Man, those Masons are good at making cartoons
November 28, 2012 8:34 PM   Subscribe

Disney has a new cartoon series called "Gravity Falls," created by Alex Hirsch who also created The Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack. It features X-Files style paranormal activity in the titular town in Oregon from the perspective of 12 year old twins, Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal) and Dipper. While this alone could cultivate a fanbase, it also helps that the show has secret messages and cyphers for viewers to decode.

Of course, where there are arcane symbols and secret messages, there's also a Vigilant Citizen article to warn about the Illuminati threat. The show can be legally viewed on The Disney Channel or iTunes. Disney has clips on their site, but no full episodes.
posted by mccarty.tim (70 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite

 
KIDS TODAY HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA HOW GOOD THEY HAVE IT.

THEY HAVE THIS AND ADVENTURE TIME AND MLP AND JUST NOT FAIR

ALL WE HAD WAS LIKE ANIMANIACS, MAYBE REN AND STIMPY IF WE WERE LUCKY. GHAD.
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 PM on November 28, 2012 [24 favorites]


You had me at "Kristen Schaal".
posted by Drinky Die at 8:46 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


For approximately 1/10 of a second, I read that as "Disney has a new cartoon series called 'Gravity Fails'", and thought, good gravy, I would watch this.
posted by Suddenly, elf ass at 8:46 PM on November 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


I just feel like now is the perfect time to mention that my friend Rosemary made a working light-up Mabel Pines sweater.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:46 PM on November 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I just watched my first episode last night and I'm pretty much 4/5ths done with the episodes that have aired so far.

As far as the show goes beyond the easter eggs (which I kind of downplayed because I'd have to keep repeating how awesome it is and get this deleted for editorializing), I feel like it's a great convergence of a lot of the positive trends of new shows for kids.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:49 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


An animated series in which Kristen Schaal is not a horse?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:50 PM on November 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Thanks for this post because I've been sitting on my ass thinking "how can I tell everyone on MetaFilter to watch this show?" and instead keep watching episodes over and over.

The fact that Kristen Schaal is playing not one but two awesome young female characters that are so different but still so awesome is pretty much my favorite pop culture thing over the last couple of years.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:57 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Seriously, it goes Lisa Simpson, Mabel, Louise Belcher, which is no small feat.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:59 PM on November 28, 2012


OLD GEEZERS LIKE ME HAD BULLWINKLE AND ASTRO BOY AND TOM TERRIFIC AND HUCKLEBERRY HOUND AND UNDERDOG (also clutch cargo but we don't like to talk about that).

THEN SPEED RACER AND SCOOBY DOO CAME AND RUINED EVERYTHING (imo). ANIMANIACS AND REN & STIMPY AND DUCK TALES WERE THE BEGINNING OF A RENAISSANCE FOR CARTOONS THAT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER (although spongebob scared me that things might go back to crappy, imo again). I'M ENJOYING MY SECOND CHILDHOOD NOW SO WHY AM I SHOUTING?
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:02 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love Gravity Falls, but there is one thing that drives me crazy: why do the adults have five fingers, but the kids have only four? Do the children grow an extra finger with puberty? Is there some deeper meaning to this?

Anyway, possibly my favorite scene so far and one that made me fall off the couch laughing: Paper Jam Dipper, when Dipper's magical copy machine clone is a victim of a magical copy machine paper jam.
posted by yasaman at 9:03 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Suddenly, elf ass: "For approximately 1/10 of a second, I read that as "Disney has a new cartoon series called 'Gravity Fails'", and thought, good gravy, I would watch this."

Isn't that just 20% of what's on YouTube?

posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:04 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mabel is adorable, and the show has some good episodes, but it doesn't approach the genius of the original Eerie, Indiana
posted by Bwithh at 9:06 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


27 YEAR OLD MEN SHOULDN'T BE OVER IDENTIFYING WITH A CARTOON LADY PRE-TEEN OKAY I THEY SHOULDN'T.
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 PM on November 28, 2012


ALL WE HAD WAS LIKE ANIMANIACS, MAYBE REN AND STIMPY IF WE WERE LUCKY. GHAD.

I had the likes of Animaniacs, Freakazoid, and Rocko's Modern Life as a child, which in retrospect explains a lot about my sense of humor. Freakazoid was a really weird show.
posted by yasaman at 9:12 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you like ciphers in cartoons, check out what they did with Madoka Magica. People have even set it up so you can type in then HTML with a little javascript or CSS magic.
posted by 23 at 9:13 PM on November 28, 2012


speed racer didn't ruin shit. speed racer is fucking awesome. he is a hero.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:15 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can't talk about Freakazoid without talking about Candleja-
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


oneswellfoop: "THEN SPEED RACER CAME AND RUINED EVERYTHING "

SHUT UP POPS.
posted by boo_radley at 9:32 PM on November 28, 2012


MEME FAIL, THE WHELK. The correct way is to mention Candlejack, and then stop typing halfway
posted by offalark at 9:40 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


RI-BO-FLAVIN!

...by which I mean, "yay, Gravity Falls!" I just discovered this last week via a post on Paul Robertson's tumblr because he did the video game character for Fight Fighters.
posted by luvcraft at 9:46 PM on November 28, 2012


I love Gravity Falls so much. SO MUCH. It's funny and brilliant and everything that an always and forever X-Phile could want in a cartoon. As a fundamentally silly person, I identify strongly with young Ms Pines, more than is seemly for a woman of my age. Would that we could all be so confident in our silliness as she is. I love Mabel Pines so much, I was given for my birthday not one but two! pieces of highly personalized Mabel Pines fan art, by fellow Mefites, no less.

In the first, Mabel presents me with my own shooting star sweater.

In the second, Mabel boldly rides my evil Patronus, Dr. Dinosaur from the comic Atomic Robo.

In short, all birthdays forever will be a letdown after the one I recently had, and Gravity Falls is my happy place.
posted by mostlymartha at 9:46 PM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yasaman, even weirder, the hand on the front of Dipper's book has six fingers. What is happening here?
posted by mostlymartha at 9:47 PM on November 28, 2012


THEN SPEED RACER AND SCOOBY DOO CAME AND RUINED EVERYTHING

I was never a fan of Scooby Doo, not even as a child - but the new series, Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated? SO GOOD. One of my favorite current shows.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:48 PM on November 28, 2012


I was particularly fond of the Jack-O-Melons.

And the human nervous system in the convenience store freezer. That scared the shit out of me. (So did Dipper's paper jam copy.)

I think the show disarms you with its charming cartoon qualities, and then the scares are somehow scarier. That friggin' Summerween Trickster spider-walking over rooftops... Jesus Christ...

This thing is genius and I'm positively starving for more episodes.

All hail the Time Baby.
posted by CarlRossi at 9:49 PM on November 28, 2012


WHEN I WAS A KID ALL WE HAD WAS CLARISSA SPLAYNIN IT ALL AND SHAVED BY THE BELLE AND wait i'm remembering porn titles never mind
posted by not_on_display at 9:50 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Came for cartoon codes, favorited for link to fringe theory site.

You have our thanks.

We are watching. /o\
posted by 23 at 9:55 PM on November 28, 2012


As someone who pretty much exclusively watches 'children's entertainment' I want to endorse Gravity Falls 110%, which I fell in deep, abiding love with thirty seconds into the first episode (LOOK AT THE ANIMATION IN THIS OPENING IT IS GORGEOUS). In a very meaningful sense I suspect it will be a Forever Show for me, both currently formative and eternally delightful.

It features one of the rarest things in children's entertainment today: siblings who actually love each other a lot! Also, consistent characterization across episodes?? Check it out, it's wild!!

(Also, if I may: I actually wrote an overwrought Gravity Falls primer that you might be interested in checking out if you're not yet convinced and don't mind italics and inflated Tumblr-speak (sigh). It's a little shouty but it also features screenshots?)

Sadly, even Alex Hirsch doesn't know when the next episode airs.

Would that I were a 10-year-old or Dipper a 25-year-old, I would pretend-marry or real-life-marry his neurotic face in a heartbeat.
posted by brieche at 10:01 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, Gravity Falls.

I graduated college. I know what I'm doing. Honest!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:02 PM on November 28, 2012


favorited for link to fringe theory site.

turns out the Observer-universe is just another bubbleverse within Gravity Falls.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


also, think of this, one of the enduring effects of Twin Peaks is CHARMING CHILDREN'S CARTOONS.

think of that.
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 PM on November 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


I was the one to introduce mostlymartha to Gravity Falls, and I think it is the greatest give I've ever given her. God, I love this show. I need more episodes of it immediately to ease my pain of Motorcity's cancellation.

It should also go to mention that Alex Hirsch's sister, Ariel, quite the strong basis for Mabel, has her own tumblr now.

Now, where are those pictures of Jason Ritter dressed up as Dipper...?
posted by whitneyarner at 10:08 PM on November 28, 2012


whitneyarner, I can't even handle Ariel with actual pigs. I think I'm going into a catatonic state.
posted by mostlymartha at 10:11 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


weeps

amazing

thank you, whitneyarner
posted by brieche at 10:12 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thannks for the intro. I'll definitely put this one in the DVR queue. How could I not with an intro which had Bat Boy, cryptic glyphs, and a half-second image of the classic all-seeeing pyramidal eye?
posted by honestcoyote at 10:14 PM on November 28, 2012


ALL WE HAD WAS LIKE ANIMANIACS, MAYBE REN AND STIMPY IF WE WERE LUCKY. GHAD.

All we had? Those shows rocked.

We had Ninja Turtles, Ahh! Real Monsters!, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Legends of the Hidden Temple,The Secret World of Alex Mack, All That, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Clarissa Explains It All, Darkwing Duck, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Doug, Ed, Ed & Eddy, Dexter's Lab, PPG, Samurai Jack (though that came later), Johnny Bravo, Hey Arnold, Rugrats, Power Rangers, Pinky & the Brain, Reboot, Rocko's Modern Life, Saved by the Bell, Thornberrys..

You know what else we had? The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

*shakes cane* I want all ya'll off my porch! This is my porch, y'hear!?
posted by Malice at 10:18 PM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jason Ritter (voice of Dipper) in Dipper hat. And masquerading as Dipper #7 on Halloween. He kinda wears it everywhere.

Oh, and Jon Stewart's a fan.

And of course, Dipper voted for Obama.
posted by whitneyarner at 10:22 PM on November 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Okay, so you had me for watching the show at "Kristen Schaal", but for keeping me watching it would be the initial gnome reveal and the extended gnome rainbow vomiting at the credits.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:36 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Jon Stewart's a fan.

Jon Stewart is a very old, old man. (50 tonight)
posted by Drinky Die at 10:38 PM on November 28, 2012


I need to watch this immediately.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:54 PM on November 28, 2012


Watched the first episode, wasn't blown away. Not the biggest fan, but it is better than a lot of stuff out there. I'll have to give it another go.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:29 PM on November 28, 2012


SO weird.... whole family just scratches their head. Delicious. Love to look at in more detail, Thanks!
posted by slothhog at 11:32 PM on November 28, 2012


Nobody's mentioned the best Easter egg yet?

So episode 9 or 10, I forget which, is about a time traveling man. Dipper steals his belt and starts jumping through time, the time traveler chasing him (something like this, anyway), and they jump back through a bunch of scenarios from old episodes.

Which is a funny gag in and of itself, but where the show goes the extra mile is that the time traveler was actually in all those episodes. Pretty blatantly, too. And always when there's some action in the foreground to misdirect you the first time around.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:43 PM on November 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


Oh, and MeFites who like awesome shit in kid's shows should watch K'nuckles Reaction to The Colonels Flip, from Flapjack.

You won't understand what's so good about this at first, you'll wonder why I've been wasting your time, and then YOU'LL KNOW. OH, YOU'LL KNOW.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:44 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't wait for these guys to run into the latest conspiracy by David Xanatos. And then all of them have cameos in Star Wars along with Wreck-It Ralph and Nightcrawler from X-Men. The Wonderful World of Media Empires!
posted by Apocryphon at 12:09 AM on November 29, 2012


The Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack

Disney's gonna hear from my legal team first thing in the morning.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:10 AM on November 29, 2012


…I read that as "Disney has a new cartoon series called 'Gravity Fails'", and thought, good gravy, I would watch this.

Yeah, I was thinking "Finally, George Alec Effinger gets his (posthumous) due!" But possibly better: Kristin Schaal!
posted by mumkin at 12:57 AM on November 29, 2012


Your childhoods sucked. We had cities of gold.
posted by clarknova at 2:12 AM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just chiming in to say that this is an amazing show and anyone on the fence should tune in. I'm spending a year in china and it's great pacific northwest nostalgia fuel. I hope they air new episodes soon, though. I'm getting worried.
posted by Rinku at 2:20 AM on November 29, 2012


>ALL WE HAD WAS LIKE ANIMANIACS

I had Superfriends. And Sigmund And The Sea Monsters. You have not suffered like I have suffered. Also, get off my lawn.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:27 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


a time traveling man

His name is Blendin Blandin, from the year 207̃012. (Pronounced roughly "twenty-smyeventy-twelve".)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:35 AM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


For approximately 1/10 of a second, I read that as "Disney has a new cartoon series called 'Gravity Fails'", and thought, good gravy, I would watch this.

I, as well.


Incidentally, I do actually watch Gravity Falls and it's a lot of fun. Would recommend - A++
posted by Defying Gravity at 3:50 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "Twin"

could you explain further? i'm only somewhat familiar with Twin Peaks, and you said cartoons?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 4:31 AM on November 29, 2012


I love this show. A few weeks ago, I would have said it was better than Adventure Time, but 'I Remember You' purged that heresy from me like fire.

