Netflix Review: Differences Between Fate: The Winx Saga and Winx Club
When I was little I was literally obsessed with Winx Club and now Netflix came up with a live-action version for an older audience. So, apparently, the little fan in me is still alive and she got very excited about this. (They also have books!). I mean this was basically calling me to work, right? Most old fans seem annoyed by the amount of changes between the cartoons and the new series. I think some of these changes can be seen as good, some can be seen bad and some just unnecessary. So, here’s a review based on the changes. Throughout the article, I will mark the places with major spoilers (both beginning and the ending) so that if you haven’t watched it you can still read this article to help you decide whether to watch and not get big spoilers. Let’s start!
1. Flora & Tecna
The biggest difference in Fate: The Winx Saga is that two major characters, Flora and Tecna are not in it. Believe me, I was about to throw hands and give up on it at first. Flora is kind of replaced by Terra who we learn is actually Flora’s cousin so she might appear later but then again what would be the point? I love Terra she is a cool character, characteristically, she is definitely not like Flora. The only common aspect they have is probably that they are both Earth Fairies. Although Terra has a representative role in the series, I think this was an unnecessary change.
For Tecna, there still stands a chance that she might be back but the reason why she may not be in the series is that the powers of the fairies in the series appear to be more connected to nature which means no Technology Fairies. I believe there are plans going on to bring back more characters in the second season so perhaps the Technology Fairies will come to exist or she might come back with different powers. I guess we’ll see.
While these two are left out, Aisha or as I knew in my childhood, Layla, comes early. In Winx Club, she doesn’t appear until season 2. Here, she does not only appear early but she also replaces Flora as Bloom’s roommate and in a way, Stella with their friendship. I’ll talk more about that later.
One of the main reasons that people are angry about the changes is the loss of ethnic diversity. Winx Club was ahead of her time with each character completely different from each other. Our main girls consisted of a ginger, a blond, a Latina, a black, an Asian and even a pink-haired techno girl (though ethnically still white). We grow up loving them all with their differences which I now come to appreciate a lot. Now, the cast majorly looks white. Latina is replaced by a white character, our techno girl’s not in it at all and the Asian character is played by a white actress ( no offence, I love her and her portrayal of the character). Although all the actresses are great, I would’ve liked a cast that was closer to the original.
On the other hand, our new Winx girl, Terra appears to be created for the sake of diversity. While they take away some ethnic diversity, they bring Terra for the representation of different bodies. Although the idea sounds good, I have some issues with that. Making one character fat (yes, I use the f-word because I personally find the replacements more offensive) in a school full of thin characters does not exactly do it, does it? Representing any kind of diversity should normalise their perception, not make them stand out. Trust me, fairy or not, not everyone’s going to have similar bodies at a big school. Another thing that every show with a fat character have is to have them talk about their weight and how insecure they feel about it half the time. I first thought this wasn’t going to happen here and was really happy because [spoiler] in the first episode Terra stands up to Riven who tries to bully her saying “people always think that they can treat the big girl like shit because we’re sweet and we’re harmless and we should be happy that you’re even talking to us but some times we’ve had a really really bad day and some scorn little asshole says the wrong thing at the wrong time and suddenly we’re not happy that you’re talking to us and we’re not sweet and most of all we’re not harmless” and chokes Riven. Honestly, though still attention’s drawn to her weight, I loved that seen like go Terra! [spoiler]. But eventually, the classic self-doubting comes back. I think that’s offensive for the actress/ actor who plays the fat character too because they are literally hired to pity or make fun of (depending on the scenario) their appearance. That must really badly affect them and makes me doubt how helpful it is for people with different body types who watch the show. Also, a love interest of a guy confused about his sexuality and either way not interested in her that makes her even more insecure? Come on, they can be more original than that.
