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Where Did ‘Fate: The Winx Saga’ Go Wrong?

Netflix's live-action reboot of 'Winx Club' just doesn't live up to expectations, but are we surprised?
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I grew up with Winx Club on my TV screen every Saturday morning. I woke up before everyone else just to have control of the remote so I could watch the fairies fight evil beings. So, when I heard Netflix was working with the original creator to make a live-action remake, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t contain my excitement. I even liked most of the cast when they were announced.

But then I saw the trailer. And my heart dropped.

I watched the show anyway, despite knowing I wouldn’t enjoy it. And I was right. So, where exactly did they go wrong?

What’s ‘Fate: The Winx Saga’?

Fate The Winx Saga
Netflix | Archery Pictures | Young Blood Productions | Rainbow S.p.A. | ViacomCBS

Fate: The Winx Saga is Netflix’s attempt at a Winx Club remake. I say attempt because while they worked with the studio that made the original cartoon, they didn’t do it any justice. They made a show that doesn’t remind me of Winx Club, except for some of the characters’ names.

Fate is the story of Bloom, a fairy raised in the human world who is enrolled at Alfea. She meets other fairies and students there while dark creatures, called Burned Ones, start attacking the human and Otherworld. It’s a darker retelling of Winx Club – or it was supposed to be.

Honestly, I think Netflix would have done a better job and gotten a better reaction had they remade W.I.T.C.H. instead. While the start of the story is similar, everything after Bloom gets to Alfea is entirely different than its source material.

‘Winx Club’ Was A Staple During The 2000s

Winx Club was a show full of bright colors that perfectly contrasted the darker moments of the series. It had one of the most diverse casts of characters that I’d seen in a children’s show. And it had some fantastic fairy transformations, villains, and storylines.

Out of the leading group of fairies, we have Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Tecna, and Aisha (or Layla if you watched the original run of the show). Roxy was added in season four, but she didn’t stick around long for some reason.

My favorite villains from Winx Club were the Trix – Icy, Stormy, and Darcy. When Nickelodeon brought the show back, we got a glimpse at Icy’s origins as a villain. It made her a little more relatable, but I think I preferred her before learning her history.

So, I just have to say it was a good show. Even with Nickelodeon’s reboot and Netflix’s spin-off series, World of Winx, it still stands the test of time. The fashion was iconic, the stories were compelling, and the characters were relatable. So, where did Netflix go wrong with its live-action “remake?”

Netflix Wanted a Darker Fairy Show

Abigail Cowen as Bloom in Fate The Winx Saga Season 1 Finale
Netflix | Rainbow S.p.A. | Paramount Global | Young Blood Productions | Archery Pictures

When Netflix first dropped the trailer for Fate: The Winx Saga, it was apparent they were trying to make a fairy-centric Riverdale. They took the characters’ names (except Flora and Tecna), merged a few together, and called it a remake.

But that’s where they went wrong. The people who grew up watching Winx Club wanted a true-to-the-source remake that wasn’t like all the other shows on TV. I wanted bright colors, the Trix causing mayhem, and pretty fairy transformations complete with shimmering wings.

Instead, Netflix took the wings away, making the” fairies” basically glorified witches. And witches aren’t a bad thing; they were just already established in the original source material and changed for the remake. I don’t know what Netflix was doing, but it’s no shock it’s got a low Rotten Tomatoes rating.

The Missing Characters

Elisha Applebaum as Musa and Precious Mustapha as Aisha in Fate The Winx Saga Season 1
Netflix | Rainbow S.p.A. | Paramount Global | Young Blood Productions | Archery Pictures

Netflix’s biggest disgrace to Winx Club was taking Flora, Tecna, Icy, Darcy, and Stormy out of the story. They were some of the best characters in the show, but where were they in Fate? Tecna was written out because fairy powers were derived from nature only. And since she’s a technology fairy, she’s rendered obsolete.

Icy, Darcy, and Stormy were merged into one character named Beatrice (a play on “Be a Trix,” according to many fans). Beatrice has weather-based powers, meaning we get Icy and Stormy in that way. And she looks like Darcy, so I guess that’s all that counts in Netflix’s book.

Now, I think Netflix finally listened to fans after the first season’s failure. Flora will be coming to Alfea in season two, played by Paulina Chávez. They added her cousin, Terra, to bring in diversity in body types (which I loved the sentiment), but why didn’t they just make Flora a plus-sized character instead?

