Musings & Rants

Like I said in the last post, everyone’s been talking about the season eight promo art of Bloom and Flora. Here they are, in case you haven’t seen them. (Thank you to my affiliate Michael from Michael’s Winx Club for identifying the source.)

The first version we saw was small and blurry, so it was hard to make out the details. Based on what we could see, I hated this art style at first. Like a lot of fans, I felt like Bloom and Flora looked like toddlers.

But now that I’ve seen the HQ version, I’ve changed my mind. I think they Blook fine. Yes, they look younger, and their faces are more generic and less “Winx-like.” You couldn’t tell them apart from a bargain bin Barbie ripoff at Family Dollar.

That said, I think I know why Rainbow made this change. To sum up how these two look to me, I’d say…accessible. Let me explain.

In the art style from seasons 1-5, the Winx looked like typical teenagers or young adults. They looked accessible, but probably more so to the older tier of fans. But Fairy Couture turned them into fashion models like you’d see on the cover of a magazine. We admired their beauty, but they didn’t look like girls we could be like. They were almost too beautiful.

The season eight Bloom and Flora don’t look as sophisticated, but they look friendlier and more innocent. And even though they also look younger, there’s a weird, almost motherly look to their faces. They feel like sweet, caring girls you can trust.

I don’t know how to explain it. Maybe that’s because I’m older. That feeling might be stronger for a younger Winx fan.

I realized something else a couple days ago. If you saw my room right now, you’d probably be surprised I didn’t notice it earlier. Maybe you already did.

Here it is: Bloom and Flora look like the Winx dolls. Plain and simple.

Actually, it’s not that simple. It highlights a problem I’m sure we’ve all noticed: the dolls didn’t look like the Winx before. Important details like the eye and mouth shapes were wrong.

Here’s a comparison with Bloom Tynix. Picture 1 is her in Winx season seven. Picture 2 is her doll. Picture 3 is Fairy Couture art, which was also on the doll packaging:

Do you get the same feeling from all these? I sure don’t. The doll and the Fairy Couture art match somewhat, but neither of them looks much like Bloom does in the show.

The show, the products, and the marketing are all sending different messages. Who is Bloom? Is she your average young lady but with magic powers, or is she a glamorous super star?

The Winx’s new faces look more like the doll faces (assuming Rainbow doesn’t change them). Here’s a comparison with the Bloom Tynix doll and the new artwork:

The eye shapes are still different, but it’s a closer match than the Fairy Couture art. I don’t know what this means for the show. But since Rainbow made the stock art look like the dolls, I wouldn’t be surprised if they changed the show’s art to keep everything consistent.

As for the outfits, I love Bloom’s, but Flora’s is just…okay. It’s better than her recent transformation outfits at least. The wings remind me of something, but I can’t figure out what it is. I tried Googling it, but I didn’t know what to search for. Oh, well. Anyway, I hope these are stand-ins and not the official wings.

Some fans have said this form reminds them of Charmix (a.k.a. “Magic Winx”). There might be a reason for that. According to @winxclubeventi on Instagram (which may or may not be an official account), Rainbow based the outfits on the ones from the Winx Club pilot, Magical Bloom. You can see the similarities, especially with Bloom’s outfit:

Since season eight will be the 15th anniversary season, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is true. It feels like a Rainbow thing to do as a throwback. I wonder what Aisha’s outfit will look like, since she wasn’t in the pilot. Maybe they’ll adapt her actual Charmix outfit. (I wouldn’t mind. Hers is my favorite.)

One more thing. When @winxclubeventi first posted the promo, they hashtagged it #WinxStarlix. Since then, they’ve changed it to #WinxStars. How suspicious.

That makes me think Starlix is the official transformation name, but they weren’t supposed to reveal it. The name might come from the English word “starlit.” Just change the “t” to an “x,” and voilà.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m starting to warm up to this new art style. I’ll actually miss Fairy Couture, but I’m sure I’ll get used to this. I just hope the Winx won’t be standing at attention all the time. Give me some motion!

