Gravity Falls (found pitch pilot of Disney Channel animated mystery comedy series; 2010)

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Gravity falls logo.jpeg

The show's logo.

Status: Found

Date found:
03 Aug 2016 (official upload)
25 Apr 2024 (complete)

Found by: Alex Hirsch (official upload)
Anonymous (complete)

Sometime in 2010, animator Alex Hirsch began work on a pitch pilot for what would soon become the hit Disney mystery series Gravity Falls. Created in Adobe Flash, the pilot ran for 12 minutes and was essentially a cut-down version of the first official episode, "Tourist Trapped."[1]


In a Reddit IAMA conducted by Alex Hirsch, when asked if the unaired pilot would ever be released, he replied that it "would be like showing you awkward photos from my high school prom", and that he wouldn't want it to be seen. Additionally, the pilot used licensed songs that Hirsch didn't have the right to use commercially, meaning that there may have been legal problems with releasing it, on DVD or otherwise.

Despite that, on July 25th, 2016, Alex revealed that if the puzzle that was a part of the unofficial Cipher Hunt was completed, then he would release the pilot online.[2] It was completed about a week later,[3] and on August 3rd, 2016, it was released on The Mystery of Gravity Falls' website under the username of RETURNBACKWARDS and the password of TOTHEPASTAGAINTHREE.[4] It was also uploaded to YouTube with little to no difficulty or conflict (albeit private). Though it was unknown at that time, the pilot that Hirsch had uploaded was not the complete version that was animated as more animated footage and various storyboards of the pilot resurface and suggests that the pilot had more to offer than what Hirsch had uploaded.

In June 2022, more footage of the pilot was rediscovered on an animation reel from 2011 that was uploaded onto YouTube in 2016 by the animator Alfredo Cassano. Two years later, in April 25th, 2024, the full Gravity Falls pilot episode, along with several other Disney original series pilots, were anonymously leaked and posted online.




The complete pitch pilot.

See Also

Gravity Falls

Disney Channel

Playhouse Disney

Disney Junior

Toon Disney

Disney XD


External Links