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The Owl House: A Children’s Show with a Bisexual, Hispanic Lead!
In ‘The Owl House’ protagonist Luz Noceda stumbles across a portal to another dimension where magic exists, called The Boiling Isles.
September 8, 2021
In The Owl House (2020) protagonist Luz Noceda (Sarah-Nicole Robles) stumbles across a portal to another dimension where magic exists, called The Boiling Isles. It is here in this new realm where she meets Eda the Owl Lady (Wendie Malick), King (Alex Hirsch), and a plethora of other colorful characters. The series follows Luz’s adventures as she decides to stay on The Boiling Isles as opposed to going back home, where she would’ve been made to attend a corrective summer camp.
Something to note about The Owl House is the tremendous amount of passion put into the project. Everything about the show is of quality — from the voice acting to the world building to the animation. The character designs and backgrounds are always interesting to the eye. There are also moments during fight scenes where the animation becomes incredibly smooth and fluid, and there’s something truly satisfying about it to watch.
The narrative is investing! It further pulls you in with likable characters who have engaging backstories and their relationships to one another. I am particularly fond of Eda’s storyline of her being cursed to turn into an owl beast if she doesn’t manage it. It feels allegorical to someone who has a mental illness, based on the subtext to how Eda, those around her, and even the show treat her curse. It’s something that there is no known permanent fix for, but can be managed via potions (similarly to medication). A major development that happens with the progression of her arc is how she learns to accept this part of her. That’s a great message that I haven’t seen represented in media period — let alone a show aimed at kids.
Besides that, I cannot stress enough how fantastic the representation in the series is! Not only is the lead Hispanic, but Luz is also openly bisexual. Eventually, she even gets an enemies-to-lovers arc with her former rival Amity (Mae Whitman)! Normally I would think such a subplot is tired and overdone, but Luz and Amity’s relationship (popularly called “Lumity” by fans) takes its time and is charming enough that I have no issues with it. Both characters individually are compelling, and so watching their relationship blossom is too! There’s the right amount of build-up and it feels natural and realistic to how younger teens would act figuring out dating for the first time. I appreciate the way The Owl House doesn’t dance around the queer themes like some of Disney’s other properties. (For example, how LeFou was intended to be a gay character in the Beauty and the Beast remake but was just barely hinted at, or a passing comment an officer in Onward makes about her girlfriend.) There’s no beating around the bush with Lumity. By season two they are openly girlfriends! This is so good to see because when Disney makes the lightest references to queerness that can be easily missed it feels disingenuous.
‘The Owl House’ is a wonderful show, but not without its flaws. Something that’s relatively minor but irked me is how much hand holding there is early on. I recognize this is a children’s show and I’m not the main demographic, but even so sometimes the morals felt a little too on the nose. There are various instances of characters blatantly blurting the episode’s lesson, and it could’ve just used a little more subtlety. This isn’t as bad as the series goes on.
Another thing is (and mind you, this isn’t an inherent problem) the story takes some time to pick up speed. Especially in season one, there’s a lot of fluff/exposition episodes. This might not bother everyone, but personally, I felt teased by the exhilarating intensity of the first episode, only to simmer down with a handful of stories I didn’t particularly feel invested in. For example, in the episode “Once Upon a Swap,” the main characters all swap bodies. While I did gain some enjoyment from the episode in comic relief, the episode’s plot felt predictable and overplayed as body-swap episodes are a major trope in children’s media. That might not bother other viewers as much as it did myself, but for those who feel the same as I do, it makes getting through season one feel a little tedious. Luckily, things really start to pick up towards the end of the first season and especially season two!
I rate The Owl House an Incluvie score of 5/5! People of color are present and one is in the leading role. The majority of the characters are female, and a queer relationship is one of the major arcs!
As a general score, I rate The Owl House a 4.5/5! The series has breathtaking animation, an intricate lore, and unique themes! If you can get through the slower pace of season one, I highly recommend giving it a watch!