Here is a compiled list of all the answers Dana gave from her recent AMA
. I have edited them as little as possible, only removing some of the fluff from the questions and leaving Dana's answers intact. I also separated out multi-question comments into separate parts.
We've seen that amity's home life is less than ideal, but can you tell us anything about Boscha or Skara's home lives or past?
We haven't seen much of these characters outside of school but I like to think that Boscha's mother and Amity's mother have a tense rivalry from childhood and they're still trying to one up each other with the accomplishments of their children.
A both Creepy Luz and Gwendolyn have been mentioned but we still know next to nothing about them, could you possibly give us any new information about them?
Won't say anything about Gwendolyn but... "Creepy Luz" was actually a joke response to the line "Maybe I'll meet a hot yet vulnerable upperclassman" from The First Day. I love the evil doppelganger theory! I'm not confirming or denying that that may or may not exist. But that's what that specific term was referring to in that interview haha.
how old is eda gus and willow (and king) if this is too much to ask sorry and what are your thoughts on shipping
Eda: mid to late 40s (same with Lilith except 2 years older). It never felt right to give these characters exact ages unless it was somehow super relevant to the story.
Did Lilith dye her hair blue? And if so, why?
Yes she absolutely dyes her hair. Once she joined the Emperor's Coven she wanted to appear more... Intimidating...
What do you think of all the press the show's been getting since Enchanting Grom Fright, both the positive and the negative?
The press coverage has been overwhelmingly positive and that's very encouraging for the crew to keep doing what they're doing! The negative press is equally encouraging because I live to troll jerks. :)
Hi Dana! I love the show. Could you please give some info on the relationship between Lilith and Amity? Are they pretty close, and was Lilith the one teacher that Amity referred to as "mom" before? Thanks!
Haha, I love this question. No, the "mom" line was not intended to be directed towards Lilith but I LOVE that the audience made that connection. I remember making similar connections to shows I enjoyed as a kid, that's what makes cartoons fun!
Okay but to the actual question... Honestly, Amity and Lilith are not that close. At least I never thought of them that way. Neither of them, from my POV, know what it's like to be particularly close with a parent (in Amity's case) or a child/student (in Lilith's case). They're each a tool to attain each other's goals, they are both extremely pragmatic characters... At least Lilith thinks of herself that way, haha. After Covention I imagine Amity lost a lot of respect for Lilith that day. Amity being tricked into cheating?! Nightmare!
Will we see more of viney, jerbo and barcus?
We were honestly not expecting all the love for these troublemakers. But we love when audiences connect to characters! Definitely incentivizes us to bring them back.
What did you major in (and minor in) and where did you go to college? Do you have any major recommendations for people going into the field of writing for TV?
I majored in animation at School of Visual Arts but most of what I learned was either on the job or from my classmates and peers at different schools. For me personally the tuition was... Not worth what I got out of sva. If you're interested in writing, read scripts! There are so many free movie and television scripts available online. Write a lot! The only way to get better is through lots of practice. Pretty standard advice, but never untrue.
What’s a day in your life like for work and stuff? (When there’s not a global pandemic going on of course.)
An average day in my life... Is completely unpredictable! Before quarantine I was literally running through the halls going from music spots to board reviews to design reviews to my line producer's office to talk about budget back to my desk to write 3 lines of a script over to the editor's bay to watch an animatic... My to-do list is ever expanding and never ending! Now I'm doing all those same things but through zoom haha.
What's Luz' favorite anime?
HHMMMMMMMMMMMMMHMHMHMMM Luz's anime/manga preferences...
I think Luz would be into Hunter x Hunter but never get far in the manga because Camila will only buy her 1 or 2 volumes at a time for holidays or a good report card. I think she would start watching The Promised Neverland but have to stop after the first season bc it's just too grim for her. She definitely traces Rumiko Takahashi and Hiromu Arakawa manga. She definitely cried reading a second-hand copy of Children of the Sea in a public library. She'd probably love "Your Name" and would try to get her mother to watch it. Have I thought about this too much?
Asking the BIG question here: Does Amity naturally have brown hair and dyes it or is it green and she has brown patches in it?
