Creator Alex Hirsch talks about the long-awaited second season of Disney’s how the cult series is evolving to meet expectations. By Tom McLean. — and
Acult hit, Gravity Falls’ return has been long awaited by fans of the series about twins who experience strange doings on summer vacation in the town of Gravity Falls, Ore. The series returns with its second season Aug. 1 on Disney Channel and Aug. 4 on Disney XD.
Creator Alex Hirsch, who drew upon his own experiences as a kid in creating the spooky series, is both relieved and excited that the second season is finally coming to pass — giving the show’s fans something new to talk about. What are the broad strokes of what we will see in season two and how have things changed since season one? I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you! A lot of big secrets and surprises this season, and twists and turns in the story, which make it difficult to describe as we don’t want to spoil anything. But I can tell you that season one left us on a cliffhanger: The kids’ uncle was revealed to have some secret machinery under his shack and some connection to the mysterious book that Dipper had been keeping with him the entire season. This season, we dig deeper into the mythology of the town. We learn more about the complex past of some of the characters and how they’re connected to big future events that are looming on the horizon of the series. What are some of the creative challenges you found in season two? From a production point of view, our team has never been stronger. We had an amazing team in season one, but when you’re trying to put together a team for the first time on a TV series, you’re trying to convince a bunch of strangers to go to an uncharted island that none of them have ever seen or heard of before. When you’re doing a second season, everyone’s already seen the show, so you have the luxury of hiring people who are already fans and already understand the tone. We definitely amped up the ambition of some of our episodes this season. They’re more like movies, just in terms of detail and action and invention, and our team is up to the challenge. This show has a bit of a cult following. Was that a surprise for you? What were some of the responses you’ve gotten from the fans? When we were first starting, I had no idea if people would even watch the show, let alone tattoo characters from it onto parts of their bodies. I could not have possibly prepared myself for the degree of sweaty, crazed enthusiasm that would follow the show. I’m very humbled and grateful for the fan response, particularly as we had a big hiatus between season one and season two. We needed a little break after season one, and the question was: Will the fans follow us? Will they wait? We recently did an event at the L.A. Film Festival, and I remember thinking: ‘Gosh, it’s been a year since season one. Will anybody even show up?’ And, of course, it was sold out immediately, with rabid fans that came to get things signed and give me their fan art and tell me stories. For an extended version of this Q&A, visit AnimationMagazine.net.