3. The Trix
The Trix merge to make one person, Beatrix. I was first a little annoyed – I mean it’s hard to be objective as an old big fan but I try. But I adore Beatrix’s character. Such a great bad character; we don’t learn all but from what we know, great backstory and she is just incredibly cool. The actress Sadie Soverall does an amazing job bringing her to life. With Stormy’s powers, Icy’s attitude and Darcy’s look plus Riven, she is a great single embodiment of the Trix witches. Speaking of witches, the witches are not as normal as in the cartoons either. The witch school, cloud tower, doesn’t exist but they are rather unnatural humans who draw magical powers from sacrifice. They are called Blood Witches. Now, though Beatrix is hinted to be one, we’re not completely sure. I’m not sure what the magical differences between the two species are but if Beatrix is a blood witch, she easily passes as a fairy and enters Alfea.
4. No Wings & Transformation
Well, at least not now. No wings was a big no-no for me. I mean anyone who watched Winx Club adored the wings and the transformation and dancing around the room, pretending we were transforming, as well. My parents even paid a lot of money for a Stella doll which had two, repeating, two changeable pairs of wings. I adored that thing – until my sister broke one, a tragedy. However, it seems like they will be making a comeback – the wings on the show, not my doll’s… In the earlier episodes, Farah (who is the new name of the Headmistress Faragonda) states that they used to have wings and [spoiler] Bloom’s transformation, though not as impressing as the original, proves that they will be having wings [spoiler].
So, the only change with Musa isn’t her ethnicity. She is no longer a Music Fairy. I mean no such thing as a music fairy. She is an “empath” which means that she can feel what other people feel. We can say Mind Fairy. Not sure how necessary that was though I’m not too bothered by it. These powers add another depth to Musa’s character and perhaps even makes her more interesting. Also, her musical element is somewhat protected with the headphones she always carries with her for the times everyone’s feelings get so much. I mean, imagine feeling everyone’s feelings on top of your own. Poor Musa.
[spoiler] She also (at least currently) doesn’t have any romantic involvement with Riven. A new character, Sam who is Terra’s brother, is her love interest and let me tell you, they are extremely cute. Though the single interaction between Musa and Riven got me a little excited, I wouldn’t be sad about not seeing them get together. In such a case, I would be so sad for Sam, and Beatrix and Riven make such a hot couple, as well. [spoiler]
Her character seems to be more melancholic and irritable than Musa, as well but I’m sure you would be too if you felt everyone’s feelings. Elisha Applebaum, though not Asian, portrays a great new Musa. One thing you should expect if you haven’t watched it, the girls altogether are a lot less cheerful and a lot more annoying at times but that’s like the reality of their ages and experiences. They are 16 with a bunch of trauma. I feel like that makes them more in-depth truer to themselves without the limitations of being suitable for children. This made some significant changes to some characters but Riven, especially, feels more Riven than Riven.
Honestly, Musa rose so much in my list of favourite Winx fairies in the series.
For most of the season, Stella is annoying af. She is barely friends with the girls until the end and her close friendship with Bloom doesn’t exist (yet). Also, [spoiler] the whole original beginning story that Stella finds Bloom and brings her to Alfea is scrapped. I don’t quite like that. It takes away the original story and doesn’t add anything I’m quite sad about the relationship she and Bloom had as well. I mean, they can still get closer but that event was a milestone, they were best friends since day one. [spoiler]. That makes me sad. And to make the matters worse, [spoiler] Sky is Stella’s ex. Now, that has some ground to it from the original story, as Brendon takes Sky’s place and Stella first gets interested in the prince of Araklion, Sky in the appearance of Brendon. However, that of course causes no beef between the girls like this one. Through the end of the season, it seems to settle but Stella’s jealousy is no normal jealousy [spoiler].
In general, Stella is mostly so annoying with anger management issues and overly selfish behaviour. She has a horrible mother, lots of pressure on her as the heir of Solaria throne and lots to deal with but I still think she could’ve been portrayed so much better. Writers… why?
7. Burned Ones
Burned Ones are the new evil creatures – [spoiler] of course with real villains, people, behind them [spoiler]. Let me tell you, they are not cute like Knut. Knut and Kiko who, as expected, are not in the series, deserve an honourable mention. I’m not bothered about the Burned Ones and they seem to have an interesting story behind them that we’ll learn in the next season. I felt like they gave a kind of Game of Thrones and Teen Wolf vibes to the series. Though I hope the other magical and mythical creature of the Winx world come back too.