Amity's natural hair is brown, like her father's. Emira and Edric's hair is green, like their mother's. Mrs Blight likes her children to be... Color coordinated.
Will Owl House ever come to Disney Plus? That may be my only hope of watching it(I’ve been checking everyday ever since the finale, I’m really desperate)
Yes! The Owl House will come to D+ soon. Generally Disney Channel shows go onto Disney+ 30 days after their finale. I don't have a solid date yet but when I do I'll make a post about it.
What is your current favorite TV show? Some of mine are One Piece, Amphibia, Umbrella Academy, The Flash, etc.
Usually I'm too busy to watch anything but quarantine changed that. Currently I'm watching Succession, Nathan For You, Midnight Diner, and Aggretsuko (Alex if you're reading this I promise I haven't started season 3, I'm just catching up on 1 and 2 haha).
What sexuality is amity? It’s not entirely clear yet
Amity is intended to be a lesbian and Luz is bi. I apologize for my original post which was worded vaguely.
Romantic threads are fun and I love how many people are connecting to that storyline but my personal taste as a storyteller will never allow me to write a full on romance saga. THAT BEING SAID... Me and the crew are having a crap ton of fun developing this thread in season 2. All the ins and outs of these storylines we're keeping track of... Feels like we're knitting.
Hi Dana! I just need to know...is Hooty infinite? Can he stretch forever, or will he eventually stop?
There is no beginning. There is no end. There is only... Hooty.
What's better: Jock Amity or Punk Amity?
Hahaha perhaps Amity might attempt at dressing in a "punk aesthetic" to impress people but she'd never feel comfortable in those clothes. She's definitely more of a jock in my mind.
Is Principal Bump controlled by the demon attached to his or head or is it more like a accessory? Or do they both work together? (Also does the demon have a name)
His name is Frewin and he has a purpose but that's all I'll say for now.
How did King get his horn chipped? Was it a fierce battle or did he just fall down the stairs?
All will be revealed eventually.
Will season 2 make us cry
Man I hope.
What is the significance of gems on Lilith and eda’s chests?
At first there was no significance, just an in-world fashion choice. It wasn't until we were in production for The Intruder when we decided to use Eda's gem as a visual aid to show when the curse was overtaking her. On the Boiling Isles gems are as common in outfits as necklaces.
I saw the process of the Lilith and Eda’s epic battle. How long is the process of making an episode from start to finish?
Roughly... 1 year I believe? From episode premise to animation to music to final color and all that jazz. This is why our schedules are stacked. It can be very confusing and overwhelming.
How would you describe Amity’s parents? Are they similar to Gravity Fall’s Northwests or worse? If yes, then in what ways?
Amity's parents appear one way... But there's a little more to them than you guys think, and that could either be good or bad for our protagonists. I especially have fun writing Mr Blight. He's interesting.
Will there be anybody’s birthday during the next season, specifically Luz, will she celebrate her quinceanera?
Depends on if we get a season 3 tbh :')
Did amity has a crush on someone before Luz?
I definitely think Luz is her first crush (or at least her first big crush). That's why it's so overwhelming haha.
Will we see more of Gus’ story next season?
We get to know everyone a little better in s2.
hmm, would it be possible for somebody not experienced in the industry to be able to pitch a show? Or would you need experience in the first place to have a chance (if not, any recommendations on how to get started?)
It's not super necessary, there are no rules to entertainment, however an effective and responsible showrunner is someone who knows the pipeline and knows how to help their crew navigate that pipeline. Experience before pitching can help you from being taken advantage of by studios.
for toh, was amity crushing on luz something that happened from the getgo and fans picked up on it quickly, or did the fans influence it?
Animation moves so slowly that audience reactions very rarely have significant influence on scripts, at least how I've experienced the process. By the time our first episode aired we were already finished writing the first season.
would Luz watch minecraft youtubers? if so, who'd be her favorite to watch?
Luz would just play minecraft and spend all her time building fantastical castles and coming up with stories for the towns she builds. She'd probably think about starting her own channel but never get around to it.
how r you?
Fine! Thanks for asking!
does hooty has a evil twin?
