Backlash Against Winx Club Live Animation

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Dating back to 2004, the Winx Club animation has been the childhood show of many children. The show revolves around a group of fairy girls who go to school to learn magic. Along the way, they encounter obstacles requiring them to help save the day. After eight seasons, the show concluded its last episode on September 1, 2019. Although this is not the last of Winx Club, coming to Netflix in January of 2021, a live animation, and there has already been backlash.

Many details were changed from the original work. Fate: The Winx Saga, has taken a turn towards a dark and more mature version centering more on mystery and magic, straying away from teen angst. And although it is an improvement, the magic that is now one of the main focuses of the show raises disappointment among fans when the fantastical animations weren’t up to par. The fairy wings that made up the characters’ signature look were not animated into the live-action—most likely to save budget on the CGI required.

This was not the only thing that changed. Fans were upset from the get-go with the cast portrayed in the trailer back on December tenth. The Netflix adaptation has been accused of whitewashing the original characters. The main characters of the animated series consisted of six girls: Bloom, Tecna, Musa, Stella, Flora, and Aisha. In the cartoon, Bloom and Stella were portrayed as white, Flora was presumed Latinx, Aisha was African American, and Musa was assumed to be Chinese.

Inspired by Chinese-American actress, Lucy Liu, this East Asian character Musa is now played by Elisha Applebaum who appears to be white. Additionally, Flora’s appearance was originally inspired by the actor/singer Jennifer Lopez. Now, not only is one of the main characters from the cartoon omitted from the live-action, but Flora’s substitute is her cousin Terra who is played by a white actor, Eliot Salt. 

“It’s very disappointing to not see any proper representation of the Latinx or Asian community. After another one of my childhood shows, Avatar the Last Airbender, had a live remake where the characters’ ethnicity was not accurately portrayed, makes me wonder if Netflix should continue remaking shows.”

Silver Creek student, Donna Wong

There were many differences between the two generations of work. Flora was not the only main character missing in action but their fellow comrade Tecna. Characters like the villainous trio, The Trix, were molded into one. Musa, no longer a music fairy, has an “empathy” ability to read others’ emotions. Even new characters never mentioned in the original work are making appearances. The number of changes is adding up to the pile of reasons fans are let down by the remake of one of their beloved childhood shows.

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