I was 19-years-old when ‘The Owl House,’ created by Dana Terrace, premiered. I was itching to watch another cartoon because Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe: Future had just ended. So after watching YouTuber, ‘It’s Rebecca Rose’s’ video titled “How To Write A Bully, A Look At Amity Blight,” I decided to give it a watch.
The beginning of the show was a classic magic adventure cartoon. Luz Noceda, the protagonist, is a human who discovers the Demon Realm and wants to learn magic to become a witch. The mentor, Eda Clawthorne, guides her the best she can inside the Owl House. Inside the house lives King, a fierce but adorable demon, and Hooty, a bird from my nightmares. Next, we learn more about Boiling Isles, an archipelago formed from the remains of a dead titan full of witches and demons.
So it didn’t take long for me to get on board because I related to Luz; I was the weird kid who wanted to be taken to another universe full of magical creatures—a place where I could fit in. Found Family is a trope so dear to my heart that this show executes it perfectly. Luz goes to the local witch school and finds friendship with Willow Park, a part of the plant coven, and Gus Porter, a part of the illusion coven.
One thing I appreciate about the show is its simple magic system. Dana took the concept of witchcraft and witches and made it her own. All witches can use magic naturally and cast spells with wands or staffs. All witches are a part of one of the nine covens. Now, children performing witchcraft on Disney Channel led to some interesting articles, an example, “Ex-Witch’ Warns Parents of Disney’s New Show: ‘Be Careful!” This put more eyes on the show, and a small fandom emerged!
More people started theorizing about the show’s characters and plot. Finally, the ship of Luz and an enemy-turned-friend, Amity Blight, a part of the abomination coven, gained its wings. Watching their relationship develop was beautiful to see. The show welcomed the LGBTQ+ with open arms, and it started to become a favorite to many.
I theorize it’s because of how unique the plot and animation are. Many young adults like myself grew up during a fantastic era of cartoons, and some of us don’t grow out of watching, but we crave more plot-driven animated shows. Shows like The Owl House are perfect, but often they don’t get treated very well. During season two of the show, it was announced that season three would be the last, but it also shortened into three specials. The reason, the series “did not fit the Disney “brand.” This worried fans because they didn’t want rushed plots or character development. Disney stunted the potential this show could’ve been but didn’t dim the bright light that shined from the beginning.
The Owl House’s main villain Emperor Belos represents the hate and intolerance we encounter daily, especially online. I enjoy how his character doesn’t have a sad backstory explaining his actions. His story reminded me of Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, specifically the musical version. Belos’ disgust with the witches makes him a perfect foil for Luz. While Belos manipulates others to get what he wants, Luz is honest and open to accepting others even if they were enemies at first! The show took the complicated saying that ‘everyone deserves kindness and forgiveness’ and said it doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people don’t deserve it if they continue to hurt others and don’t see the error of their ways. It’s a great message to send to a younger audience because the world isn’t rainbows and sunshine. Some people want to hurt others so they can have their way!
I can see how this doesn’t fit into the Disney brand because of their past actions towards the LGBTQ+ community. The company has hurt its queer creators for not standing up against intolerance. The Owl House provided so many PR wins for the company that it’s confusing to see their support after they canceled the series.
The show had so much to explore regarding character development and lore. The three specials were perfect, but they made me want more. I want to see the side quests woven in between the central plot. I wanted to see the characters have some fun while dealing with trauma. The series finale made me reflect on the state of the animation industry, and it scares me because there are still so many beautiful and fun stories to be told!
I’m 22-years-old and The Owl House has ended. I have grown to accept myself like Luz and look forward to a bright future. I know the show will inspire so many other future projects. I have to remind myself not to be sad over the finale but to be happy it existed! Remember, “Every second that you see is, Twenty-four connected pieces, Thank you for coming, Thank you for staying, Thank you for watching the show.” Thank you, Dana Terrace, and everyone who brought The Owl House to life. It was such a beautiful ride.