Yes and it's Booty, bc that's what keeps autocorrecting whenever I text about Hooty.
Is there anything you can tell us about the character with the pink stripe in her hair? The girl in Luzs flashbacks in the first episode? The pink stripe makes her seem oddly important to me.
Ooo FUN FACT! In development Amity had a very different hairstyle. After drawing this character in the unaired, unanimated pilot I decided I liked this look better for the character. That's why they have a similar silhouette!
How are the twins after they got stood up at grom?
They're salty but they'll get over it. They'll have plenty of distractions in s2.
You think there will ever be a musical episode in the next season? 👉👈
You might not want this answer but... I deeply dislike musicals haha. Maybe because I was a dancer for 10 years and that experience was not fun. But I'll probably never do a musical episode in anything I make. ]:
Whose idea was it to bless us with the line "Talk to the glyph, witch!"?
lol that was a last minute punch up from me.
im rlly interested in voice acting and storyboarding, do u have any advice/tips?
I don't know much about voice acting but some quick tips for storyboarding:
- Copy scenes from movies and shows you like! More important than memorizing a rulebook on boarding is just getting a SENSE for visual storytelling. Note how you feel during certain scenes and why you might be feeling that way because of the compositions. Why would a director choose this angle? Does it make something funny? Does it make a scene feel claustrophobic? Let emotions guide you as you start learning, learn the "rules" later. That's just my singular opinion though!
- Get really good at learning the rules of perspective... So you can break them and manipulate them at will!
- Don't just study film, study from life! Study illustrations! Boarding for animation can go from being highly cinematic and realistic to super experimental and weird.
- Anatomy! Figure drawing! Very important. But it's also important to have variety. Study all kinds of different styles from Simpsons, to anime, to pixar, study everything!
What/when can we expect for official merchandise
Man... I have no idea. Disney is historically weird with that junk. :/ Besides, all the fan merch I've seen is so much cooler than anything Disney makes anyway haha.
Will we see other types of bird themed houses? Like a raven house for example
Bird-themed things are generally a Clawthorne thing...
When you say that your tuition wasn’t worth it what you’ve learned, do you mean that the education was kinda “squared” and conservative? (like hexside)
No, that's not what I meant with that comment. I just meant that I didn't feel that sva at that time prepared me for the industry. I was lucky to have the opportunities that I had but I learned 99% of what I know now on the job.
My alma meter and Hexside have no parallels. However I did go to Catholic school from 1st to 8th and man... You ever been put into a headlock by a nun?
Will there ever be a book about the owl house? it is my favorite tv show.
I've always wanted to do an official Owl House graphic novel! If there's demand for books then they'll ask for books. :)
Will we see more Eda and Lilith sibling moments?
Who is your favorite character you’ve created?
My favorite character... I'm gonna go with the character I have the most fun writing. You kinda met him, but you haven't seen his face. Ugh, I love that other one too. And that other one. Oh and that one. You've all seen these characters in some way... But not really. BUT other than THEM... I really love Eda haha.
And to go along with that, who is your least favorite character (in design not writing or personality)
Least favorite character design? Honestly I kinda love all our character designs haha. Our design team is so good! The Puppeteer from episode 2 really freaks me out, though.
Would Eda love Vegas? I get the feeling she’s wreck havoc there.
She's been before. She wasn't impressed.
Who would win at hexas hold’em Lilith or Eda?
Eda. She probably cheated though.
When a witch joins a coven, are they unable to learn and cast any other type of magic that doesn’t align with the coven or can they still cast any magic but doing so is forbidden and they’ll be in trouble?
When a witch joins a coven they are physically unable to perform any kind of magic outside of that specialty. (More generic spells like levitation for small objects may be doable but with difficulty). They're physically and magically cut off from the rest of their magical abilities.
If I recall correctly there was only one person (who was later revealed as a demon) who was referred to as a wizard. Is there any differences between wizards and witches in the boiling isles?
On the Boiling Isles 'witch' is a gender-neutral term. Wizards do exist but it's more of a title you can call yourself if you like. Haha there are some scrapped lines that allude to the term 'warlock' being akin to 'edgelord' in the demon realm.
It isn't common to see in-house animation on western shows so how were you able to do animations on Gravity Falls, Ducktales, and The Owl House?
In my heart of hearts I am an animator and when I began on Gravity Falls I made sure to let my supervisors know that if they ever needed freelance for special scenes that I was available! I'm super happy I was able to do a few things. Same on Ducktales, I told them it was something I could do and eventually I had the opportunity to do it. Animating is my favorite thing to do in the world and I'm trying to do more in season 2.
You and Spencer animated on TOH is there a limit on the number of animators you're allowed to have in-house?
Spencer was our only in-house animator on season 1 (actual title was Animation Supervisor). To allow for that position I had to sit through a lot of meetings because Disney was very hesitant to bring in someone for a job that didn't perfectly fit into their overseas pipeline. But we got him in and I'm extremely grateful for my time with him. Our in-house season 2 animator is Kofi Fiagome and he's great and I can't wait to show ya'll what's being cooked up!
Do you think Luz would have a stan account?
An account to impersonate Grunkle Stan?
I mean... Maybe?
When Luz learned the Ice glyph in Adventures in the elements, she makes a small diamond shape at the bottom of the glyph that wasn't there before, can she edit other glyphs like this?
The application of glyphs and all their uses will be explored more in season 2!
What is a palisman? What are they made of? How do they work? Can they use magic?
A palisman is our world's equivalent of a "witch's familiar". They act as familiars and double as magical staffs that house their own source of power outside of a witch's bile sac. They're not all powerful but they can do some cool stuff. Typically a witch will carve their palismen from a special type of wood in their teens. This can either be done at school or with parental supervision. That is... If that precious resource is still around...
Without spoiling anything, what can we expect from Season 2 of The Owl House? (You can be subtle)
Hmm you can expect...
A lot of emotions
Island exploration and
Is Lilith pailsman alive like owlbert
If eda gets the curse cured will her hair turn back to its natural color
What were your inspirations for the Emperor Belos?
Belos went through a lot of back and forth and decisions. He has very specific inspirations but those will become clear in season 2.
Is King's backstory deeper than we think?
Howdy Dana, love the show! What are the odds on a Hooty/Duolingo romantic subplot next season?
I'm pitching the spin off series as we speak.
i’ve been curious about this for the longest time: what exactly IS apple blood? and if someone were to actually make an apple blood drink IRL, what would it consist of/taste like? thank you!! 💕💕
Depends... We talkin Hard Apple Blood or the stuff they put in juice boxes for babies?
I wanted to ask if like Willow and Amity are starting/have started hanging out without Luz to like rekindle their friendship
I don't think they're comfortable enough to do that just yet... Old wounds take a while to heal. But the air between them is certainly lighter than it was before.
If you could have The Owl House cross over with any other cartoon, what cartoon would it be?
Once I imagined Eda ripping Brock Samson's mullet off with her bare hands and wearing it as a bloody wig. That'd be kinda funny.
Is there a specific age (or age range) where witches must select a coven?
Generally teens enter covens when they graduate from school (so 17/18ish). If they're extra talented they may leave school and join a coven early.
One of my favorite parts of Gravity Falls was the code breaking, so I was thrilled when I found out there were codes in The Owl House as well! Who came up with the cipher? Will there be more codes in Season 2?
In high school I spent my summers in Russia and me and my Russian school friend used to pass notes made from a mix of our alphabets. From there our "secret language" developed and changed in this language is an extrapolation of that. Steven Sugar, I believe, was the one who REALLY figured out the specifics though.
Also hell yeah, I love hiding stuff and ciphers and codes. Me and Alex have our own way of doing that stuff but we get along for a reason haha.
How long do you think the hiatus between seasons will be
Unsure! We're still animating season 2. Unfortunately covid has definitely shifted schedules and expectations. ]: We're doing our best!
Who’s your favorite character in the owl house
I have many! And most haven't been formally introduced yet. But I love Eda and King. That's not to say I don't like Luz and everyone else, haha. I tend to like the characters I have the easiest time writing. Protagonists are hard!
