Watch My Show: Gravity Falls' Alex Hirsch Answers Our Showrunner Survey
Alex Hirsch | Photo Credits: Todd Wawrychuck/Disney Channel
It's The X-Files meets Twin Peaks — but animated, and for kids. Disney Channel's Gravity Falls, which airs a new episode Aug. 24 at 9:30/8:30c, may be unlike any other cartoon out there. Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal play Dipper and Mabel Pines, siblings who are forced to spend the summer with their eccentric great-uncle in a town where very weird things happen. Creator Alex Hirsch says he conceives each episode like a "little movie," as the show explores its versions of urban legends. We asked him to scare up some reasons why we should investigate Gravity Falls.
TV Guide Magazine: This isn't your parents' Disney Channel. What convinced you that Disney was a good fit?
Alex Hirsch: They bribed me. (Lifetime supply of Mickey hats!) But all kidding aside, Disney Television Animation is going through sort of a renaissance right now. There's a newfound commitment to making creator-driven shows, and the talent that's coming here as a result is amazing. Plus, they let me drive a go-cart through the halls. Who could ask for more? I think if Walt Disney were alive today he'd be proud.
TV Guide Magazine: Anything you're surprised you got away with?
Hirsch: I will say that there's one episode where we chop off Larry King's head with an axe. It's even weirder than it sounds.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Hirsch: Gravity Falls = The Simpsons + Twin Peaks + Making Fun Of My Sister
TV Guide Magazine: Is there a real-life place that inspired the cartoon's setting?
Hirsch: Gravity Falls exists...in your heart. But it also exists in Oregon, which I visited one summer while in college. I also spent many summers camping with my twin sister as a kid, and the time we spent getting cabin fever and mosquito bites in the middle of nowhere is something I always hoped would pay off one day. Finally, it has!
TV Guide Magazine: What would a Gravity Falls ride at Disneyland or California Adventure look like?
Hirsch: Since the show takes place at a roadside tourist museum called the Mystery Shack, it would be amazing if they built a real-life Mystery Shack on of the parks. An animatronic Dipper and Mabel could drive a tour cart through a monster-filled forest, while an animatronic Grunkle Stan would pick your pocket. No refunds!
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing someone has said about Gravity Falls?
Hirsch: "Gravity Falls is the greatest show in the history of mankind!"
TV Guide Magazine: Were they right?
Hirsch: My mom is always right.
TV Guide Magazine: What kind of kid will dig Gravity Falls the most?
Hirsch: I really do think all kids will love it. There's something in there for everyone. Sci-fi for the nerd types, action and butt jokes for the jock types, and romance for the lady types. I fully expect that this show will cause all the kids of the schoolyard to cast off the oppressive labels that divide them and join hands over a mutual love of cartoons.
TV Guide Magazine: What's your favorite mystery or legend? Will we see it in Gravity Falls?
Hirsch: I spent many years of my childhood pondering the great mysteries like, "Are aliens real?" and "Why won't girls talk to me?" I try not to give away too many spoilers, but I can say that fans of the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, UFOs, and Half-Gremlin-Half-Goblin hybrids will not be disappointed.