware of its characters, where they actually get their charm, and the audience. Nothing happens for the sake of throwing out a gag, and instead things develop… well, realistically. That’s a hard turn of phrase to make sense of here, but our main crew are surprisingly detailed and well-constructed, showcasing not only their personality quirks, but whole personalities. When Dipper falls for the cute, teen slacker who also works at the shack, which leads to a run-in with some ghosts, the steps fall into place in a way that works, which makes everything that much more fun.
Odd as it may sound for a show that is rated TV-7, the construction and attention to comedic development makes everything that much funnier, and allows the oddities to play worthwhile roles, as opposed to just being the gag of the week. It also means that the constant jabs and general interplay of the kids, and Grunkle Stan, deliver a lot more and don’t fall into stale repetition.
More than just an average, goofy bit of fluff aimed at kids, which might be fairly funny either way, the show manages to layer in bigger statements about how kids see things, and how they act and react, largely without forcing any focus on such aspects. That fleshes things out, while setting the stage for different, more mature, angles of comedy, and it all comes through a serious win.
All of this, and certainly because of an almost unheard of attention to detail, results in an overall presentation that works for those who are age-appropriate for the rating, kids well beyond, and the adults who may be hanging around as well.
The show also benefits from great voice acting from Jason Ritter (Dipper), Kristen Schaal (Mabel), and show creator Alex Hirsch (Grunkle Stan and others). Much as this is often overlooked, the timing and delivery are spot on here, and you could easily imagine the show really suffering if we had the wrong people.
Unfortunately, the release is really devoid of bonuses, except for a “Exclusive Mystery Book: Journal #3”, which is actually a nice treat for the kids, but doesn’t provide all that much additional value. Luckily, the show is worth it on its own and shouldn’t need much extra push.
Film Clip: The Man Cave
Dipper discovers the matador man cave!
Film Clip: Holy Matri-gnome-y
Mabel finds out her friend, Norman, is a bunch of gnomes who are in search of a queen.
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Over 2 Hours of Hilarious Adventures, Irreverent Humor and Unforgettable Characters
Plus Free Exclusive Mystery Book: Journal #3
Synopsis: In this animated adventure comedy riddled with mystery, twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel are sent to spend their summer vacation with their great uncle. Upon arrival, their great uncle, also known as Grunkle Stan, enlists the siblings’ help in running The Mystery Shack, a fun tourist trap he owns that overcharges unsuspecting customers. While Dipper has a hard time getting used to his new surroundings, Mabel’s upbeat optimism comes in handy in her quest to find true love. When Dipper stumbles upon an elusive book, he discovers that it is the key to unlocking the town’s mysterious secrets, and the brother and sister duo soon realize they must rely on one another to navigate the unfamiliar place.
Talent: Jason Ritter (TV’s “Parenthood”, “Joan of Arcadia”, “The Event”) as Dipper Pines, Kristen Schaal (TV’s “Flight of the Conchords”, “Bob’s Burgers”, “30 Rock”) as Mabel Pines & and “Gravity Falls” creator and executive producer Alex Hirsch (“Fish Hooks”) as Great Uncle Stan aka “Grunkle Stan” and Soos.
1 – “Tourist Trapped”
2 – “The Legend of the Gobblewonker”
3 – “Headhunters”
4 – “The Hand That Rocks the Mabel”
5 – “The Inconveniencing”
6 – “Dipper vs. Manliness”