Hey kids! Did you like Gravity Falls? Did you like the dark and mysterious world created by the show as well as the endearing cast of characters that generated a wild fanbase that is still active to this day? Well The Owl House looks to be just as special of a series with just as much imagination and creativity!
The show was created by Dana Terrace, who did storyboards for Gravity Falls and directed several episode of the 2017 reboot of Ducktales, making The Owl House her first original creation. She opened her panel by detailing the inspirations for the characters as well as the world of the show. Before we saw a single teaser of the show, Terrace spent quite a while informing the audience about the various artistic influences for the series, citing classic artists like Hieronymus Bosch, Remedios Varo, and Rudolph Bauer. I didn’t expect to get an art history lesson out of the panel, but from what I saw from the various pieces she displayed, as well as some research into the artist’s styles, I had to know exactly what this world would look like given the complexity and uniqueness of the sources. The end result is straight up gorgeous.
The world of The Owl House is both whimsical and metal, taking place in the corpse of a giant demon called the Boiling Isles (Terrace joked about the fact that she had some trouble pitching a world in a rotting corpse to Disney.) After dissecting the stills of the Boiling Isles, the attention to detail in the world is truly impressive, though still kid friendly. Not only are there streets built on top of the giant’s flesh, but the landmarks throughout the town having quirky names for a kid’s show. The giant convention centered in the middle of town is called the Covention Center that hosts different organizations like Alchemists Anonymous. The show may have a dark foundation, but don’t forget this was still designed for kids.
Terrace then showed the crowd a clip from the first episode where the main character, Luz (Sarah Nicole Robles), a girl who loves taxidermy and witchcraft, ends up in the world of the Boiling Isles and meets Eda (Wendie Malick), who comes across as a female Grunkle Stan, humor and all. Eda takes Luz to the eponymous Owl House, though not before calling giraffes abominations, where she lives with her friend/pet King (Alex Hirsch). It’s there that Luz decides she wants to become a witch just like Eda and is determined to train under her in order to do so. Luz doesn’t have any magical abilities in the slightest, but she’s determined to achieve her dream no matter what, which is an idea that Terrace says was one of the main themes the show is built around.
In her words, Terrace described the show not only as a show about “outcasts finding outcasts and coming home,” but also as a show that tells its audience that while some dreams may be unattainable, that doesn’t mean they’re impossible. All you need to do is create work arounds in order to accomplish your heart’s desire, which is an interesting, if a bit odd, of a moral for a kids show to have.
One question that was on my mind throughout the entire panel though was the general structure of the series. Disney has made a strong leap into serialized storytelling as of late, with Gravity Falls and Star vs. The Forces of Evil being two great examples. When I asked her about the structure of the series and whether or not it would be a serialized series, Terrace was intentionally vague and told the me that I would just have to watch it and find out for myself. She did elude to several mysteries inspired by Gravity Falls, though to what extent they’ll play into the show has yet to be seen.
It may only be the second day of Comic Con, but I had more fun and excitement for The Owl House than any panel I’ve covered so far. Last year I fell head over heels in love with She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and it looks like The Owl House may just be my most anticipated series from this year’s festivities. The imagination, quality animation, and the humor on display is right up my alley, plus the creative team’s experience is enough to quell my fears that his could be all hype with no substance. There’s no better way into my heart than creating a animated series with an ambitious world that is genuinely entertaining and I can’t wait to watch more.
The Owl House will premiere on the Disney Channel in January 2020.