The Owl House Made Twitter Explode With A Single Screenshot But Disney Still Cancelled It

The Owl House Season 3 details are coming thick and fast now the first special is only a few weeks away. Response across the fandom has been unparalleled, with thousands producing fan art, conjuring theories, and piecing together what little information we have as each new teaser trickles out. Last week saw the time skip from the reveal poster confirmed while Disney Channel released literal seconds of footage that have sent the internet into a big gay frenzy.

Aired alongside previews for other shows coming in the month of October, we saw nothing more than two frames from the upcoming special, but that was more than enough. My social media feed is now a gorgeous mess of new art, comments, and love for a show that is set to meet its end far too soon. But given the amount of attention it’s receiving, the decision to cut it all short only serves to boggle the mind. There are 60,000 likes and counting on the screenshot alone, and that doesn’t even cover reposts and further discussions away from the original source.

Amphibia is probably the only animated show right now that commands the same attention from its fandom, and its finale aired months ago. But fans refuse to leave it behind, and that sort of admiration is downright infectious. These fictional universes are so compelling that we want to take them far beyond the source material, crafting them into something more since further canon material is never guaranteed. Amphibia has left the door wide open for further instalments, and Marcy’s diary is arriving later this year to provide more fuel for the shipping fires, but the fact a show can continue growing far beyond its air date is a genuine triumph.

The Owl House carries the same level of majesty, something that couldn’t be more obvious as we fawn over little more than a single frame from upcoming episodes. We have turned its world and characters into a phenomenon larger than anyone ever intended, and I commend show runners for carrying the weight of media that fans put so much of themselves into. But why is this new screenshot such a massive deal right now? Well, I suppose it’s the first proper glimpse at the third season, providing a triple dose of new character designs and plenty of background details that either give us a bunch of clues, or enough context for us to make up things that probably don’t have anything to do with anything. But that chase is part of the fun.

The screenshot features three characters – Luz, Hunter, and Gus – and all of them look pretty different from were accustomed to. As I predicted (because I’m super cool and super smart), the design changes featured in the initial poster are not just random flourishes, but lasting elements of each character that will come to define them in the trio of specials. Luz’s hair is longer and more bedraggled, while the scar on her eyebrow gained during the season two finale remains. Her grudgy jacket has seen better days too, while her t-shirt is pulled straight from her beta design. The bisexual pin on her hat is also a killer new addition, and hopefully a permanent addition to really hammer home the representation. I’ve always thought in the past that she was long out and proud to her mother, and this only serves to cement that.

Hunter is a precious little guy filled with trauma who has suffered from a tragic haircut. It looks cute, but I will miss his funny little quiff and rather untenable appearance. He is also seen holding some form of device, which I imagine links up with the headset Gus is wearing that will help them open a new portal to the demon realm. Well, I think that will be the case, given the episode synopsis talks about them making one final attempt to make it back home before giving up for good. In spite of all the ongoing misery, Gus is still able to crack a smile and come up with ideas to help support his friends, even when everything seems lost.

I haven’t even mentioned the background details either. The flower from last season, picked to mark the passing of Luz’s father, appears to have sprouted, while a few other small objects relating to the Noceda family are scattered about the place. There is a very good chance that all of these observations will mean nothing, but the fact that fans are already so passionate about connecting the dots says so much about The Owl House’s staying power.

All we need is the smallest morsel of information to push ourselves into overdrive, and I’d argue we do even better with less to go on, forcing the community to connect the dots in ways that might have otherwise never been possible. The first and last panel for the show will be coming at New York Comic Con next month, and will no doubt be a bittersweet farewell to the show ahead of its eventual return, but for now we will keep foaming at the mouth for the tiniest nuggets of news to sustain ourselves on. We’ve got this much from a screenshot, now imagine what will happen if and when a full trailer ends up dropping.

I’m not an executive at Disney who decides which shows live and which survive, but the decision to can The Owl House in spite of its growing popularity continues to feel like a massive mistake. It was produced under the strain of a pandemic when the company was looking to tighten its purse strings wherever possible, and Dana Terrace’s queer adventure was in the wrong place at the wrong time without ever being given a chance to prove itself.

The axe was brought down before the first season had even finished airing, meaning it didn’t have a chance to attract an international audience through Disney+ or even come to cable in select territories. Even now, it hasn’t been that long since the finished second season came to streaming services in the UK, and I had to resort to more creative methods to consume the show as it aired in order to avoid spoilers. Don’t tell Mickey Mouse that I’m a filthy pirate.

Despite all of these obstacles, The Owl House still trends on Twitter whenever news drops, still inspires discussion when the smallest of news drops, and still aims to tell an ambitious and heartfelt narrative within the confines of its shortened conclusion. Yet it still isn’t given the privilege of a longer life, showcasing how out of touch the bigwigs are and how so many shows of this ilk have and continue to deserve better.

I’ll savour the three extended specials and all the discussion that comes with them, so expect an insufferable amount of analysis come October when the first episode drops. It’s gonna be a good one, and hopefully its impact is lasting enough to send the right message.

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