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Gravity Falls post-mortem

Discussion in 'Disney/Pixar Forum' started by Toonberculosis, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Toonberculosis

    Toonberculosis Gets Two Scoops

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    Sorry if I'm retreading old ground here, but I couldn't find any recent threads about this show unless you count laughing at the Russian bootleg.

    How did Gravity Falls, one of my favorite cartoons ever, go from one of the hottest and most talked about cartoons of early 2010s, to pretty much being dead? Don't tell me it's because it ended either. There is still plenty of fan content and requests to bring back things like Danny Phantom or Hey Arnold that also ended long ago. It seems that most of the content creators (fanartists, writers and the like) have moved onto greener pastures. I think plenty of people including myself were disappointed in the ending and the overall rushed feeling of the production after Ford was introduced.

    How did Alex Hirsch go from being the undisputed king of animation in that same time frame to being an unemployed nobody who rants about Donald Trump on twitter all day? I heard about some things on Fox and him co-writing some Pikachu movie, but it feels like a fall from grace after being pretty much the biggest name in animation since Matt Groening.
     
  2. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    I find it rather disrespectful the way you talk about Alex Hirsch.

    Was Hey Arnold such a hype in 2005? Or Danny Phantom in 2008? Doubt it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. I.R. Shokew

    I.R. Shokew DISGRACED and Rooting ONLY for Underdogs

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    Alright, another complaint thread... Allow me to say some words...

    Shokew, OUT.
     
  4. ShadowBeast

    ShadowBeast Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the only thing I agree with is Alex's trump rants. Otherwise I agree with you. At least Gravity Falls ended on Alex's terms, while Hey Arnold and Danny Phantom were both canned.
     
  5. Toonberculosis

    Toonberculosis Gets Two Scoops

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    I'm not being disrespectful to Hirsch. The man quit on his show and Disney, that's a fact. Read some of the early interviews he gave during season 1, he was talking about 3 seasons and a movie. Then it became just two seasons, with a very underwhelming finale. In one of the post-finale interviews he gave, he said that he was originally going to quit during season 1 but was pressured by Disney to at least finish his show.

    As for the second part, that only reinforces what I'm saying. Those shows petered out after time, yes, but they still have very visible fandoms, while Gravity Falls was killed during its height and it seems to have hurt its popularity afterward.

    This isn't a complaint thread, and as I said there hasn't been much discussion on Gravity Falls here. If you are triggered by the discussion than just ignore the thread, your presence wasn't required not requested here.
     
  6. ShadowBeast

    ShadowBeast Well-Known Member

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    He lowered the seasons to 2 because it wouldn't make sense for an entire Summer to be three seasons long. He was being realistic on the days of Summer. Three seasons would mean 60 episodes and with only two months, it wouldn't add up.

    Do you have a source?

    I still hear about the show quite often.
    Aside from the movie, I don't see much discussion about Hey Arnold either, as well as Danny Phantom.
     
  7. Toonberculosis

    Toonberculosis Gets Two Scoops

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    Unfortunately I cant post links yet, but the interview is on avclub and titled "See you next summer" Alex Hirsch says goodbye to Gravity Falls, here is the relevant quote:
    Season one was such a difficult thing. I’d never made a television show before, and just the type of show this is—the amount of callbacks and continuity, the level of artistry, the complicatedness of it—was very taxing. And in the middle of season one—I remember I was on my fourth all-nighter in a row—I promised myself, “This is it. You’re not making another season. You’re done.” Because I was wiped out.

    I respect Hirsch for the creative world he gave us, but no doubt he sandbagged toward the end. Compared to the blood and sweat Daron Nefcy puts into Star vs the Forces of Evil, which has now surpassed Gravity Falls in length, he comes off as a whiny millennial in this quote.
     
  8. jaylop97

    jaylop97 L Twins

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    Production of a show can be really hectic to some people and in this case we can't be so sure how different are the Gravity Falls Staff to the Star Vs the Forces of Evil staff and how much will the creator put in effort in the show, that isn't a reason why should a creator be given criticism especially in that quote where he says "that he has never made a show before" so to him he really did have a lot to learn and work with as someone with experience not so great.
     
  9. Deebee

    Deebee Purple Puma

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    Sometimes it takes shows a while to grow a following. Young fans who can't have much of an online presence need time to grow up.

    For an example, only recently has Old School Lane been talking about As Told By Ginger on YouTube, and only a couple years or so ago did Debbiedoobie complete all her written reviews of the show's episodes. It can be quite a while before fellow fans come out of the woodworks.

    By comparison, I still see plenty of people mentioning Gravity Falls as one of the best cartoons and whatnot. I daresay it has a far bigger following than most cartoons, especially ones from when the Internet was still young, like Hey Arnold.
     
  10. ShadowBeast

    ShadowBeast Well-Known Member

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    Considering how much more details and continuity Gravity Falls has over Star Vs. You can't really compare them. Star Vs. can't even give Jackie her full potential, and let's not forget about the disappearing characters.
     
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  11. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
    Staff Member Moderator Reporter

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    For the record, the interview where he talks about this is at http://www.avclub.com/article/see-you-next-summer-alex-hirsch-says-goodbye-gravi-232432. I do think it's a bit of a mis-characterization to say Disney "pressured" him into finishing the show. The full quote of what he says in the interview on this is:

    I recall a different interview where Alex had said that Disney was not happy about the idea that he was going to stop after season 1, but were willing to let him move on after just 1 if he really couldn't do anything more. It sounds more like, "If you don't want to quit, we need 20 more episodes."

