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animation I love The Owl House (first 13 episodes watched)

Ring Team

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If you can pick Harry Potter and discard all the elements that makes it tedious (like the huge amount of films, the amount of characters, the amount of spells, the name of the spells and JK Rowlling’s tweets), simplify the formula and make it colorful, you can probably get something like The Owl House. And it’s kinda funny because, under normal circumstances, I should have dropped that show way earlier. This has so many things I despise in a story. A heavy focus on medieval fantasy, a heavy focus on magic spells, the isekai formula I DESPISE, the power fantasy, geeky side characters, witches, pointy ears, teens, phones and social networks in that fantasy world, etc. This is stuff I usually can’t stand.

That said, the first thing you see in the first minute of this show is a flashback where the main character has to play a role in Romeo and Juliet, and, to make her character’s death more realistic, she ripped her outfit for some sausages to come out that represents her intestines.


You have no idea how hard I was laughing at that part. Whoever had the idea of that scene deserved a raise. I think they should have done that in Zootopia's opening.

Anyway, since The Owl House ended a couple of days ago (and in a high note I heard), I thought I could watch it and catch up. The story centers around Luz Noceda, a teen who, despite being creative, has difficulties to fit in high school and probably anywhere. Because of this, her mother wants to send her to a summer camp to fit better and be more sociable. Before she got her bus, Luz finds an owl picking a sack of trash, so she follows it. She enters in a weird fantasy world, but she can’t get out of it unless she helps Edalyn and King to do one thing. Edalyn is a powerful witch and King is a talking puppy who was supposed to be a godlike demon in the past. If Luz helps them, she can get the chance to come back to home. After a very understated quest, once she got the chance to get out, she starts to have second thoughts. Since she’s inspired by the main character of her favorite book, Luz wants to become a witch in Eda’s house. And the rest of the episodes are essentially that. Luz trying to learn magic while she tries to fit in this odd world while she meets some weird characters.

Just to come clean, I haven’t heard too much about The Owl House before watching it. The only things I knew about it was the poster and some cute fanarts I’ve seen about Luz and Amity, but that’s about it. I didn’t know these characters. And to give you some context, I wanted to write this after watching 5 episodes, but after finishing the last one I ended up thinking “maybe one more episode”. As a result, I ended up watching 13 episodes in a day. I had to stop right there because I’m working on a commission, but I haven’t been that hooked with a TV show since Steven Universe Future when I was watching it back in 2020. It’s almost addictive in a way, which is a good thing because The Owl House has a solid premise with solid characters.


One of the big strengths this show has is that it’s legitimately hilarious. The first scene with the sausages made me laugh so hard that I wanted to keep watching. A big reason why the funny moments work to me is that the writers and animators toy so much with the contrast of everything. For example, it’s said that King used to be a godlike demon, so by putting a dictator personality in the body of a cute puppy is funny. It’s kinda like how Izma ended up being in the ending of The Emperor's New Groove. That contrast is also used to give every single character their own opinion, which helps to build a character dynamic in these episodes. Eda is wise and cautious but she has some room to be a goofball in a couple of episodes. And Luz, while being the optimistic girl she is, that led to some unexpected surprises, like a cute fairy who suddenly screams “give me your skin!”. I love stuff like this.

I also like how well paced this is. Each episode lasts 22 minutes, but it never feels either rushed or too long. I remember when I was watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and there were episodes where I said “this episode is too long for a premise like this” or viceversa. For example, The one where Pinkie Pie knows should have been a 3 minutes episode instead of a 22 minutes one. I didn’t have that issue with The Owl House. The majority of jokes and stories is well paced, and, even if you find a premise kinda predictable, there’s a twist that makes it refreshing. For example, when I watched that mage in episode 2 my first thought was “oh boy, I know where this goes, don’t trust anyone, yada yada, just get to the point”. However, there’s a couple of twists related to this part that makes it refreshing, as if the episode was doing a jab at all these fantasy stories that give the most predictable outcomes to either the main character or the “fantasy fan starter pack” audience. It kinda reminds me of how a Cowboy Bebop episode made fun of the isekai concept of living in another world by using cool tech (ahem, Sword Art Online). It doesn’t feel like it’s tricking the audience the wrong way, it feels like there’s a reason why it does things it does. It’s an artistic choice. And even if Luz had some unrealistic expectations about this world, by the end of the episode, she discovers that she’s on the corpse of a giant. If you throw me a cute likable character and you put her on the rests of a giant that’s used for buildings, towns and cities, that’s odd, it gives me some Fumito Ueda vibes and I want to find out more.

Another example of this is in episode 4, where it’s raining acid and they have to stay in home, but there’s a monster invading the house. You quickly think that it’s Eda who got angry. And she is the monster. However, she was cursed and she needs a special elixir to counter it temporarily. The show has so many layers that enhances the characters and the world. For example, you’d think that the magic spells will be cast by saying ancient latin words like in Harry Potter, right? But no, the magic is cast by doing a circle and a specific symbol that is found in nature. All magic is in nature and you have to connect with nature. You have to understand it, you have to see it, you have to feel it. It reminds me of the Ghibli animated films and I love it.

The Owl House also touches some themes related to personal growth. It’s not groundbreaking, it’s nothing new, it’s very basic to be honest, but it’s fully enhanced thanks to how well written these characters are and how these thematic elements fit in these characters. In the first episode Luz sees some odd people who were imprisoned just because they are odd. Since she felt the same in her world, she freed them, which I find compelling. It fits the character. Another example can be found in Eda’s sister, a respected figure in authority who, despite she wants Eda to be in jail, she also wants to convince her to join the cause, because she still finds hope in her sister. She doesn’t want to force her, she just wants her to make the decision on her own. It could have been VERY EASY for the writers to write a villain who wants to force everyone to join the witches academy or something, but no, she’s a very compassionate teacher who sympathizes with her sister.

