Cartoon review: “The Owl House”

The Owl House

Last updated on September 18th, 2023

Today’s cartoon review is “The Owl House.” The series aired on the Disney Channel (and Disney+) from 2020 to 2023 for three seasons, totaling 43 episodes. (SPOILERS below.)


Luz Noceda, a Latino teenage girl who doesn’t fit in at her school or among her peers, accidentally finds a portal to an alternate fantasy dimension (the “Demon Realm”) that houses a group of islands dubbed the “Boiling Isles.” Once there, Luz befriends Eda Clawthorne, a snarky outlaw witch, and Eda’s demon roommate, King. Eda and King live in a house dubbed “the Owl House.”

Luz, who’s always been interested in magic (she’s a fan of a magical fantasy book series), asks Eda to train her in becoming a witch. Despite Luz not having any innate magical powers, Eda eventually agrees to train Luz, and lets Luz stay at the Owl House.

The series sees Luz learn about magic, her new housemates, and the friends she makes after enrolling at a sorcery school. While early episodes were episodic, the show soon shifted to an overarching, running plot.


King and Luz from The Owl House
King and Luz, from “The Owl House.” (Disney)

Besides Luz, the main cast includes:

    • Eda Clawthorne. A snarky, middle-aged witch and the owner of the Owl House. Eda’s considered an outlaw (known as the “Owl Lady”) by the ruler of the Boiling Isles; as such, Eda has one of her wanted posters (with a ludicrously high reward amount) as a wall decoration. Eda’s also had a curse placed on her, the nature of which is delved more into as the series goes on. (Speaking of the reward, the unit of currency in the Demon Realm is called “snails.” Which, despite the Boiling Isles’ dysfunctional fantasy tone, doesn’t consist of actual snails.)
    • King. A cute-looking and boisterous horned demon who insists he has a great legacy, despite knowing little about his own past. (Though, as the series progresses, King’s proven right.)
    • Hooty. The ditzy, cheerful, and obnoxiously friendly owl-like guardian of the Owl House.
  • Luz’s classmates and friends at Hexside School of Magic:
    • Amity Blight. A student from a well-off family that makes “abomination”-based weaponry. At first, Amity was a rival who held Luz with low regard, and vice-versa. However, Amity and Luz soon warmed up to each other, and eventually started dating each other. Amity’s powers consist of the ability to conjure up golem-like “abominations.”
    • Willow Park. Willow is a friendly student, and possesses plant-based powers.
    • Gus Porter. Gus has an interest in all things related to the “Human Realm” (aka Earth), and has a collection of human items. (Some human items have ended up in the Demon Realm, mostly from Eda’s occasional visits to Earth and a few other sources.) However, similar to the seagull in “The Little Mermaid,” Gus gets some “facts” about human objects wrong. Gus’ powers are illusion-based.
  • Hunter. A teenage member of the royal guard (at first), Hunter is initially an antagonist to the cast. Though that soon changes after (among other things) learning more about himself and the emperor.
  • Lilith Clawthorne. Eda’s estranged sister, Lilith is (at first) the leader of the Emperor’s Coven.
  • Raine Whispers. A member of one of the magical covens, Raine possesses music-based magical abilities, which they use via a violin. Raine is nonbinary, and also Eda’s ex-partner.
  • Hieronymous Bump. The principal of Hexside.
  • Camila Nodeca. Luz’s mother, who works as a veterinarian. She cares for her daughter and values her well-being, even after learning where Luz ended up (Camila thought Luz was going to summer camp).

Antagonists include:

  • Emperor Belos. The evil ruler of the Boiling Isles, who establishes strict rules about the use of magic (which Eda, of course, disregards).
  • Odalia Blight. Amity’s mother, who insists on running the family business with an iron fist, and treats her own family similarly.
  • The Collector. A vastly powerful entity that resembles an excitable but immature child.


Luz and Amity from The Owl House
Luz and Amity, from “The Owl House.” (Disney)
  • “The Owl House” is Disney’s first animated series starring an out LGBTQ character (specifically, Luz is bi). Within the show, this is treated as a non-issue, though a brief scene in the third season premiere shows Luz coming out to her mother. Homophobia’s also nonexistent in the Boiling Isles. When Odalia finds out Amity’s dating Luz, Odalia disapproves (disliking Luz), and vows to find Amity a “better” girlfriend. Several other LGBTQ characters also appear in the series, including Willow’s two fathers.
  • In some respects, the Boiling Isles resembles a fantasy version of “The Flintstones” technology-wise. Almost everything is based on, looks like, or is powered by medieval-style tech, some sort of creature, or magic. Crystal balls are used as computers/TVs (Gus’ father is a “TV” news reporter); (literal) lightning bugs in a jar are used as an electrical power source for charging Luz’s smartphone; miniature magic scrolls are used as smartphones/tablets (with the Boiling Isles’ own version of Instagram, “Penstagram”); and crows are used as telephones.
  • The episode “Once Upon a Swap”: After an argument (and on a bet), Eda, Luz, and King swap bodies to see how the others live; hijinks ensue.
  • Luz’s name is Spanish for “light.” Which ties into one of her most frequently used magic glyphs, a light glyph.
  • The Boiling Isles has plenty of punny names for things, tying into its fantasy/horror theme. For example, the town library uses the “Demon Decimal System.”
  • The show’s ongoing plots, character development, and world building for everything, including the main cast and the Boiling Isles itself.

Opening credits

Here’s all of the versions of “The Owl House”‘s opening credits, as they changed them up as the show went on.


I enjoyed “The Owl House,” and sorry to see that it had its third season cut short, though I’m glad it got a third season to wrap things up. I’m also glad to see a traditional mainstream children’s cartoon (i.e. something from Disney, Warner Bros., or Nickelodeon) that features an LGBTQ person as the lead character.

Image from “The Owl House.” (Disney)

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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