Amphibia is picking up where the acclaimed animated series Gravity Falls left off in more ways than one. On the one hand (or paw, or flipper), Amphibia showrunner / creator Matt Braly worked in the art / animation departments for Gravity Falls, also directing a number of episodes for the Disney series’ run, for which he won an Annie Award. On the other hand, Braly’s ongoing show, of which Season 2 launches on the Disney Channel this coming Saturday July 11th, will pay homage to Gravity Falls with guest appearances from creator Alex Hirsch himself and more than a few nods to the iconic series … with a few changes.
We knew that Amphibia was getting a Gravity Falls episode in Season 2, but when I spoke with Braly about it, he was understandably reluctant to give too much away; keep an eye out for that interview tomorrow. However, Variety has the inside track and the first-look images from that special episode, titled “Wax Museum.” Hirsch will star as amphibi-fied versions of both Grunkle Stan and Soos, who cross paths with the Plantars — Anne, Sprig, Hop Pop, and Polly — when they happen upon a mysterious roadside museum of oddities, one that looks curiously like the Mystery Shack. The episode will air on August 8th.
Here’s what Braly had to say about the homage episode:
“I have always wanted to create a ‘Gravity Falls’ tribute in ‘Amphibia.’ I just didn’t know when or how. The two shows share so much DNA that it seemed like a missed opportunity not to have the worlds interact in some fashion. So when ‘Amphibia’ writer Jenava Hudek pitched an episode where the Plantars would stop at a creepy wax museum during their roadtrip, I knew this was our golden opportunity. Jenava herself was a huge ‘Gravity Falls’ fan and leapt at the chance to work with its iconic characters. The decision was made early to feature alternative universe versions of Grunkle Stan and Soos as frogs. This would be the easiest way to pay homage without stepping on anyone’s toes continuity wise.”
Braly also talked about Hirsch not only giving his blessing to the script ahead of time but bringing his signature style to the characters in the booth:
“Not only did he end up voicing the characters but he even improvised a number of his lines in the booth, giving the characters that classic ‘Gravity Falls’ off the cuff flair. It’s no surprise that the ‘Amphibia’ episode ‘Wax Museum’ is one of my favorite episodes of the season and that the Curator and Frog Soos are stand out characters. Working on this episode felt like coming home in a lot of ways.”
Tune in for Season 2 of Amphibia on The Disney Channel this Saturday, and stay tuned for more of our coverage!