In making Fate: The Winx Saga a gritty teen drama, Netflix removed the series’ cute elements – but the animal companions were no small loss.
Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga was a more gritty adaptation of The Winx Club, taking the core elements of the original cartoon and weaving them into a young adult fantasy series. While The Winx Club featured many cutesy, fantastical elements, Netflix’s adaptation sacrificed those in favor of The Burned Ones and historical genocide. By failing to incorporate the Winx’s fantasy pets and companions, however, Fate: The Winx Saga forgot some of the best parts of the cartoon, which could explain Netflix’s cancelation of the series.
Though a The Winx Club live-action movie is the next step, the show was originally a children’s cartoon, and for all the angst that came from Bloom’s orphan status or boy troubles, it always felt that way. Whether it was a very snuggly rabbit or a pixie, the world of the cartoon was teeming with a sense of detail and brightness. When the Netflix series cut out this brightness, it also removed the detail that the pets and companions brought to the series.
The Winx Club’s Pets & Companions Connected the Story to the World
The companion characters from the Winx Club cartoon were not simply cutesy distractions; they served a purpose in the narrative. The pixies had a long-running conflict with Season 2’s main antagonist and their village sat at the heart of the season’s narrative. The same can be said of the Selkies in the later seasons; their inclusion was deeply interwoven with the Infinite Ocean storyline. By using this method, the cartoon managed to root the narrative in its world-building. While the petition to renew Fate: The Winx Saga was strong, the Netflix series never quite achieved this connection to the world.
Aside from their connections to the plot, the companions allowed for further insight into the world of The Winx Club. The Pop Pixie cartoon was a spinoff that offered a deeper level of world-building for the pixies within the show. And each of the companions served to expand on the lore in their own ways, the most prominent of which was seen in the later seasons’ “Butterflix” story. Butterflix required the fairies to venture into the magical world to increase their own power. Winx Club‘s creator diufn’t understand its cancellation, but by excluding its magical creatures, the Netflix series lost this necessary world-building entirely, with the bits and pieces fed to fans through extended library sessions doing little to replace it.
The Winx Saga’s Pets & Companions Helped Character Development
The companions’ relationship with the Winx allowed audiences to see their vulnerabilities, which made it possible for them to fall in love with the characters. Bloom felt terrible when in a fit of rage, she screamed at her bunny companion Kiko — but audiences could deeply relate to apologizing to a wronged pet. This idea was expounded on with the inclusion of the pixies, all of which had their own personalities and struggles with their respective Winx Club member. In the live-action series, these elements were replaced by the interpersonal squabbles of the Winx suite, making for a show that did little to contend with other YA series like Netflix’s chart-topping Wednesday.
While Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga was a unique take on The Winx Club, it threw the baby out with the bathwater. By failing to include the pets and companions, Fate: The Winx Saga missed out on several opportunities for character growth through them and their relationships. They were also some of the best parts of The Winx Club, so perhaps it’s not a surprise that the show didn’t reach the heights that its fan base wanted.