Sunday, June 17, 2012

Gravity Falls

After seeing Jerry Beck's positive review for the new Disney Channel cartoon Gravity Falls, I decided to watch the premiere episode (it's available on iTunes for free). It's actually pretty good.

Stan shows off his Mystery Shack.
The show centers around twin siblings Dipper (voiced by Jason Morgan) and Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal) who got sent to work at Mystery Shack, a tourist trap in Gravity Falls, Oregon run by their eccentric great uncle Grunkle Stan (voiced by series creator Alex Hirsch). While there Dipper finds a book that reveals that Gravity Falls is actually haunted by creepy monsters. Together with his bubbly sister they must survive the summer defeating the monsters.

It's a good issue
Stylistically the show's humor and direction are a reminiscent of Cartoon Network rather than Disney. Alex Hirsch, the creator, got his start on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and there are similarities in the designs here, especially Grunkle Stan, who looks and sounds like he came from Stormalong Harbor. In addition the show's "haunted forest" undertone is similar to their current hit Regular Show.

Mabel's boyfriend. Maybe he's a vampire! Or a zombie...
However, while I like Regular Show, I think the pilot works better here than with Mordecai and Rigby. Maybe it's because they're still kids, but I find Dipper and Mabel more likable. In a usual twist from all the other "brother and sister" cartoons, here the brother is the sensible one, while the sister is the silly one, which makes it a refreshing change from the usual fare.

And the animation is quite good. I think some parts are CGI, especially the way they animated the characters driving the cart, but I'm not familiar with how the show is produced.

The show will begin its regular run on Friday, June 29 at 9:30 pm E/P in the Disney Channel. I recommend checking the show out.

Incidentally, Rob Renzetti's working on the show as a supervising producer. Nice to see that he's still around after he left My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

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