“The Owl House” first premiered on Jan. 20, 2020 and is currently in its second season. courtesy Disney Channel

“The Owl House” scores high with representation

In the animated kids show “The Owl House,” characters of all kinds adventure between the human and demon worlds.

If you’re in need of a spooky television show to watch this season, I would love to wholeheartedly recommend “The Owl House” to you, which can be streamed on Disney+. Enemies-to-lovers gay witches, a loveable demon sidekick and a wild mother figure to a bunch of teenagers, there’s nothing more you could possibly need.

From the fantastic minds that brought you “Gravity Falls” comes the latest animated kids show centered on the weirdness that arises when human and demon worlds cross. Luz Noceda is a human who has always been the weird one at school, talking about witches and fantastical things. Her mother thinks it would be good to send her to summer camp for a reality check, but when she’s about to leave, Luz stumbles through a portal into the Boiling Isles, a demon realm too close to our own. There, she meets Eda the Owl Lady, one of the most powerful witches on the isles who is battling a growing curse, and her sidekick King, who is a demon eager to learn more about where he came from. Acting as the apprentice to Eda and attending a school for witches, Luz makes new friends and goes on crazy adventures that are wrapped up in more than they may seem.

I could go on for hours about the fun, wild and heartwarming plot this show has, but in the act of avoiding spoilers, I would much rather tell you about what makes this show so special: representation. In children’s books, I’ve seen a surge of representation over the years, certainly more than I had when I was growing up. I only wish this show would have existed when I was in elementary school.

To begin with, the main character, Luz, is a neurodivergent bisexual Latina, and she is absolutely incredible! Witty, kindhearted and brave, she is an inspiration to even adults watching the show. In every tough scenario, it is her resilience and kindness that always allows her to win.

Luz’s love interest is a mean lesbian girl who goes through tremendous growth throughout the show. Actually, none of the “mean and popular” kids at the school stay mean throughout the show, but instead go through growth and develop as characters to give the viewers a new perspective. The “bad and lazy” kids at school are seen as incredibly gifted in other ways outside of academics, especially when it comes to collaborating with different kinds of magic.

Eda lives with a curse, which in the show is a metaphor for chronic illness. Even though her mother tried everything to cure Eda’s curse, even going as far as getting into the anti-vax equivalent of the witch world, Eda grows to accept her curse and embrace it.

Eda’s love interest is nonbinary, Luz’s best friend Willow is biracial and has two POC fathers and her other friend Gus is Black and was raised by a single father. And this is just the main characters! Side characters are seen in same-sex relationships, characters of all different appearances live together on the isles and the best part is that there is no need to come out. There is no conversation between Luz and Eda about wanting to date her girlfriend. Instead, Luz constantly discusses her motivation to be the best girlfriend she can be throughout episodes. Every aspect of the characters’ identities is accepted.

The whole concept of the show is based in found family. When Luz enters the demon realm, she has no one, until she has Eda. When King is lost from his family, Eda finds him too. The friend group Luz creates is their own little family, and when Luz has an encounter with the covenless witches at school, she realizes they have their own little family. Family does not have to be by blood to be just as strong.

A large takeaway is that no one is truly good nor bad. While it is difficult to sympathize with some of the antagonists, it’s not like they are painted as only an absolutely abysmal villain. Their humanity is shown as well, taking off the villain mask, to allow the viewer to be their own judge of character.

I can only imagine how our generation would be with such diverse television shows playing when we were younger, but what matters is how happy I am that this newest generation will be able to grow up on such content. I hope television continues to work in this direction, showing all the different ways that families and friends can be. This is how we continue to have open minded generations, generations that are loving and accepting of everyone. If two enemies-to-lovers gay witches can do it, we can do it too.

Post Author: Myranda New