"Gravity Falls" is one of the most beloved cartoons of the past decade. It is a show that forever changed Disney XD, with a love for genre, and a level of lore and world-building that isn't very common in animated shows. The show followed the Pines siblings, Dipper and Mabel, who are sent to spend the summer with their great-uncle (or "Grunkle" for short) Stan in a small town in Oregon called Gravity Falls, which is full of supernatural creatures.
Throughout the show, we see a number of mysteries being raised, strange phenomena occurring, and an inter-dimensional being starting to hold a grudge against the Pines that grew into a burning desire to destroy the world.
This culminated with a three-part finale of truly apocalyptic proportions — fitting, since the episode is titled "Weirdmageddon" — that showed the final confrontation between the Pines family and Bill Cipher. It is a very emotional finale, one of the best in animation, but it doesn't tie up every single loose end, especially since it drops a secret message in its final moments that continues to make fans speculate.
That was very much intentional on its creatives' part. As creator Alex Hirsch told The Mary Sue, "I like stories that complete their emotional arcs, but still leave some lingering threads to chew on. It gives the fans something to theorize on, and it gives me a window back into that world if I ever choose to return to it."
It's About The Characters Rather Than The Lore
The two trickiest things to pull off on TV are a good beginning and a good ending. You need a great start in order to hook audiences, and then a good ending so as to not sour the entire experience. But even if the first episode isn't 100% great, there is a chance to course correct in the second or third episode. But an ending? There's no coming back from that, just as there's no convincing parents who named their kids Daenerys that they didn't make a horrible choice. As good as the "Dexter" revival season was, there is no erasing that horrible final season — which fans were so disappointed with that they temporarily turned the r/Dexter subreddit into a "Breaking Bad" one during its final episodes.
The importance of an ending is especially true of animated shows, which don't always get the benefit of a proper ending, since cartoons are usually aired out of order and therefore not granted serialization. There are exceptions, of course, which make them even more special. Shows like "Avatar: The Last Airbender," "Phineas and Ferb," and "The Legend of Korra" all added something spectacular, and delivered series finales that served as both satisfying conclusions and also as good episodes in their own right.
The "Gravity Falls" finale in particular is interesting because, like Alex Hirsch said, it leaves some dangling threads while mostly focusing on the emotional arc of the characters — which it does, spectacularly. This is not at all dissimilar to how shows like "The Leftovers" and "Lost" treated their finales, focusing on ending the emotional journeys of the characters rather than answering every single lore question.
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The post Alex Hirsch Left The Ending Of Gravity Falls Intentionally Vague (In Case He Wants to Return to It) appeared first on /Film.