It’s a phrase that unsurprisingly, you will hear often.
“Today’s cartoons suck!”
“Man stuff we had was better.”
Blah blah, you heard it from your parents; your kids will hear it from you and so on and so forth. But good cartoons exist in any time; I’m here to make a case for one. A little gem that can be found on the Disney channel, yes I know red flag already. Disney is written off as just a kiddy station and for the cartoon geeks it is seen as a station, well for one doesn’t play cartoons and has been creatively stagnant with its teen sitcoms with their cut and paste jokes, and that is true. But Disney did have you on its side with shows like Kim Possible, Recess, Gargoyles and Darkwing Duck. Don’t give up hope, Disney can still make them and for your consideration, I give you Gravity Falls.
Debuting in June of last year, Gravity Falls is story of twelve year old twins “Dipper” and Mabel Pines who have been to spend some time with Great Uncle Stan, who is the owner of the Mystery Shack, a tourist trap museum in Oregon that is centered on cryptids and urban legends. One day, Dipper stumbles upon and old journal that explains that things in the world are not what they appear.
The Show has many strong points that would interest anyone:
First off, the most important point, the writing. Gravity Falls was created by Alex Hirsch, former writer of Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, alongside two big name writers: Pen Ward creator of Adventure Time and J.G. Quintel, the creator of Regular show. It also is co-written and directed by Aaron Springer who has written Sponge Bob and Samurai Jack. Gravity Falls has the witty off kilter humor of those shows, and in many ways better as I have yet to seen a single toilet joke, comparative to even the big names out now. It also references many things the older crowd would get; perfect example would be the Episode “Fight Fighters” which is homage to old school arcade fighting games and beat-um ups like Street Fighter and Final Fight.
The writing team as managed to cook up a very rich universe that is filled with mystery elements. Like I said early on the main characters live and work in this road side museum and have a book that details encounters with things like vampires, ghosts, gnomes and the like. The show deals with popular myths that people love to discuss along with its own creations. The show encourages the views to follow along, to speculate and theorize about the goings on in this small town.
“Who wrote that book?”
“What little thing am I going to pick up on in the background?”
Lastly the characters are vivid and charming, having personalities that we can all see ourselves in. Dipper (voiced by Jason Ritter, the son of late John Ritter) is a smart, inquisitive boy who sees the rational side to situations, but over thinks things and is a hurry to grow up. Mabel (voice by well-known female comedian Kristen Schaal) is an upbeat and at times oblivious, free spirited girl, who isn’t afraid to be herself no matter what. Uncle Stan is a Cynical two bit con artist, who has a soft side. Wendy is the too cool for school and work teen and Soos is the fun loving Man-child.
So if you got the time, Try it out.