The Owl House season 1 is what you get when you mash Little Witch Academia and the Cthulhu Mythos together. As it turns out, this combination manages to produce one of the best horror-comedy fantasy shows ever made. The yuri is just the icing on this delicious cake.
Season 1 of The Owl House premiered on January 10, 2020, and ran until August 29, 2020; when the season finale “Young Blood, Old Souls” debuted. The whole season consists of 19 episodes, each around 23 minutes long. There is also a second season, but that’s beyond the scope of this review. You’ll just have to wait for the next review.
The Owl House is the creation of Dana Terrace, who also storyboarded for Gravity Falls and directed for the 2017 reboot of DuckTales. Wade Wisinski is the producer, with Kevin Locarro as the editor. T.J. Hill composed that catchy theme music you hear in the opening and ending. In fact, Hill composed the music in general for the entirety of season 1. The show features the voice talents of Sarah-Nicole Robles (Luz Noceda), Wendie Malick (Eda Clawthorne), Alex Hirsch (King and Hooty), Tati Gabrielle (Willow Park), Issac Ryan Brown (Gus Porter), and Mae Whitman (Amity Blight). Lastly, Disney Television Animation is the production company behind the show.
You can watch The Owl House exclusively on Disney+.
Warning: spoilers for The Owl House season 1 below. If you want to watch the adorably hilarious terror for yourself, stop here, and come back once you have escaped the annoying bird tube. Viewers will know hoot I mean.
The Owl House Season 1: Plot Summary
The Owl House starts us off by introducing us to the main character: Luz Noceda. She immediately demonstrates her rather unique personality by bringing live snakes to her book report. This and other such incidents result in her mother sending her off to an “anti-creativity summer camp”. Who knew those even existed? Understandably, Luz doesn’t want to go to this camp, which makes it really easy for her to follow a little owl that’d been rooting through the trash and stuffing things into a bag to hop away with. Luz follows the owl right through a mystical door in a ruined house, which lands her right in the fantastically horrific Boiling Isles and the hands of the witch Eda Clawthorne: the most powerful witch in the land.
A Horrifically Adorable Family?
Fortunately, all Eda wants to do with Luz is to have a human daughter to go with her adorable bone son/pet demon King. Thus, she takes in Luz and learns the joys (and headaches) of being a de facto mother. Luz even helps Eda deal with her curse, which causes her to transform into a giant owl monster if she doesn’t take her medication. Meanwhile, Luz makes new friends at her magic school, including Willow Park, Gus Porter, and eventually Amity Blight. The last of which develops distinct notes of romance for Luz, giving the show a definite yuri flavor.
Unfortunately, the happy levity amidst the horror in The Owl House nearly comes to an end when Eda basically sacrifices herself and lets herself be captured by the troops of the Emperor of the Boiling Isles to keep Luz safe. Luz attempts to rescue Eda, but fails the first time. Fortunately, with the help of King and Eda’s sister Lilith, her second rescue attempt works. Luz manages to rescue Eda, and keep the Emperor from getting his sticky, oozing hands on the magic door to the human world. Lilith even decides to share Eda’s curse via magic, and thus alleviate said curse for Eda.
Except the stinger reveals that the Emperor managed to salvage the pieces of the door, and is now rebuilding it. What does he want with that door? Well, that’s what we’ll find out in the second season of The Owl House.
The Owl House Season 1: The Good
The Owl House has many great things going for it that makes me give it a perfect score. The best things though are the characters and their interactions. Each of the main characters are distinct and unique, which combined with their interactions with each other, make them extremely likable and, dare I say it, lovable. King, in particular, is one of the most adorable characters ever devised. He’s like less feral and more empathetic Stitch. Seriously, if King doesn’t get any official plushies, I’ll eat my shoe.
Speaking of the characters, Luz and Amity’s relationship is the highlight of The Owl House for a reason. Aside from making Luz the first openly bisexual character in Disney canon, their relationship in season 1 is just pure sugary goodness. Amity’s flustered reactions around Luz after realizing that she’s in love with her feels as genuine as it is adorable. It’s as adorable as Luz not quite realizing that Amity has feelings for her this season…yet. That will be something I will be commenting on for my season 2 review.
The story of The Owl House may take second place to the characters, but it’s still one of the best aspect of the show. Dana Terrace’s writing for the show is top-notch. Seriously, the story is good enough that I’m honestly considering checking out Gravity Falls one of these days.
Lastly, the animation of The Owl House is surprisingly good. I had initially expected the kind of animation quality you’d see in one of the children’s shows. What I got was animation on par with the later seasons of Steven Universe. I suppose when you have Disney money backing a show, the animation quality is not going to be a concern here. It’s not as big a plus when compared to the story, characters, and writing in general; but it helps.
The Owl House Season 1: The Bad
Bad? There is nothing bad about The Owl House season 1. It’s perfect in pretty much every way. I’d say it’s as good as Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Really. It’s that good. This is just my opinion though. Your mileage may vary here.