'Gravity Falls' is quickly becoming one of my favorite animated shows so far. Why? It's very simple: it's based from where I come from!
I have never been a native Missourian (have only lived here for about five years or so), but I actually grew up in Oregon in a middle-sized town in the Willamette Valley, about twenty miles from the state capitol of Salem. For many years, my home state has really gotten a bad rap. Most people believe that we are only about trees, logging, and so forth. This is somewhat true, but not completely. There is actually a lot more to us than a lot of people think.
When I first heard of [Gravity Falls](series:1085907), the first thing I though was 'OMG! Another reason to burn off my home!' But, as I started watching the show, I actually started really getting into it. In fact, they actually hit a lot of things that I had forgotten about since I moved here to the Midwest. So, I began thinking: how much cred does this show really have about home?
It turns out that there is a lot more about Gravity Falls than I first realized. For one thing, I knew we were a haven for a lot of paranormal and strange events, but in the same token, I was never really one to buy into all of that 100%, as most people do are usually the tourists that keep passing through. I mean, Icome froma place where we used to hold the only timber-cutting festival in the world where we hosted lumberjacks from all over, and it was held in my own hometown! Lumber as a competitive sport? Hmmm.....
I did a little digging just to see how much of what had been created had any truth to it. In most cases, there is usually a shred of truth in some respects to what any screenwriter creates. But, as it turns out, there may be a little more truth to the animated small town than I realized:
The show's creator, Alex Hirsh, has actually spent time in my old stomping grounds when he worked for Laika Animation Studios in Portland, OR as an intern on a scrapped project. Hirsch remembers those times he had there along with his twin sister, Ariel, in an interview with The Oregonian back in 2012 when the show wasfirst in developmentfor Disney XD:
"That was just the most fun summer I've ever had," Hirsch said. "We went whitewater rafting and skydiving and I fell in love with Oregon over that summer. When you write scripts, it begins to feel like you're living in them. Well, if I'm going to be writing a lot of scripts, it might as well be (in) Oregon, which I enjoyed so much."
This was what brought onhis inspiration for the series, which he was not sure if it was going to be renewed or not (*which it's new season begins soon). But, he admits that there is a lot of truth behind Gravity Falls and tells about what it was based off of:
1) Gravity Falls is loosely based off a small Oregon town, Boring, OR, that he had never visited but actually passed by.
Boring is actually an unincorporated community that lies just outside of the Portland suburbs or Gresham and Clackamas (I used to live near the area a long time ago). It was founded in 1903 by former Union solder William H. Boring and had been called 'Boring Junction' before the name change. It's known mostly form the timber industry, fiberglass refabrication, and is also a campus to the Guide Dogs for the Blind, a program used to train dogs to be used in the help of the visually disabled.
2) 'The Mystery Shack' does exist, but is known as the 'Mystery Spot', and is located in Santa Cruz, CA.
Hirsch commented on this place when he didhis interview, and this is what he had to say:
"I've been to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz and they're always so, so disappointing when you get there and that, to me, is really funny," he said. "You see four teenagers running the place and how rundown it is and it just made me think, what a great location for a comedy that would be."
The Mystery Spot is an optical illusion - based attraction in Santa Cruz that is actually what is termed as a 'gravity hill'. It plays tricks on the mins as well as the customer's equilibrium, makingthem not trust their senses when they are first inside. Hence, the creation of the main base of Gravity Falls, The Mystery Shack!
3) The town was also made from a mish-mash of national parks from the area, included a paranormal area from my home State known as 'the Oregon Vortex'
Yet another optical illusion house like the Mystery Spot, and as far a the national parks around Boring, there are probably too many to number.....
Now, as far the series focus, the myserious journals that were found by twin Dipper and Mabel Pines, Hirsch has not shed any light as to where he got the idea from, so it still leaves aus a little bit in the dark as to how he conceived of the idea.
But, it is definitely true that Oregon is not without its mysteries. Many that have been in the series were onviously created from the Hirsch's own imagination, but as for the true nature of supernatural events from my home, stay tuned for my next article on the subject!
Until next time!