The Owl House is continuing on with its shortened third season, which is getting another installment on Dec. 14. For those who are unaware, this Disney+ show follows the life of Luz Noceda as she suddenly finds herself transported into a fantasy world.
Luz, an avid fan of fantasy and magic, wants to become a Witch and learn the magic of this world. Since she is human though, she has to learn magic the hard way as she doesn’t have the natural inbuilt talent to cast spells that the denizens of the Boiling Isles have.
The show has had two seasons so far, and it has fleshed out the world of the Boiling Isles and the characters within very well. It’s a great show and arguably one of the strongest shows Disney has to offer on its streaming service. To prove it, we’ve got 10 reasons The Owl House is one of Disney’s best shows.
The Worldbuilding Is Wacky, Yet Intricate
The worldbuilding of the boiling isles is some of the best and most intriguing among animated shows. The series captures an “Alice in Wonderland” sort of chaotic and crazy world, and yet it makes sense and has some grounded stakes.
The magic system in the setting is perhaps one of the most fun and understandable in an animated show since Avatar: The Last Airbender. Luz’s magic is easy for the viewer to understand and so it contributes to more gripping and tense action. We see the magic grow and develop, and yet it never loses the limitations that make it interesting. The mechanics of how Luz’s magic works are very much in line with Sanderson’s Laws, which are a guide to making a great magic system in a fantasy setting.
The Owl House world is wacky and goofy, with ridiculous sports like Grudgby that parody Magic School genre staples like quidditch. The boiling Isles are also a convincingly dangerous place to live, with elements like the boiling rain that falls every so often.
The Characters Have Real Chemistry
The interactions between characters in Owl House are excellent, with each having great chemistry with the others around them.
Luz meets two characters in the first episode, a small demon named King and a Witch named Eda, and then several other key characters throughout the next two seasons. Luz, Eda, and King have a great dynamic while they live together, with King being the kid of the family and Luz being somewhat like a big sister to him. Eda is a mentor figure for Luz, but at the same time is a bit of a loose canon who isn’t always the best influence.
Then, when characters like Willow, Gus, and Amity are introduced, you get a lot more great character dynamics between Luz and Witches her age. Willow and Gus are her friends and help her out, while Amity is a rival that Luz slowly gets closer to throughout the series until the two of them are in a romantic relationship.
The Comedy Is Hilarious
Beyond the fun interactions each of the characters have, the comedy in general in Owl House is great.
There are various comedic characters who either recur or are in a single episode. Principal Bump, for example, conveys a lot of the comedy that comes from being a magic school principal in a weird and chaotic world like the Boiling Isles. One of the best jokes comes when Luz and her friends are kicked out of Hexside school, and Principal Bump misses them despite how much trouble they cause. The characters have a lot of great memorable lines, and the dialogue between them is very well-written.
One feature that’s particularly of note is the fact that it very effectively parodies many of the plots of magic school fiction. In fact, one of the main plotlines is about how all of the mages are sorted into various Covens. It’s often pointed out how illogical it is to force kids into making serious life commitments so early, making fun of the Hogwarts house system. It turns out that the Covens are part of the main villain’s evil plan as well, tying the parody into the main plot.
Some of the Best Animation and Visuals of Any Animated Show
Owl House has a lot of competition when it comes to the best animation Disney can offer. Despite the fact that it has to compete with other shows known for their animation quality under Disney, Owl House still manages to have incredible fight scenes that showcase what its animators can really do. Usually, these scenes are once or twice-a-season treats, but the show itself has very solid expressions and animation in episode-to-episode moments. It’s very easy to find good screenshots of the Owl House because the characters are so expressive and the environments or action is so unique and photogenic. Pair that with very fluid animation and you have a visual treat.
The visuals of Owl House are also noteworthy, as each of the characters boasts a unique look and quality and very good visual construction. The world itself, as mentioned previously, is very visually distinctive. The Owl House manages to stand out by having a very particular style that is reminiscent of Adventure Time in how it makes things that look odd and otherworldly fit within a cartoony show.
The show’s commitment to diversity is also great for people wanting to see themselves represented more in television. The Owl House is one of the few shows Disney has created with a queer character in it, let alone multiple queer main characters. It’s no secret that Disney has had a rather poor track record when it comes to queer representation. An example of this being the issues Alex Hirsh had while working for Disney on Gravity Falls. According to him, they blocked his inclusion of queer characters in that series. To Disney’s credit, they have included gay representation in their latest animated movie, Strange World, and in the Owl House itself.
