There is no such thing as a “Good Demon.”
Let me say that again:
There is no such thing as a “Good Demon!”
In today’s world, the high-fantasy genre is liberated to a point where writers, artists, and readers can explore every possible realm of possible existence, which is an intimidating but wonderful thing. In high fantasy, our imaginations run wild, where we humor all subjective definitions of macabre, grotesque, beautiful, brave, and bizarre. We can escape society’s norms to validate thoughts and feelings, and we can make moral statements about our society and where it needs to go.
From multiverses strung together by Marvel’s anthologies of comic books to the allegorical Narnian plains from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles, The Walt Disney Company is no stranger to exposing its audience to high fantasy and the adventures that await. But no matter how free we let ourselves roam, no matter how mainstream high-fantasy may become, we must always keep the objective, established understanding of what is good and evil.
For example, Demons are evil. Angels are the good ones.
Disney Channel’s latest show, The Owl House, tells the story of a girl trapped in a demon realm where she will learn and use witchcraft while befriending an actual demon. The show follows in the footsteps of Netflix’s Disenchantment and Fox’s Lucifer. They present themselves with a foolishly arrogant perspective that drops everything–even the barebones of age-old ideological definitions of good and evil–into the bin of “high-fantasy make-believe,” demoting the reality of Angels and Demons to harmless mythology.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that 90% of America’s mainstream media has decided to operate outside of Judeo-Christian-centric norms. But, religion aside, there are boundaries you don’t cross and will have major consequences. I’m not talking about the wrath of some powerful Zeus-like being from above. I’m talking about scores of kids being led astray of their own free will.
Spreading Demonic Levels of Confusion
The trailer for Disney Channel’s The Owl House ends with the protagonist saying, “I know it looks slightly different…But if you look at it from a different perspective, it’s just like home.”
We keep hearing this one, don’t we? “Keep an open mind! You might like it!”
But, last I checked, getting your body and soul lost in a netherworld of chaos and horror with a manipulating demon and witch is not the same as trying some “super weird” ethnic food at a friend’s house that even she doesn’t like. There are limits to everything, even how “open-minded” you should be. And shows like The Owl House can cause major levels of confusion for the impressionable young minds it is geared towards.
Shows like The Owl House manipulate the idea of “there’s good in everyone” and teach kids to let their guards down to demons and witches because they may appear cute, benign, and sassy. They profess the same “to hell with it” contrarian nihilistic perspective on normal life and real spiritual evils as every other hipster artist on Tumblr.
DuckTales (2017) Rides the Line Perfectly
Disney XD’s reboot of DuckTales rides the line of enlightenment perfectly while dabbling in demon dimensions and magic. But here’s the difference: DuckTales maintains the established boundaries of Good and Evil.
Like The Owl House, DuckTales teaches kids not to be afraid to ask any questions or research any knowledge. But the difference in DuckTales is that they say, “THIS IS EVIL!” While the chief magic expert, Webby, may have a slightly unhealthy obsession with the “ethereal realms,” her eagerness comes from a desire to learn with an understanding of objective good vs. evil.
Now, is there goodness in every being? Yes.
Can everyone turn to good and be saved? Yes.
Webby’s best friend, Leena, was a shadow manifested from the darkest evil. But Webby constantly works to pull Leena into the light. Her naivete causes her to be constantly manipulated by Leena, but her purity and dedication to the light save Leena from “the shadow realm.” Rather than what some people think a person should do and surrender to their friend’s ways in the name of “enlightenment.”
Whenever spiritual nether-realms are mentioned in DuckTales, they are always accompanied by three show tropes:
- A warning and a lesson to always try and use all other means before magic.
- It is approached like “The Force.” There is good and bad magic, and our heroes stay in the light.
- Our heroes approach supernatural beings, demon realms, or other chaotic zones of lost souls with the utmost desire to conquer them, put them back in their place, and leave immediately after or completely separate them from the realm of the living.
Do you see the difference? Sure, it’s fun to play with a little fake magic on TV, but it is not okay to tell kids it’s cool to befriend demons and get involved with straight witchcraft. That will only lead to more souls being led astray and lost to darkness.
There is no such thing as a “good demon.”
“Dude. Calm Down. It’s just a TV show.”
For those of you left thinking this, you’re right. I agree. It is just a TV show. Kids are smart enough not to blindly emulate what they see on TV. But in that case, why don’t we bring back gun use in cartoons and the good old hilariously violent slapstick Loony Tunes comedy?
The world is better off with cartoon bad guys carrying and firing real-looking guns than with a good cartoon guy having a cutesy-looking demon.