Does Willow work out?
Every morning. She doesn't like to brag though (unlike Boscha).
can you share any info about what season 2 plot will mainly be about?
All I'll say is...
Everything people responded to from season 1, especially the last few episodes, there will be MORE of.
Do you feel slighted at all by your audience's obsession with amity's crush on luz? You've put so much work into this series' plot, lore, characters, emotional impact, etc. that you must feel something abt all of that being put to the side in favor of shipping. (sorry to ask that, I'm sure you've had an overabundance of questions abt them already.)
Not at all! No, the main focus of the series will never be on any romantic thread but that doesn't mean those threads aren't important. And I'm thrilled that people connect to our characters! It just means that audiences are invested and that's a wonderful thing. World building and lore is only as important as it relates to our characters, in my opinion.
Do you have any tips for drawing/practicing anatomy?
Draw from life as much as possible but also draw from your inspirations as much as possible. Make conscious notes of how different artists may simplify and interpret different parts of the body and figure out what makes the most sense to YOU. Everyone's "style" is just a composite of their own influences plus their drawing habits. I used to do an hour of figure drawing/studies every day ranging from 30 second gestures to 8 hour painting studies. In the end I stopped doing the painting because I wanted to focus more on line and how it can be applied to animation. Everyone figures anatomy out differently!
What is Hooty made of, flesh or wood?
No one's really sure.
What would you say is the most obscure official coven?
Out of the main nine... Maybe construction. But it's probably the one I would join cause there's a lot of strength training and creativity involved. Many Boiling Isles sculptors and architects are a part of the Construction Coven. What
Man the answer to that is really upsetting. Too bad it's also a s e c r e t.
When eda ran out of magic, what happened to her bile sack?
It's like an organ that stopped producing the chemicals she needs to produce magic on her own. It's still there but it's pretty useless now.
Why does king wear a collar?
To be revealed in s2!
Why is the sea of Boiling Isles purple?
Cause it's pretty.
Also because we wanted this realm to look very different from the human realm.
Quick and simple question: does Luz have a mullet, or would she get one?
Hahaha, she has a slightly outgrown pixie cut. But I think she could rock a mullet if she wanted to.
Does Luz find it questionable that Amity gets all flustered around her? Does she get the signs? Or is she just really oblivious to the entire thing
Luz is a little bit of a bonehead. Very relatable. That being said Luz has been so distracted with Eda's curse it makes it hard to see what's right in front of her.
Some clarity! I'm not at all calling Luz stupid. I actually see her as a very bright and quick thinker, but also young and still figuring life out. Something I personally related to, especially at 14. In this particular situation there's so much going on in her life she's oblivious to some things in front of her.
Hi Dana, What's you're favorite song and what type of music do you listen
Even my closest friends don't know what I listen to.
But my favorite band of all time is TV on the Radio.
Hi dana omg omg ok my question is what prompted you to do the owl house series ?
I pitched the general idea of an older witch with a young mentee in hell to an old writing partner who told me that no one wants to watch a show about an old lady. So I made a pitch bible out of spite. Here I am 4 years later!
And my second question is will see another luz familiar in the program?
I don't quite understand, I'm sorry! Yes we will learn more about Luz, her mother, and her history as the series progresses.
Owl House is said to be a horror comedy, so I was wondering....in early development was the show a lot darker and more horror esc?
I mean with all the reference to blood, death etc..it made me wonder if this show was originally darker then what we got
Late replying to this one but I had it bookmarked because I think about this a lot.
The original pitch for Owl House was darker, yes. My end game is not to continue writing kids cartoons (which are wonderful and rewarding but not my personal jam). I prefer stories for older audiences where things like whimsy and darkness can coexist. I mean hell, look at my personal artwork. Owl House is as kid-friendly as I'll ever be. Season 1 there was a lot of back and forth and compromise to work with what the studio wanted and I'm very proud of what we accomplished in these first 19 episodes! The OH crew is amaaaazing. But it was also an impactful learning experience as to what my creative voice is and what kind of stories I want to tell. That being said I think season 2 hits that intended tone a little closer. Excited to share it someday.