Probably my favorite example is Amity in episode 5. In the hands of a boring writer, she could have been the rival and bully of Luz for the whole show and she could be doing horrible things out of spite. But even after her introduction, we got a scene in another episode where Luz tries to apologize to Amity and then we got this dialogue:

“You made me look like a fool in front of the Emperor's Coven. My future! You think it's so easy to be a witch. I have been working my whole life to get to the top! You lost! You cheated! Say it! Say you're not a witch!”

“I’m not a witch. But I’m training hard to be one”


Either it’s sometimes or most of the time, people who work hard to be the best at something feel eclipsed just because someone cheated and he’s rewarded for it. We believe in justice. The world shouldn’t be unfair, right? Once Amity said that line, I immediately empathize with her, because so many times I’ve felt like her. At the same time, I can empathize with Luz because I try to work hard as much as I can to be better. And this character dynamic is tested once again in episode 7, where Amity feels betrayed by Luz once again, even after she was slowly getting softer with her. This conflict not only is really good, but it’s also believable. I think Amity will be a very interesting character in the next seasons. She’s already my favorite character in the show because of how conflicted she gets in episodes 5 and 7 and how relatable she is.

There are some great episodes and great characters. I love how one of Luz’s friends is just a human fanatic, kinda like Papyrus from the videogame Undertale. You’d think this will get annoying very soon, but he ends up being a likable character with other character features that are related to his curiosity. I also find interesting how Amity had a reason of why she stopped being Willow’s friend. It’s not a good thing to do, but it was reasonable and would explain her attitude. I also like the school principal, who’s just a mage who’s doing his job, he’s not another basic character. Speaking of which, I really really like episode 13. I think this is what To Where and Back Again should have been for the season 6 finale of Friendship is Magic. Here, there’s a setup, there’s a delivery, there’s a pace, it gives Eda a reason to change her mind for Luz’s education, it gives Luz and her new “detention” friends a reason to use several types of magic and there’s a payoff. In comparison to that finale I watched back in 2016, that one really REALLY sucked.

One small but important detail that makes me get invested in this is the continuity. While the show has an episodic structure and it’s independently watchable, it follows a series of events. The Owl House uses continuity to establish that there are stakes. Will Eda get rid of the curse? Will that curse devour her? Can she and her sister get along? Will Luz be alone after that curse? Will the elixir stop being effective? I think this type of details makes the audience to get invested in the characters. Going back to Friendship is Magic, I remember I was watching the season 5 and, in the middle of that season I asked in a thread “shouldn’t Twilight go after Starlight? She might cause more problems”. And the only response I got was “dude, it’s a slice of life, give it a break”. However, we never got a Starlight episode until the last episode of that season. You could argue that The Owl House is a slice of life, but with some clear stakes, like I’ve listed before. It doesn’t ignore the problems as if they didn’t exist. I keep saying this, but this is not an impossible idea, it’s not an unobtainable concept. You can have both.

I guess if I have to nitpick, the only problem I’ve found was in the last episodes I watched, and it’s the side plots of King. In these episodes, his stories are basically him getting angry, then he does something bad and finally he feels sorry for that and then he does that again in the next episode. I don’t have a problem with that, but by the time I watched the last 2 or 3 episodes, it was a bit repetitive. While I love the voice acting (none other than Alex Hirsch, the creator of Gravity Falls) and the cute design, I hope it doesn’t get old quickly. King is not a spotlight stealer, but he’s a bit intrusive.

Oh, speaking about voice acting: I love the owl door. It’s hilarious the type of voice it has.

Anyway, if you ask me what percentage rate for adults and kids this show is, I’d say maybe 60-40 percent. It’s not like Gravity Falls where the percentage rate is 80-20 and adults can enjoy references and the witty humor of the show, it’s more light this time. That’s not a bad thing. Luca is a fantastic film and it’s a fifty-fifty case. Both adults and kids can equally enjoy that movie. In the case of The Owl House, most kids will enjoy King’s shenanigans and Luz’s character while adults can be invested in the story, the dialogue and the world, which is cool. As someone who doesn’t like the fantasy genre (unless it’s dark fantasy like Dark Souls or Demon’s Souls), this show was a huge surprise to me.

But can you really blame me for thinking like that? After watching Dragon Ball, Sword Art Online, One Punch Man and Kill la Kill, I got exhausted by watching so many shows where every problem is solved by punches, fights or magic tricks. I simply don’t like power fantasy. And after watching the Starlight episodes from 2016 to 2021 (keep in mind I stopped watching Friendship is Magic in 2017 until I came back in 2020), these stories severely poisoned me on the whole power fantasy trope, to the point where I said “I’ll never watch another fantasy story, never again”. But damn, The Owl House is wonderful.


Alright, you can already tell I love this show. I might update it with different posts if everyone’s that curious about my experience, and I think I will. After experiencing so many formulaic stories with the same punchline and the same outcomes, I feel The Owl House is just flexing. It kinda reminds me of the first time I watched Everything Everywhere all at Once, Inside Out or Frozen, having the feeling that this is great. And, after hearing that the ending was amazing, I can’t wait to see it. I’m trying to read as little as possible about the show. I don’t want to read any articles, any Fanwikia entry, I don’t even want to use Google images (the images I used are from Fancaps, which is very organized in episodes as well as in seasons). I just want to experience this show in the appropriate blind way.

But yeah, it’s a wonderful time to be excited about a really good kids show.

Take care and thanks for reading me!


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