The Owl House genuinely commits to queer representation. The second season is where most of this kicks in with Luz entering into a relationship with Amity, but that throughline is also continued in the third season where Luz comes out as bisexual. A character introduced in season 2, Raine, is nonbinary as well. Their relationship with Eda in Season 2 is one of the show’s more mature and pensive moments, breaking into the more serious part of that season very well. The representation is also great for the show itself as we see Luz develop her relationship with Amity and vice versa.
Character Growth Is Very Important
As with any great show where the characters discover a whole new magical world, The Owl House is also about self-discovery.
The characters each grow and change over time, with Eda becoming more and more responsible as a sort of surrogate caretaker for Luz, King learning more about his place in the world, and Luz learning more about her own abilities by learning magic. Like Amphibia and Infinity Train, the idea is that the fantasy world puts the character in a situation that forces them to self-reflect and change. However, Luz also changes those around her, helping them to develop and self-actualize.
This also goes for other characters too. Amity develops from a rich, stuck-up girl to becoming a caring friend to the rest of the cast. Willow learns to develop self-confidence and find her own strength. The side characters are often as well served in characterization as the main trio of Luz, King, and Eda.
Lots of Heartrending Scenes
Almost every season of The Owl House has a dramatic and often emotionally painful scene. Without spoiling too much, these scenes often involve one or more characters being harmed in some way, whether emotionally or physically. Amphibia had a similar sort of sudden and unexpected emotional impact because you don’t expect the goofy animated show to be able to hit so far above its weight, but it can because you genuinely come to care about these characters.
These big emotional moments tend to come toward the climax of a season, whether that be the finale or the few episodes before the finale. Ideally, that is where you want the big emotional moments for any show, but The Owl House does a very good job of building to those moments in the season itself. They’ve gotten very good at integrating long-form dramatic storytelling into very short episodes that often don’t focus on that story directly. With season 3 it will be a little different, as we’re only one episode in and we’re getting those big emotional moments, but at the same time, the season as a whole is shortened.
It Captures the Feeling of Being in a Fantasy World
One of the things the show captures perfectly is the feeling of being in a fantasy world.
Viewers explore the world through Luz and her learning about it. As she learns about the Boiling Isles we become more familiar with it too. It helps that the world is fleshed out, but never so much that you feel there is nothing left to learn about it at all. It plays really well with that childhood or teenage fantasy of being able to go to a fantastical world where everything is different and magic is real, and these kinds of fantasies are the beating heart of magical school stories and magical otherworld stories.
Likewise, it doesn’t feel like a world that alienates people. The Boiling Isles are so strange, but the inhabitants are identifiably human in spirit. They’re very often relatable, going through a lot of the basic experiences that human beings go through in our world but altered to fit the fantasy universe.
It Has a Mystery That Will Keep You Guessing
Part of the appeal of The Owl House is a plot that leaves clues and hints for you to put together some of the mysteries underpinning the setting.
How did Eda get her curse? How did Emperor Belos come to power, and what is he planning? Who is Philip Wittebane? These questions get answered slowly, but not so slowly that you lose interest. They’re also unraveled by a protagonist who mirrors the audience’s desire for answers to those questions, so the story unravels itself at a reasonable pace dictated by how many investigations she can do.
They also weave themselves around the backstories of the various characters. Hunter, who is introduced in Season 2, is very much embedded into the lore about Emperor Belos and his plans for the Boiling Isles and the portal between realms. The twists are also exquisitely and deliciously dramatic, yet not so out of left field that they can’t be seen with hindsight.
It’s a Perfect Fit with Amphibia and Gravity Falls
While no multiverse for the three properties has ever been confirmed, Gravity Falls, Amphibia, and Owl House all have similarly talented people, a similar wonderful sense of humor, and all have a similar vibe of normal kids being embroiled in the supernatural.
There are many fun little nods between the three series too. Alex Hirsch voices King in The Owl House, and there are several in-joke references between Amphibia and Owl House. For example one of the books that Willow has to study with is about the Lifecycle of the Common Toad, and it has a picture of one of the toads from Amphibia on it.
This makes The Owl House all the greater because once it’s over and you’ve watched all of it, you can go and watch Gravity Falls and Amphibia. If you enjoyed Owl House, then you’ll almost certainly enjoy those two.
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