    I also think you're selling him rather short as a "whiny millennial" for saying he didn't want to keep going after four all-nighters in a row. That kind of sustained sleep deprivation is what they do to break Navy SEALs in training, and it is remarkably effective at cracking the toughest of the tough. If he wanted to do it right and was putting in that kind of time to do it (and, frankly, I think it shows) I am not going to judge him harshly for saying he couldn't sustain that kind of pace for the originally intended 3 seasons and a movie.

    In any event, he gave a separate interview with the AV Club at http://www.avclub.com/article/gravity-falls-creator-alex-hirsch-talks-v-clubs-ow-232059, where he says he's on the front-end of a few different projects. Development in animation is a long, painstaking, and often frustrating start-and-stop process, so the fact that he's spending a non-trivial amount of time on Twitter talking politics isn't so unusual to me. Until a show is greenlit, I think the development process can have long gaps between updates which can leave someone with a lot of free time on their hands.
     
    • Winner Winner x 5
    #11 Ed Liu, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  12. Toonberculosis

    Toonberculosis Gets Two Scoops

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    Yes, because Gravity Falls did so much better with Wendy or Pacifica, or heck even Ford who felt wasted.

    Gravity Falls premiered in 2012 and ended in 2016, almost four years of development for two seasons of a show. Compare that to Avatar: The Last Airbender, which ran for 3 and a half years, had three seasons (also in the 20 episode range), was far more beautifully animated and had a story that ran from start to ending with very few skippable episodes, by two showrunners just as inexperienced at making their own show as Alex Hirsch was. They were able to put together more material, arguably a far better show, in less time, and under just as much pressure from the mean ol' network executives as Hirsch was. They didn't whine or make excuses or hop on twitter and blame their bosses. They got the work done.

    Alex Hirsch rushed his ending, why he was pulling "four all-nighters" to give us garbage like Roadside Attraction or Weird Part 2 we will never know for sure, but there is more to running a cartoon than the silly images that reach our screen and somewhere along the production behind closed doors I think Hirsch messed up badly.
     
  13. ShadowBeast

    ShadowBeast Well-Known Member

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    Alex didn't expect Pacifica to become so popular and regrets not using Wendy as much as he had wanted to. Ford came in mid-second season. So it's not like they had plenty of episodes use him without leaving out the other characters.
     
  14. PhineasPines

    PhineasPines Member

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    I would like to see you try and accomplish the amazing work Alex Hirsch has done, since it seems you do not realize just how much work goes in to being the showrunner of an animated series with the amount of continuity as Gravity Falls
     
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  15. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I still see at least a decent amount of attention for the series. It's not quite as big as when new episodes were airing, but I still see quite a bit of fan art for the series and it's still widely regarded as a good solid series. It can take time for a fanbase to grow large for a particular show. Shows like Hey Arnold and Danny Phantom had years for their fanbases to grow, so they have a nostalgic factor in their favor. I also think that people wanted more from both series compared to Gravity Falls. People have wanted a conclusion to Hey Arnold for ages and while we got a conclusion to Danny Phantom, people still liked the idea of getting another season with Danny working without his secret identity or getting a reboot. From what I could tell, most fans seemed to be pretty content with the finale for Gravity Falls. It felt like a satisfying conclusion for me, so while more of the series definitely would have been nice, it also left at a good stopping point to where only having two seasons under its belt wasn't really a bad thing.

    I don't really like the notion of judging the creator so harshly though. I imagine that few, if any, members here know all of the work, time, money and effort it takes to make an animated series. Judging him because of how much he uses Twitter or because he didn't want to make a third season seems unnecessarily harsh. It's not like we know what he does every day, how he manages his time or anything like that.
     
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  16. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Hero Fan
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    Yeah, I don't know much about the fandom but it still seems pretty popular to me. Disney still pushes it on TV when a lot of cancelled series would seem to have never existed after this much time passed. It's a modern kids tv show that has people in my age range dressing up as characters for Halloween, and that feels a little surreal to me. That just kind of tells me that it probably had some reach.

    As far as work goes, I know Alex was doing some script stuff for Sony's animated Spider-Man but I'd be interested in any tv work of his from here on out.

    Sent from my HTC6500LVW using Tapatalk
     
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  17. Toonberculosis

    Toonberculosis Gets Two Scoops

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    "Let's see your cartoon then!!!1" is the exact argument I saw Alex make to some critic on twitter. That's not an argument, it's just being a jerk. You don't need to be a chef to tell there is a fly in the soup.
     
  18. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    But there is no fly in the soup. You ordered tomato soup with meatballs and expected a classy haute-cuisine soup with some fancy French name.

    Your criticism on the last nine episodes are justified and I partly agree with them, too, but the show is over and if Hirsch felt like he did a good job, then that's what he did. Gravity Falls is a cartoon. A form of art / entertainment. You can never satisfy everyone with art. There is no reason at all for being angry at Hirsch. He is not a nobody. He will be remember fondly by many people around the world.
     
  19. Toonberculosis

    Toonberculosis Gets Two Scoops

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    I was just asking what happened to him, "nobody" is an exaggeration but its like he's been MIA since Gravity Falls outside of the occasional appearance to hawk merchandise. I heard he was going to make a new cartoon but it seems that may have not materialized? Obviously, he will be remembered for Gravity Falls, but what if he turns out to be another John K, a one hit wonder whose career was cut short by their own obsessive micromanagement tendencies?
     
  20. ShadowBeast

    ShadowBeast Well-Known Member

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    It takes time to make a cartoon. Craig McCracken will be making another cartoon for Disney and we haven't heard much more than that. The show has only been over for a year and a half.
     

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