Fate: The Winx Saga – Terrible or Too Judgemental?


On Friday January 21st, Netflix released Fate: The Winx Saga, and by Monday it was number 1 on their top 10 chart. The show has received some mixed reviews and here’s why. Spoilers beware.


Before I begin anything, here is a quick synopsis of the show. The show is centered around Bloom who attends Alfea School for Fairies after she discovers that she has magical powers. There she learns how to control and perfect her skills. She ends up befriending several other fairies, and together they save the universe from many different villains. 


Like previously stated, the show is based off of an animated series called Winx Club. The show is an Italian cartoon created in 2004 by Iginio Straffi. This show was an enormous success in Italy, so much so that Straffi has been called the Walt Disney of Italy. However, for some reason the show didn’t have as much success in English speaking countries as it did in other countries. 

The license for the English dubbed, switching the voices from Italian to English, was given primarily to 4Kids who produced the show from May 22nd, 2004 to December 27th, 2008 when 4Kids went bankrupt. The licenses for the show had also been given to companies like The Dubbing Brothers. When 4Kids went bankrupt, Nickelodeon’s parent company Viacom partnered with Rainbow. Straffi ended up making a deal with Viacom and in 2011, Winx Club aired on Nickelodeon. 


When Nickelodeon got the license for the show, the third season of the show was about to premiere in the Italian dub. In order to release both the Italian and English dubs together, Nickelodeon quickly pushed out four hour long specials to summarize the first two seasons. The third season was written by the original company where it would then get translated into English, and both versions would be released at the same time. From season four to season eight, Nickelodeon started writing for the show and around this time is when things get tricky. 


It should be mentioned that one thing that the show got praised for was the diversity among the group. In total there are six fairies, all from different backgrounds. Many characters are all from different ethnicities such as Flora coming from a Hispanic/Latin background, Musa from an Asian background, and Aisha (Layla) coming from an African American background.The show also tackled issues such as being emotionally vulnerable. Characters like Tecna, the fairy of technology, showed young girls that it was ok to feel things, that you didn’t have to try and be brave all the time, and that it was ok to be in an interacial relationship.The show did face some backlash for the way the girls had unrealistic body images as well as the fact that in season four they killed off Nabu, the only colored male in the series. 


Overall, the show did a fantastic job in the department of diversity. The first four seasons are actually pretty well done, and it also should be noted that for some reason when Nickelodeon took over, they changed Layla’s name to Aisha. Which I think is kind of odd, and I don’t know why they changed it. 


Around season five is when fans started noticing a drop in the quality of the show. From the poor writing to the animation, the show didn’t seem to have that spark that it did in previous seasons. Season five is ok in the terms of season six, seven, and eight, which older fans just couldn’t seem to get into. The show as a whole just seemed watered down, nothing compared to the first four seasons when the writing was phenomenal. I have to commend the way they handled Nabu’s death even if I’m still not ok with it. I understand that it’s been eight years, but I’m still not ok with it even if his death is one of the best scenes in the entire show. After noticing the drop in attention, the show decided to go under a design change. I personally don’t like it, I think they look weird. They look like little girls trying to play dress up while saving the universe. One of the things fans loved about the show was the fact that the girls actually grew up. In the first movie, which takes place in between the third and fourth seasons, they graduate from Alfea and return as teacher aids. 


Anything post season four is really just a hot mess. The second movie takes place in between the fourth and fifth season which is alright, except for the fact that Nabu is alive in the movie only for it to be confirmed that he died in the fifth season. Don’t even get me started on the third movie which takes place post season five. While I’m not a big fan of the movie itself, the movie had a way more compelling plot line that season five itself. Everything just went downhill and it made it hard for the older fans to actually like the series. The show aired its final episode on September 17th, 2019. 


Coming back to the present, at the end of 2020 Netflix announced the show Fate: The Winx Saga. The response was fifty-fifty with many older fans of the animated series hating on it. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan myself until I actually started watching it, and as it turns out it’s not that bad. Something that I do love about the show is the somewhat fixed body issues that were presented in the animated series, but it does have it’s fair share of issues as well. Starting off with the white washing, like I said previously, Winx Club was known for its diversity among the girls. There is really none of that except for Aisha. Also, they just cut out Flora and Tecna, instead there is Terra. I actually really love Terra, and it’s revealed that she is actually Flora’s cousin. They also just cut out all the guys from the animated series except for two, Sky and Riven. The other four are not in the show at all. I’m hoping that in future seasons Flora, some of the other cut characters like Tecna, and the other guys show up. 


Overall, I actually really enjoyed the show. While it is darker than the animated series, I found the storyline very interesting. Not to mention the huge cliffhanger the show left us on. I feel like a larger part of the mixed reviews is that older fans are comparing it to the animated series. While the show is based off of the animated series, I think they aren’t giving it the chance that it actually deserves. In the end, you will just have to watch it for yourself and see what you think.

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