Disney’s Gravity Falls: Six Strange Tales (DVD)

I have to admit, before checking out this DVD, I had never seen Disney’s Gravity Falls. What was my general reaction? This is one strange, sometimes funny show. Pre-teen twins Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal) and worry wart dipper (Jason Ritter) have been to the small town of Gravity Falls, Oregon to spend the summer with their stern but loving great-uncle, “Grunkle” Stan (series creator Alex Hirsch) and work at his business, a tourist trap called the Mystery Shack.

The twins quickly befriend the Mystery Shack’s only other employees, the obese, somewhat odd Soos (Hirsch, again) and friendly teenager Wendy (Linda Cardelini). Nothing seems particularly exciting or out of the ordinary until Dipper finds a journal full of the town’s secrets, and the cryptic warning: “trust no one.” Being 12, the twins are understandably intrigued. The book suggests the town is inhabited by some weird creatures. Mabel immediately begins hoping for vampires. You see, she’d really like to find her first boyfriend, and having read a lot, believes that’s her best hope of finding one (Twilight, anyone?). It makes perfect sense.

While she does find a boyfriend, he’s not exactly a vampire. I will say this though, Mabel is do bubbly and self assured, she’s probably just the kind of girl most tweens would want to meet. While some of the things found in the journal are definitely a bit weird, Gravity Falls succeeds on the strength of   its humor and creativity. At just 27, creator/executive producer Alex Hirsch clearly isn’t afraid to try new things. It really appears as if each of the half dozen episodes presented here were created with his friends in mind, rather than trying to specifically cater to the tastes of today’s children. As a result, some adults will likely find some things to enjoy about Gravity Falls.

The series first six episodes contained on this set, are as follows:

  1. “Tourist Trapped” (21:04) Initially, Dipper worries that Mabel’s new boyfriend is a zombie. As it turns out, “he” is a quintet of gnomes.
  2. “The Legend of the Gobblewonker” (21:32) Dipper and Mabel abandon Grunkle Stan on Family Fun Day in an effort to win $1000 by snapping a photo of a monster.
  3. “Headhunters” (21:55) After Stan reopens the wax museum, a murder mystery unfolds when Mabel’s sculpture of him is found beheaded.
  4. “The Hand That Rocks Mabel” (22:19) Mabel finds it difficult to turn down the advances of Lil Gideon, Grunkle Stan’s rival psychic.
  5. “The Inconveniencing” (20:27) While hanging out with Wendy and her friends, Di[[er and Mabel break into an abandoned convenience store that just might be haunted.
  6. “Dipper vs. Manliness” (22:34) Minotaur’s help Dipper uncover his manly side. And Mabel helps Stan get the attention of his crush, waitress, Lazy Susan.

Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, you’ll notice some slight ringing around the edges, but it’s nothing that affects the viewing experience. Colors are very good, bringing a definite vibrancy to the proceedings. For a standard definition animation title, this transfer is more than acceptable.

In terms of audio, we are given a basic, but workable Dolby 2.0 presentation. Dialogue is clear and intelligible throughout. English SDH subtitles are provided.

There are no extras on the disc, but inside the case there is a replica of Mystery Book Journal #3. It features scribblings, illustrations, and a Gravity Falls reference map.

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