On October 15th, the Disney Channel released a spooky DVD set of their popular animated series, “Gravity Falls.” The week before Halloween, in spirit of the scary holiday, I watched all six episodes featured on the DVD with my nieces (age 9 and 5) and it was perfect. “Gravity Falls: Six Strange Tales” featured the first 6 episodes of the series that are admittedly strange (in the best possible way) such as “The Legend of the Gobblewonker” and “Headhunters.”
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.
The episodes included in the collection are:
- “Tourist Trapped”
- “The Legend of the Gobblewonker”
- “The Hand That Rocks the Mabel”
- “The Inconveniencing”
- “Dipper vs. Manliness”
The pilot episode, “Tourist Trapped” immediately solidified the show for me. In the episode, twins Dipper and Mabel Pines arrive in Gravity Falls, Oregon, to stay with their great-uncle Stan (voiced by series creator Alex Hirsch) at his tourist trap, the Mystery Shack. But when Dipper discovers a hidden journal documenting the paranormal side of the town, he begins to believe that his twin-sister was dating a zombie. The story like is both cute and “scary” while incorporating some of the most known horror movie tropes adapted for children.
Both my nieces loved “The Hand That Rocks The Mabel” and wanted to rewatch that episode 3 times during the 24 hours I had them at my house.
I had never seen this show before now but my 9-year-old niece swore that it was “AH-MAZING.” It definitely reminded me some of the weirder shows I liked as a kid but also as an adult watching the series, I loved hearing some of my favorite actors provide the voices for some of the characters. Jason Ritter, most known for appearing on “Parenthood” and “The Event” provided the voice of Dipper pines while one of my MOST LOVED actresses, Kristen Shaal, you know her from “Flight of the Conchords” and “Bob’s Burgers,” voiced Mabel Pines. I also loved seeing themes and stories from actual horror movies that I enjoy replayed for the younger audience in a comedic way.
Overall, this is a great collection to own. The episodes are hilarious and odd and endearing at the same time. Adults won’t mind putting this DVD (or any other episodes of “Gravity Falls”) on while any children in your life will love the animated world of the show. And don’t worry, “Gravity Falls” is not scary or spooky enough to give even the most timid and fearful children nightmares. Trust me!