“Just west of weird.”

I have a fondness for the Disney Channel show “Good Luck Charlie,” (and well, Disney and Disney World in general.) I love it! It’s not just for kids! So while getting my dose of GLC, I kept seeing previews for a new Disney cartoon called “Gravity Falls.” In cartoon form, it looks like a place where someone like myself, who LOVES researching the strange and unusual, would love to live. Like X-Files light, Dipper Pines and his twin sister Mabel Pines go to Gravity Falls, Oregon for the summer to stay with their great uncle, called “Grunkle Stan.” They start to notice things are a little “different” in their home away from home, especially after Dipper finds a strange journal hidden underground written by someone who writes in the book, “Trust no one.” The journal is filled with information about gnomes, monsters and other creepy elements around Gravity Falls discovered by the anonymous author. No one else really seems to notice these strange occurrences (or do they…) but the strangeness gives Dipper and Mabel plenty to investigate while living with their uncle in his “Mystery Shack.”
The Mystery Shack,” “a tourist trap filled with questionable oddities,” according to the official website is filled with objects like crystal balls, a Mayan calendar, eyeballs in jars, a Jackelope and whatever else Grunkle Stan can use to gank money from gullible tourists.
   I enjoyed the “modified” symbolism throughout the shows and the odes to the Ripley’s style objects in the world like the “Fiji Mermaid,” seen in the Mystery Shack. The intro has a collage of photos with the cartoon image of the famous “Bat Boy” seen in grocery store checkout lane magazines like Weekly World News. I said “modified” symbols because while much of them allude to old occult symbols, they are changed a bit so it’s not too “worrisome” for Disney Channel.




The gnomes are hilarious with their cute/feral attitudes, sharp teeth, hissing and mundane names like Jason and Jeff. Not to mention they throw up rainbows! After the duo defeats the wild pack of gnomes, they all run away like rabbits and one gets stuck in one of those 6 pack plastic things everyone always said to “cut up” or the “ducks and birds will get stuck in them all over the world!” It was laugh out loud funny and fellow fans already made animated gifs of the scene.

PT Barnum’s Fiji Mermaid – 1842

So then as I’m on YouTube trying to find some clips of the gnome puking rainbows, the show gets even cooler! It turns out the show has some backwards speech and secret messages in it. According to this post on July, Friday the 13th (oooooOoOOOOo), in reference to the backwards speech heard at the end of the theme song that says, “three letters back.” Comments stated:

It’s a cipher, it says “three letters back”, when u use it with the scrambled letters from the hidden picture you get the message, “STAN IS NOT WHAT HE SEEMS.” I got chills when I figured that out ಠ_ಠ

As I continued down the comments, I found another one that made reference to the symbols seen in the cartoon:

 that’s the point. it isn’t an Illuminati subliminal thing. they use tact to influence. the pyramid in the hat is a gag on the Illuminati. this show makes plenty of occult, conspiracy, taboo and more mature jokes. hell if I’m not mistaken they have slender man in the show. it is a way to add an air of mystery to the show.

              FlCl3000 in reply to sweet49101

Illuminati? Occult symbols? I knew I loved this show for a reason.
When I watch cartoons, I always notice when there’s that “adult” element in the writing. There are things that will go over a kids head but an adult will sit there and chuckle, knowing where the reference came from. I’ve always loved and appreciated when that’s well done in a cartoon.

   I started to wonder how old the creators of the show were and my suspicions were correct when I read the show was created, directed and produced by Alex Hirsch, born in 1985! Aha!  I knew it! Young blood from my generation!

So by far, my favorite character on the show is Lil’ Gideon, a stereotype of the sweet talking, persuasive televangelist always promising heavenly rewards and asking for money. Dipper and Mabel see a commercial advertising Gideon on TV. “Welcome to the Tent of Telepathy!” states the cartoon child, dressed in a powder blue suit, unnaturally big and perfectly coiffed hair, complete with an American Flag pin on the front pocket of his little powder blue suit jacket. 

Great Gideon quotes: “I can buy and sell you old man”and  “I REBUKE THEE!”



   I do have a soft spot for Mabel as well. She’s voiced by the incredibly hilarious Kristen Schaal, who I was introduced to in the TV show, The Flight of the Conchords, which, might I add…should never have ended after only two seasons.
Disney only does four seasons of their shows and never release them onto DVD for whatever stupid reason, so I’m probably accurate in saying, “enjoy it while you can!” And I look forward to seeing what else Alex Hirsch creates down the road.

This website allows you to put the coded words you find in the show and it will easily convert the message.

So do you love this cartoon? Have you noticed strange and fun stuff? Feel free to comment.

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