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Creator Alex Hirsch Talks GRAVITY FALLS, How He Ended Up Making a Show for the Disney Channel, His Love for TV Animation and More
by Christina Radish
The Disney Channel animated comedy series Gravity Falls, from creator/executive producer/writer/director Alex Hirsch, follows city kids Dipper (voiced by Jason Ritter) and Mabel Pines (voiced by Kristen Schaal), who are sent to spend the summer with their eccentric Great Uncle Stan, aka Grunkle Stan (voiced by Hirsch), who runs a tourist trap called The Mystery Shack in a remote northwestern town where nothing is what it seems. With creatures in the forest, monsters in the lake and time travel a possibility, things get very interesting for the twins as they quickly realize they need each other, in order to unlock the secrets of the quirky and mysterious town.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, CalArts graduate Alex Hirsch talked about what initially interested him in animation, how he ended up creating a show for the Disney Channel, what inspired the idea for Gravity Falls, how his relationship with his own twin sister growing up is really what’s at the heart of this show, the craziest summer experience that he’s personally had, the process for deciding the look of the show and characters, and how his family feels about being represented on the show. He also talked about what he loves about television animation, and how he’d love to branch out and do an adult animated series, at some point. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The most helpful article you’ll read this weekend. Guaranteed. Count us in as fans of Alex Hirsch, GRAVITY FALLS, and Collider.Com.
EDITED TO ADD: Those of you who are always curious about how people get started should be especially interested in this. We know we were:
How did you end up getting the series on the air?
HIRSCH: Disney approached me. I was working at Cartoon Network, at the time, on a show called Flapjack, and a Disney executive, Mike Moon, just cold-called me. He’d seen one of my student films and really liked it, and said, “Would you like to develop a show for the Disney Channel?” I hadn’t thought about developing a show for the Disney Channel, but I thought, “Maybe this is the place that would be interested in my weird Twin Peaks meets The Simpsonsseries. From the moment that I pitched it to them until now, I’ve just been really surprised and really grateful for the fact that they’ve embraced it. They never tinkered with it. They never said, “Add a talking race car,” or anything like that. They’ve respected and been excited by my vision, the whole way through. I’m very fortunate.