See related: The Best and Worst Netflix Reboots

I Still Can’t Get Over The Wings

When you think of fairies – not Fae, like in Sarah J. Maas’ books – what’s the first thing you imagine? Wings. So why didn’t Netflix keep the most essential thing that sets fairies apart from witches in the Winx Club universe?

While Faragonda explained why nobody had wings, I still couldn’t believe they’d be retconned. And yes, we did technically see wings in the finale, but they weren’t what anyone expected or wanted. I wanted to see wings unique to each girl and accompanied by a cool transition with fun music.

I mean, I could’ve handled not getting wings until the season finale if they hadn’t looked so weird. I’m still holding out hope we get better wings for all the fairies when season two rolls around. Is it too much to ask for an Enchantix-type transformation to prove the creators of Fate actually watched Winx Club?

I get it might not have been in the budget, but where did all that money go? It might have gone into the wardrobe, but I think they dropped the ball there, too. Maybe they spent all the money on nice settings and paying the cast. Still, special effects weren’t on their priority, apparently.

The Story and Relationships Were Lacking

Hannah van der Westhuysen as Stella and Danny Griffin as Sky in Fate The Winx Saga Season 1
Netflix | Rainbow S.p.A. | Paramount Global | Young Blood Productions | Archery Pictures

When the girls visited Bloom’s parents in the finale, it wasn’t realistic. While Bloom, Aisha, Musa, and Terra’s friendship seemed natural, Stella being there didn’t make sense. She had been a menace to them the entire time, so why is one tiny apology enough to fix all that she did?

And let’s not even mention the addition of the love triangle between Stella, Bloom, and Sky. In Winx Club, Stella and Sky never dated; she was more interested in Brandon, Sky’s friend (who also isn’t in Fate). It just added drama that wasn’t necessary or welcomed by fans.

I also don’t know why the story was so drastically changed from the source material. It was a solid beginning to a fantastic show. So when we got six episodes of Bloom running off by herself constantly and being a “changeling” just seemed weird for me.

What’s Up With the Wardrobe?

Fate: The Winx Saga
Netflix

For a show that’s supposed to be based on the bright world of Winx Club, we missed out on lots of colors. Each character had their set color palette in the cartoon that rarely changed (until Nickelodeon got it and added pink to everyone).

Bloom was blue, Stella had orange, Musa was red, and Aisha was green. And as for the two missing fairies: Flora was pink with hints of green, and Tecna had purple. So tell me where those color palettes went? It was fun and made it easier to recognize characters quickly. Even the Trix had their own colors.

When the show first came out, I went down the rabbit hole of YouTubers restyling the show to be a little truer to the source material. And in one of those videos, I remember one creator saying it looked like the wardrobe department was trying to dress them like “PTA moms.” And I couldn’t agree more.

The central girls still had their own color palettes, but they overlapped more and didn’t make sense for their character traits. Bloom now wore red, an intense color that didn’t fit her personality but matched her powers. The same goes for Aisha, Terra, and Stella. The only color palette I could handle was Musa’s because it meshed well with her new personality.

So What Did Netflix Do Well?

Eliot Salt as Terra, Elisha Applebaum, and Jacob Dudman as Sam in Fate The Winx Saga Season 1
Netflix | Rainbow S.p.A. | Paramount Global | Young Blood Productions | Archery Pictures

Netflix did make a few good changes. My favorite was making fairy status not limited to only girls; my favorite character was Sam, Terra’s brother. Like Terra and their father, he was a new addition for the reboot. He was an earth fairy that sparked a relationship with Musa.

Other than that, most of the changes I could’ve lived without. I did like that in season one, Bloom was one of the only characters that had an American accent – it really set her apart from the fairies who grew up in the Otherworld. I just don’t know if that was intentional, though.

I also liked that the fairies trained alongside the specialists, but I think it could have been done better. But since it wasn’t a horrible change, I’ll let it slide. I also liked that the story was darker, but it got a little boring because it felt like a knock-off Riverdale show.

I just hope season two is better and Netflix actually takes fans’ criticism to heart. But since the writers didn’t when they were in pre-production, I’m keeping my hopes low. Regardless, I’m going to tune in whenever it comes out just to support the cast and be able to judge it properly.