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Why Netflix’s “Fate: The Winx Saga” Really Missed the Mark

Growing up, I loved watching “Winx Club” as it transported me to a world where anything was possible. The cartoon show was filled with bright colors, fun fashion, diverse characters and, of course, magic! The Winx fairies taught me about confidence and female empowerment at a young age. But when Netflix announced that they were creating a live-action version of the show titled “Fate: The Winx Saga,” I had mixed reactions.

When I initially heard about the new show, I was excited to see how they would bring to life all of the parts that made the original “Winx Club” so special and unique, but I very quickly learned that “Fate: The Winx Saga” is nothing like its predecessor. 

To appeal to an older audience, the creators of “Fate: The Winx Saga” did away with the colors, glitter and overall joy of the cartoon. While all of the main characters wore their signature colors from the original, the outfits were more muted and subtle. Also, the setting of Alfea College for Fairies and the Otherworld was much darker and drearier than the cartoon’s Alfea and other magical realms. I understand that the demographic for which they were creating tends to watch “darker” shows. Still, the creators of “Fate: The Winx Saga” had the perfect base material to have characters with iconic makeup and fashion looks similar to those found in “Euphoria.” Instead, they went the opposite route and did everything possible to make their magical world look mundane. 

Moreover, “Fate: The Winx Saga” faced a lot of controversy when audiences realized it took a step back in diversity compared to its predecessor. The cartoon was centered around six main characters, three of whom were characters of color. While Bloom, Stella and Tecna were depicted as white fairies in “Winx Club,” Flora was inferred to be Latinx (inspired by Jenifer Lopez), Aisha was black and Musa was thought to be Chinese (inspired by Lucy Liu). Meanwhile, in the live-action version, Aisha is the only definitive character of color. Flora was replaced by a white character named Terra, and Musa was portrayed by Elisha Applebaum, a white-passing woman of unclear ethnicity. Other than the apparent whitewashing of the main characters, “Fate: The Winx Saga” also completely got rid of Tecna and the Trix, the villains in “Winx Club.” While Tecna is nowhere to be found in the new adaption, audiences can infer that the Trix had been merged to create one character called Beatrix. 

All in all, “Fate: The Winx Saga” really missed the mark. While I will admit the plot was interesting (I binged the six-episode show over three days), the idea that “Fate: The Winx Saga” is a live-action “Winx Club” felt more like nostalgia clickbait than true inspiration for the show. The only similarities I found between the two were the names and powers of some of the characters. The storyline and character development were enjoyable to watch, but they had nothing to do with the original show. The creators also had many possibilities to create a diverse, visually enticing world that paid homage to “Winx Club,” but they managed to butcher that as well.

Gabi Kurzer

Northwestern '24

Gabi is a freshman from Miami, FL studying journalism at Northwestern University. She is an amateur fashion designer who loves to design and sew her own clothes. In her free time, Gabi enjoys traveling, watching Netflix, and spending time with her family and friends.
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