This Friday, Disney Channel's "Gravity Falls" is going where many, many arcade games have gone before; but not cartoons. When pre-teen Dipper gets mad at his crushes' boyfriend, he accidentally summons the greatest street fighter in the world... Straight out of an arcade game.
We got a chance to check out the episode before it airs, courtesy of the fine folks at Disney, and for any fan of pixelated video games, you're gonna flip. There's the main character Rumble McSkirmish, who hits (literally) every single trope from old school fighting games like "Street Fighter" and "Mortal Kombat." But the show is also jam-packed with references to pretty much every arcade game ever, and even some non-arcade games: the post credit clip includes probably the best "Super Mario Brothers 2" joke ever seen on television.
Not only that, but the episode continues the show's trend of being the weird step-cousin to golden years "Simpsons." There's all the ridiculous video game jokes you can handle (Grunklestan plays what might be the best/worst arcade game ever invented); but there's also a huge amount of heart in the characters, and caring for the scenarios. Like "The Simpsons" in its prime, these are characters that care about each other, and want to help...but also don't forget to be ridiculously funny. In a world filled with snark-a-thons or too-treacly message-filled kids programming, "Gravity Falls" is becoming a rare treat.
Oh, and there's the main draw, which is the amazing collusion of pixelated animation with hand-drawn in a way we've never seen before. Point is, it's a good episode.
Anyway, here's a clip - and another picture - from the show, and be sure to tune in Friday, September 14 at 9:30pm on Disney Channel.