Gravity Falls has a pretty impressive level of quality. I think you can attribute some of that to some pretty solid world building - you really get the sense that everything planned out and that there is going to be an actual payoff regarding the overarching mythos (gotta use the X-Files speak, natch) rather than a Lost-style flailing.

I was sold on the first episode, which I don't want to spoil too much, but the threefold twist of the supernatural creature (and the crescendo it builds to) was totally awesome.

Also, rainbow vomit.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:48 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


An invisible wizard. Really Dipper?

That right there is the funniest line ever spoken on television, animated or the other kind.
posted by signal at 5:04 AM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


My kid and I are mightily obsessed with cartoons these days so this is fucking brilliant. And also, this FPP reminded me to add more seasons of Flapjack to his Christmas list. Because holy shit, Flapjack was beautiful and Bubby taught wonderful lessons and that animation was so pretty it makes mommy wanna cry.
posted by youandiandaflame at 5:20 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


gf shippers are the worst. ugh, there's only like 5 characters, how do they even do it
posted by MangyCarface at 6:45 AM on November 29, 2012


Okay. DVR Gravity Falls. Check.
posted by cross_impact at 7:02 AM on November 29, 2012


Agentcorvid, Twin Peaks was responsible/ heavily referenced by the X-Files which Gravity Falls is based around.
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 AM on November 29, 2012


is this the new capslock thread?
posted by schmod at 9:00 AM on November 29, 2012


Agentcorvid, Twin Peaks was responsible/ heavily referenced by the X-Files which Gravity Falls is based around.

OH MY GOD WAIT I FORGOT THE ACTUAL BEST EASTER EGG IN GRAVITY FALLS

WHICH IS THAT THE RESTAURANT DIPPER MEETS LIL' GIDEON IN IS THE MOTHERFUCKING BLACK LODGE

I paused the episode at that point to deliver a lecture on Twin Peaks' significance to my roommate, who's been mad at David Lynch ever since I tricked him into watching Mulholland Drive.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:00 AM on November 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


While Alex is indeed brilliant, I feel obligated to point out that he did NOT create The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. That distinction belongs to the equally awesome Thurop Van Orman. Alex did write and storyboard for Flapjack, however.
posted by sprezzy at 10:55 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


THIS SHOW IS THE BEST SHOW that i have never seen except in gifs.
posted by elizardbits at 12:45 PM on November 29, 2012


This looks awesome.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 1:48 PM on November 29, 2012


gf shippers are the worst. ugh, there's only like 5 characters, how do they even do it


Careful -- I'm pretty sure "[Show X] shippers are the worst. ugh, [limiting feature of Show X], how do they even do it" is a dangerous incantation that triggers a dark magic and forces someone on the Internet -- often many someones -- to take up the dare.


But what I really came in here to say is that can we all take a moment to celebrate the dying art of the TV theme song? Because even just hearing this show's makes me sorta giddy -- as all your favorite shows should get the chance to do.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:53 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I remember watching the election and waiting for the speeches with my neighbor, and as they did that crowd pan, I pointed out that I had just seem someone apparently cosplaying Dipper at an election rally. Which is awesome.

I am glad that there is photographic evidence and I just didn't lose my mind.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 3:59 PM on November 29, 2012


I love Gravity Falls, but there is one thing that drives me crazy: why do the adults have five fingers, but the kids have only four? Do the children grow an extra finger with puberty? Is there some deeper meaning to this?


This actually might have deeper meaning. Count the fingers on Dipper's book.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:51 AM on November 30, 2012


Related: Adam WarRock's (previously 1, 2) "Gravity Falls" (mp3, lyrics)


Homework's wack! And so are rules! Tucking in your shirt's for fools!

(I may say this many mornings getting dressed for work.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:23 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know if/how I can watch this in the Netherlands? Disney says it's not available outside the US and I can't find it on iTunes.

I know, the answer is probably "you don't exist, just pirate it".
posted by cameleon at 8:34 AM on December 2, 2012


The Whelk: "Agentcorvid, Twin Peaks was responsible/ heavily referenced by the X-Files which Gravity Falls is based around"

I wasn't aware that there was any connection at all between the shows (other than the weird stuff happening thing).

I will now return to the rock I have apparently living under for the past 10 years.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:29 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are no new episodes until early next year according to Hirsch's twitter.

But at least the show is out of that weird hiatus where everyone knew it definitely wasn't cancelled (the ratings were too good) but had no idea how long Disney would wait on airing new episodes. I've heard they once stretched out a Phineas and Ferb season over a year.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:30 PM on December 5, 2012


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