Wednesday, 1 November 2017

We're still ga-ga about Gravity Falls. Catching up with Disney's awesome books based on the hit TV series by Alex Hirsch.

We don't tend to watch a lot of TV but now and again a series will catch our eye and we'll end up completely hooked and obsessed with it. Gravity Falls was one such series...
Dreamed up by insane genius Alex Hirsch (who also voices curmudgeonly Grunkle Stan), with the voices of Kristen Schaal as Mabel Pines and Jason Ritter as Dipper Pines, the series opened with a completely chaotic and crazy mix of mystery, suspense and an over-arcing conspiracy plot that Mabel, Dipper and Stan (and a huge cast of awesome supporting characters) all become embroiled in, set in the sleepy town of Gravity Falls itself.

The series has now concluded (sadly) and it's still ludicrously difficult to get hold of episodes of the show, but we thought we'd console ourselves by picking up some of the excellent Disney Publishing titles based on the series' best episodes.

Kicking off with "Pining Away", the story of unrequited love, a multitude of Dipper clones, and of course a burgeoning romance between Mabel and the slightly icky and creepy Gideon (who always reminds us of an infant Donald Trump! Ew!)

This is a chapter book written by Tracey West based on the original scripts, and has tons of illustrations from the series tucked away inside (and of course a great cover too!)

We also really loved the episode where Mabel meets her BFF, who just happens to be a pig called Waddles. In "Once Upon a Swine" (again written by Tracey West and based on a fantastic episode from the show) Dipper and Mabel are at the Mystery Fare.

While Dipper once again tries to woo Wendy (you've got to hand it to that kid, he never gives up!) Mabel finds her soul mate (Waddles) and there's a whole heap of time travel shenanigans that threaten to tear the known universe apart.

Lucky there are time operatives around to put a stop to Dipper's time meddling!

This is probably one of our favourite episodes, and it's great to see the novelisation really capturing the essence of the show, with great illustrations throughout.

Lastly, a picture book this time that rolls up two episodes in one handy "flip-around" book (which is why we're showing you both covers!)

"Happy Summerween" is a fab version of the episode where Dipper and Mabel are gearing up for the quaint Gravity Falls festival of - yep - Summerween. There's candy to gather, but a restless spirit is determined that if the kids don't collect 500 pieces of candy before sunrise, their souls - and their lives - will belong to him.

It's actually quite a creepy episode as the kids (with the help of their friends) try to gather together enough sweets in the nick of time.

Quite dark and spooky, but the picture book version (written this time by Samantha Brook, based on the original series scripts) of the story is pretty sanitised so it should be suitable for younger kids.

Flip the book over for more Gravity Falls fun in the form of...

"The Convenience Store of Horrors" - again a belter of an episode where Mabel and Dipper, along with Wendy, Robbie and a host of other teen dropouts decide to do a bit of Urbex (Urban Exploration) inside a disused convenience store.

But there's more to the old place than meets the eye.

While Mabel succumbs to the ultimate sugar rush, Dipper and the others are forced to entertain a pair of restless old ghosts, the deceased owners of the store who really, really don't like teenagers at all.

Can the Happy Lambie Dance save them all?

Again, written by Samantha Brook, it's a fantastic flip-around book of two awesome episodes gathered together in one illustration-heavy volume (with free stickers too, I mean it couldn't really get much more awesome than that!)

The Gravity Falls books are published by Disney Publishing and are out now (self purchased for review).