8. Other Missing Characters [could be completely spoiler-y]
With many characters currently missing, the one that struck me the most (except Flora, Tecna and the Trix) is Brendon. WHERE IS MY BABY, BRENDON? I’m pretty sure now that Stella and Sky are done, he’ll make a comeback but, like Stella and Bloom, Brendon and Sky’s relationship would not be the same either. In some senses, Riven has replaced Brendon though I would expect a fallout, as when it comes to that, he could choose Beatrix over Sky.
Helia is another one. I guess it makes sense that no Flora means no Helia but I still liked the guy. If the cousin Flora comes down to Alfea, maybe he comes too? We can always hope.
Same as Helia, no Tecna means no Timmy. Though I must admit, his absence didn’t feel as significant without Tecna and the technological stuff of the Specialists around.
Roxy is not around, as expected. She comes much later in the original, though I doubt we’ll ever see her here.
Nabu who I again wasn’t expecting to see this early should make a comeback too, Aisha doesn’t currently have a love interest. But who knows, maybe she ends up having a female love interest instead? Again, a girl can hope.
And much other less significant characters like Griselda, Griffin, Mitzi and Saladin are also not in the series.
9. Other New Characters
I’ve already spoken about Sam, love him, and briefly mentioned Dane. Dane is Terra’s platonic love interest. He again seems to be newly invented for LGBTQ+ representation. She is actually a sweet guy but a bit confused and a little obsessed with Beatrix [spoiler] there is kind of a polygamy going on between the trio which is an interesting dynamic (reminds me of Elite) but they should be nicer to Terra, she doesn’t deserve to be hurt in the process of Dane finding himself [spoiler].
Rosalind is another important one. She is an interesting element in the series, especially because we have no idea who she is. So, I quite liked that. [spoiler] She appears to be the mega villain of the series [spoiler] and is a very interesting character I’m excited to know more about.
Silva is also a new character. He is the teacher of the specialists, could be Saladin in that sense, but much younger. And much much much hotter… He is close with Sky as [spoiler] mostly he raises him [spoiler]. He is a character that we’re mostly in two minds about [spoiler] but he is just as faulty as any other [spoiler].
10. Other Major Differences [full of spoilers]
Of course, there are a lot of changes and I can’t talk about them all but I finally wanted to talk about a few more of them. Like what on earth is going on with Bloom and her (adopted) mum? They had a great relationship in Winx Club and Vanessa was so sweet. Now, she is an old high school socialite who pressed her daughter to be like her to a point that they don’t get along at all and Bloom burns their bedroom down. Bloom’s adoptive parents are also not aware of Bloom not being their real daughter until the end of the season when Bloom tells them. There is an ancient myth involved in that story that got me annoyed at first but also got the nerd side of me interested.
The Sky-Bloom closeness having some ulterior motive at one point made me annoyed too. Like really Silva? Sky spying on Bloom? That doesn’t take long and turns into a whole part on their trust in each other so it had a point but not sure how I feel about it.
[big spoiler] The biggest bomb SKY’S DAD IS EVIL? WHAT? [big spoiler] not going to tell much more on that in case some of you who didn’t watch it got noisy enough to read all the spoilers because he was a big shock element and I don’t want to ruin it.
The whole season finale episode was a bomb.
Overall, although there are A LOT of changes that understandably annoyed a lot of the original Winx Club fans, I still enjoyed it. Once the series can be separated from the expectations from the cartoons, it is quite interesting. For me, while it carried the nostalgic element, it also gave another dimension to these characters. They are more in-depth, more human, more interesting and I quite enjoyed seeing them behave like actual teenagers with parties and their issues and traumas and developing personalities. Bloom, especially has a long journey ahead of her and lots to deal with. As a lover of fantasy shows and an old Winx Club fan, though bothered by some of the changes, I can’t wait for the next season of Fate: The Winx Saga.
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