‘Winx Club’ Fans Are Agitated With Netflix’s Live Action Adaptation— Here’s Why
On Thursday (Dec 10), Netflix released the trailer for Fate: The Winx Saga, a live action adaptation of the beloved animated series Winx Club. The series, about a group of magical girls who transform into fairies to fight supernatural villains, originally debuted in 2004, ran for eight seasons and spawned three television films.
And so, longtime fans of the franchise were perched for a glimpse into the reimagined live action series—but after seeing the teaser trailer, many of them took to social media to express their distaste towards the major changes made to the world of Winx.
Per The Guardian, Fate: The Winx Saga is set to follow Bloom (Abigail Cowen), a 16-year-old fire fairy as she leaves her home in California to enroll at Alfea, an esteemed boarding school in the Otherworld where wingless fairies go to study their powers. It's quite the culture shock for Bloom, who was raised by human parents, but she doesn't have to brave the new setting alone thanks to her four roommates: the powerful water fairy Aisha (Precious Mustapha), empathetic mind fairy Musa (Elisha Applebaum), the talkative, sensible earth fairy Terra (Eliot Salt) and stuck-up royal light fairy Stella (Hannah van der Westhuysen).
Fans immediately took note of the stark change from the original animated series' vibrant, colorful Y2K style to a much darker, brooding, teen drama aesthetic that follows in the footsteps of Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (which also features Cowen). But while the mood shifts of those franchises have been widely embraced, fans aren't too happy with the new look of Fate and immediately flocked to Twitter to post side-by-side images of the two series, aiming to point out a perceived downgrade in quality.
The decision to ditch the exaggerated anime style of the original series came from showrunner Brian Young, known for his work as a writer on The Vampire Diaries. "I'm a massive manga anime fan, and a fan of the cartoon itself, but, of course, those are cartoons," he told The Guardian. "Nobody looks like that. It was the most important thing to me that every kid can feel like they see themselves in it ... Real girls, real people."
Fans also expressed outrage at Netflix's decision to write out the character of Tecna, the magenta-haired fairy of technology, who is one of the main fairies of the original series.
Winx Club lovers also noticed that Flora, the original show's nature fairy who appeared to be a person of color in the animated series, has been replaced by the character of Terra—who is white. Fans also pointed out that the character of Musa, who appeared to be of East Asian decent in the original animated series, has been whitewashed.
Fate: The Winx Saga is set to premiere on January 22, 2021 on Netflix. Tune in if you're intrigued, but know that many die-hard Winx stans will likely be sitting this one out.
Check out more frustrated reactions from fans, below: