For its next fantasy drama, Netflix is attempting a young adult reinvention of beloved children’s cartoon The Winx Club, which follows a group of fairies as they master their powers at a magical boarding school.
Fans of the original series were quick to point out the changes that Fate: The Winx Saga has made to its main cast, from new powers to substituted characters and more serious concerns over a lack of diversity.
The six-part series has also made some additions to the lore of The Winx Club, most notably the introduction of fearsome new villains The Burned Ones, who can transform even the noblest soul into a grizzly monster.
Read on for a complete overview of the biggest differences between Nickelodeon’s The Winx Club and Fate: The Winx Saga on Netflix.
Perhaps the most glaring absence from Fate: The Winx Saga is that the fairies are missing the colourful wings they are frequently seen with in the cartoon series.
A number of fans voiced their disappointment about this change in the comments section of the trailers, but the lack of flying is explained by the headmaster of Alfea College upon Bloom’s arrival.
“We had wings in the past… as we’ve evolved, transformation magic has been lost,” she reveals.
Could the fairies could regain their wings at some point in the future? Without spoiling too much, all we’ll say is “Keep watching”…
New character Terra
Winx Club’s resident nature fairy, Flora, does not feature in Fate: The Winx Saga, which is a big loss for die-hard fans of the original series.
However, we do meet a new character named Terra (Eliot Salt, above), who reveals in the first episode that she is actually Flora’s cousin, which seemingly leaves scope to introduce the character further down the line.
In the meantime, Terra’s powers are very similar to that of Flora’s, showing a natural ability to make plants grow to her will.
Tecna and Roxy are missing
This incarnation of The Winx Club is also missing two members from the cartoon series: technology fairy Tecna and the fairy of animals, Roxy.
Roxy was not introduced until the fourth season and does not always join the group on their adventures so it’s understandable that she was not a priority inclusion, but the absence of Tecna came as a disappointment to some longtime fans.
Musa’s powers are no longer music-based
In the animated series, Musa is the fairy of music and hails from the suitably named planet, Melody. However, this has been drastically altered for Fate: The Winx Saga.
Musa (portrayed by Elisha Applebaum) is now an empath, whose special power is feeling the emotional states of everyone around her at all times. As you might expect, it’s exhausting and sometimes makes her distant.
Beatrix is a substitute for The Trix
Arguably the most memorable recurring enemies in the cartoon were The Trix, a trio of witches who use their vast powers to enact dastardly schemes against Winx Club.
In the original series, their members were Princess Icy (witch of ice), Darcy (witch of illusion) and Stormy (witch of storms), but their personalities have been amalgamated into one character: Beatrix (played by Sadie Soverall).
Accusations of whitewashing
Netflix has been criticised by some fans over concerns that the new Fate: The Winx Club cast is less diverse than the one seen in the original animated show.
The controversy surrounded the casting choice for Musa, who has previously been depicted as an Asian character, and the absence of Latina fairy Flora, who has been replaced in the initial line-up by a new white character named Terra.
One tweet drawing attention to this issue received more than 90,000 likes and it was also a regular talking point in the comments sections of the two trailers released so far.
Netflix declined to comment on this matter when approached by RadioTimes.com.
not netflix whitewashing the asian and latina characters of their live action Winx Club 🤡 pic.twitter.com/UghzpbkcM7— Paula M of THE PAPER REELS! (@thepaperreels) December 10, 2020
Sky is Stella’s ex-boyfriend
Much like the original cartoon, Fate: The Winx Saga includes romance subplots for its main characters – but with this being a teen drama, things are naturally more complicated.
Rather than each fairy having their own romantic interest, we can expect to see some love triangles and the most prominent one from the start focuses on the character of Sky.
In the cartoon, Sky is Bloom’s boyfriend and they are in a relationship from an early point in the show. However, in The Winx Saga, Sky is coming out of a relationship with Stella and the two of them haven’t exactly had a clean break.
Riven is an outsider
In the animated series, Riven is the on-again off-again boyfriend of Musa, but we’re introduced to a much different version of the character in the opening episodes of Fate: The Winx Saga.
Here, Riven is more of a trouble-making outcast and finds his attention divided between provoking the new students and chasing after Beatrix.
The Winx Universe
The Burned Ones are dangerous new villains
In order to achieve its darker tone, Fate: The Winx Saga has introduced a deadly new race enemies for its protagonists to face off against.
The Burned Ones appear to be ruthless monsters intent on killing everything they cross paths with and their reappearance after a 16-year absence is horrifying news for the Alfea College faculty.
Aside from being formidable fighters, the creatures also have the ability to infect people, which eventually transforms them into a Burned One with no recollection of their past life.
The magical barrier surrounding Alfea is there primarily to protect the school from any attacks that the Burned Ones could mount, should they return in force.
Fate: The Winx Saga is available to stream on Netflix from Friday 22nd January. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.