Gravity Falls

 
Clever sibling story has some spooky stuff for kids.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

The stories appeal to a kid's sense of adventure and imagination and put a fun spin on the idea of the supernatural. The twins share a sweet relationship despite their personality differences and always have each other's back when danger befalls them.

Positive role models

Stan's not the ideal role model, and he's known to put his love of money before the kids' needs (like when he teaches them how to counterfeit it). But when it comes down to it, he does care about them and tries his best to show it in his own obscure way. Mabel and Dipper don't always see eye to eye, but they set aside their differences to work toward common goals.

Violence & scariness

Close encounters with supernatural creatures (zombies, lake monsters, etc.) and brushes with other mysteries of the forest make for some tense moments. There's no violence, but the kids' adventures lead to some mishaps like falls and crashes.

Sexy stuff

Mabel is forever on the lookout for love, often trying to use flirtatious smiles to turn the head of the guys she meets. An overweight character shows the top of his rear end when his pants ride a little low.

Language

"Butt" is as strong as it gets.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Gravity Falls is a cleverly written cartoon series with humor that will be better appreciated by older kids and tweens than by young kids because of its fast pace and content that often assumes a certain amount of life experience from viewers. The generally spooky feel of many scenes and the characters' run-ins with monsters and supernatural beings of various forms may be too much for kids who are sensitive to this kind of scare. Those who do tune in will enjoy watching the complicated and imperfect sibling dynamics between the main characters, which always ends in an affirmation of their affection for each other.

What's the story?

GRAVITY FALLS follows the misadventures of twins Dipper (voiced by Jason Ritter) and Mabel Pines (Kristen Schaal) in the rustic, mysterious forest of Gravity Falls, Oregon, where they're sent for the summer to live with their curmudgeonly relative, Grunkle Stan (Alex Hirsch). When they're not poking around in Stan's knick-knack shop, The Mystery Shack, they head for the woods to explore their new surroundings. When Dipper discovers an old journal that holds cryptic keys to the mysteries of the town and its motley collection of residents, he and his sister set out to discover what's behind the strange happenings.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Just when you think cookie-cutter cartoon series have become the norm, out of nowhere comes Gravity Falls, a slightly irreverent comedy about two fish-out-of-water visitors to an off-the-beaten-path burg that's brimming with small-town secrets and unusual characters. Although Dipper and Mabel take very different views of the nature of their adventures and often have differing opinions about how to proceed, when push comes to shove, their sibling bond makes them a formidable team in the face of whatever this bizarre town throws their way.

As far as the show's content goes, there's not much to worry about, but in many ways, this series is better suited for slightly older audience members who will pick up on the subtleties of the clever Simpsons-esque writing and characterizations that will go unnoticed by youngsters. What's more, there are some tense moments during monster encounters and other mysteries that may frighten kids who are sensitive to that kind of scare.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the supernatural questions that Gravity Falls raises. Do you believe in ghosts, monsters, and the other types of creatures that Dipper and Mabel encounter? Are there any "mysteries" in your family or town that you'd like to solve?

  • What is this show's message about family relationships? Do you think it set out to make a statement about this, or did it just happen? Do the nature of any of the relationships surprise you?

  • Is stereotyping a concern in this cartoon? Where do you draw the line between characterizations and stereotypes? Are stereotypes always harmful?

This review of Gravity Falls was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byGF Lover March 9, 2013
age 9+
 

Gravity Falls is amazing! Please just give it a chance!

I've read a few of the other reviews on this website for Gravity Falls, and I'm just a little disappointed that some people haven't really given it much of a chance. Now, I grew up on 90's cartoons, which are often revered as being amazing when compared to the modern ones. I agree with this, to a point. Even the wonderful shows, "Adventure Time" and the "Regular Show", haven't impressed me to the point of thinking differently. In fact, I thought most cartoons nowadays are horrible, due to how unfunny or un-entertaining they are. Until I stumbled on Gravity Falls. When I saw the promos for this show, I was on the fence. Personally, I thought it would be just 'okay'. When I saw the premiere, I was blown out of the water and blown away by just how amazing it is. The comedy, the mystery, the plots, the character development... All of it is truly wonderful. It's the best cartoon the Disney Channel has ever had, and that's coming from someone who grew up during the 90's. A lot of people attack it for the supposed "Illuminati" and "Freemason" symbols and the occult hints in the show, but that's just a part of Gravity Falls' charm. In fact, the show often MAKES FUN OF conspiracy theorists and conspiracies. If there's one thing Gravity Falls DOESN'T promote, it's occultism and magic. The characters often get into trouble for the very few times they use it and suffer consequences. The main VILLAIN uses magic, while the main characters (the heroes) typically do not. On top of that, there are a lot of good, heartfelt moral lessons at the core of this great show. *SOME SPOILERS AHEAD* The first episode deals with the importance of trust and the bonds shared between siblings. The second episode promotes the importance of spending time with your family. The third deals with standing up for yourself. The fourth deals with honesty. The fifth deals with being yourself... Seriously, the list goes on and on. And that's not even counting the many minor lessons embedded underneath the main ones. As with many other modern cartoons, there is a little violence and there are a few moments that might scare children (and freak out adults a little bit). For example, in the fourth episode there is a part where the main character, Dipper, gets in a fight with the main villain, Gideon. Gideon uses his magic to levitate Dipper in the air, levitate a pair of shears in the air, and then tells Dipper that he's going to make sure that "he never lies to him again". Which, in truth, probably meant that he was going to cut out his tongue. But it doesn't happen, and Dipper ends up safe. Plus, it's never DIRECTLY said what Gideon is going to do to Dipper, so younger kids won't really understand and the older ones are old enough to be able to handle it. Despite the series' dark undertones, I HIGHLY recommend that you don't pass over this show for a few scares and some weird symbols. It doesn't promote anything bad, and I've even learned a few things myself from it. On top of that, the creator (Alex Hirsch) is a really awesome guy. I've read a few of his Twitter posts and some other interviews he's done. You can tell, from reading them, that he puts his heart into making this show, and it really shows. And I thank Alex for making such a great cartoon that, even an older person like myself, enjoys. The comedy is golden. The plots are clever. The characters are relatable and charming. Even Grunkle Stan (the main characters' great uncle) is truly, at the center, a good guy. Please, I beg you, do NOT pass over this show. It's too good for that. Plus, I guarantee that your kids will love it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written bySoundguardian July 1, 2012
age 8+
 

Best Cartoon I've Seen in a While

As I was just about to lose hope in today's cartoons, here comes Gravity Falls, a unique show that is set in a glorious idyllic woodsy town. Some themes may be a bit scary for kids, however older audiences will enjoy the cultural references and the plot-lines dealing with the paranormal and the odd. Great characters as well.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bydr dew June 21, 2012
age 5+
 

super cute

well i watched this program and laughed my head off i exspecualy loved mable lol it also has a good message about being brave in the face of danger or facing your fears but it just may be too intence for smaller kids but if they can handle a few scary sceens and understand that dipper and mable will make it threw its hilarous fun for all ages ps i am 22 lol so u know its good
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence

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