And I hope we’ll see some other facial expressions, too. The artists can do a lot with these anime-esque eyes. Don’t waste their potential, Rainbow!

Your turn. What do you think of Starlix and this new art style?


Guest Posts

Yes, I know the talk of the town is the season eight transformation reveal. I’ll share my thoughts on it another day. Today, let’s look back at the third Winx Club movie with a review by Jordan B. (By the way, you can watch the entire movie on the official Winx YouTube channel.)

Take it away, Jordan!

Mystery of the Abyss Review

~ By Jordan B. ~

The 3rd Winx movie — a movie that is hated by most of the fandom. But will it shine like the Pearl of the Depths or sink like stone? Time to find out.

What I Liked

• The piece before the intro sequence was nice and felt like something you’d see in a Wallace and Gromit episode.

• The animation of the courtyard presentation was very well animated, as was the animated Gardenia.

• The voices for Darcy and Stormy were not bad.

• The scene with the dog in Gardenia Park was funny.

• Politea was a better villain than Tritannus, since she knows how to get people to do what she wants.

• I liked the Sky Wilhelm scream bit.

• I found Sky using a branch to send Stormy flying funny.

• Sealing the portals into the Infinite Ocean was a smart move.

• The RAI English version of the Sirenix transformation was very good cause of the ending of the transformation sequence.

• The design of the Oblivion Dimension was very good.

• The evil Bloom reflection thing was very interesting, since it is a clever prison. That easily explains why no one has ever escaped from Oblivion.

• Stella’s dialogue about the half-off sale was amusing because Stella is a shopaholic.

• The Cinelumé VA for Tritannus is better than the Nick dub VA for Tritannus.

• The game of “keep away” with the pearl with the Selkies was amusing.

• Politea’s downfall being her underestimating the Winx was interesting and funny.

• I liked the song and the dance number before the end credits. It was interesting and well animated.

• The animation was very well done.

What I Did Not Like

• People dumping oil doesn’t make sense since, if I remember rightly, Flora’s Sirenix wish should mean that nobody harms the environment.

• Only Sky appeared in this one. Seriously?

• The Emperor’s Throne being left active. Seriously? Common sense should tell you to deactivate it so that no one can use it.

• More Sky and Bloom drama. Ugh.

• “Nothing will go wrong.” Yeah, nice one, Sky. You just jinxed it.

• The explanation for how Politea came back made no sense.

• Darcy’s spell being called Dark Spell. Seriously, what were they thinking?

• Tritannus was an idiotic villain since he closed the portals but forgot one portal was still open.

• Most of the dialogue and voice acting was bad.

• You’d think Sky would know by now that even after 5 years, Bloom won’t listen when someone she cares about is in danger.

• I thought the seal from the Pillar of Control was destroyed, because I counted the number of seals in the Emperor’s Throne, and there were 3.

• I saw Politia double-crossing the Trix and The Trix double-crossing Tritannus coming a mile away.

Overall Thoughts

Well, overall, I enjoyed Mystery of the Abyss, although there were some inconsistencies with stuff established in the show. However, the final battle against Politea was the best part.

Now the animation was good, but in some places it felt like it didn’t flow properly. However, since this movie was made in part with animation used in season 5, I can understand why Rainbow did this to save money in the production of the film. And the voice acting wasn’t good, but it kinda makes me wonder what a RAI English season 5 would have been like.

Now onto to Politea. She was a better villain than Tritannus because she knew how to slow down her enemies and was good at manipulation.

Now, I have to raise the question about this movie, which is, “Does this film really deserve the hate it has?” And to be absolutely honest with you, I’d say no because of the movie’s own merits — while it has some problems, yes — given the pacing of how quickly the main plot and the annoying subplot interweaved with each other, and the animation was enjoyable to watch. And if you ask me, this movie is better than Magical Adventure.

Stray Observations

• The Sirenix transformation’s ending sounds like that someone forget to change the batteries on the tape player. (Seriously, I’m not kidding. The first time I heard the sequence in the movie, my thoughts were, “Okay, who forgot to change batteries on the tape player?”)

• The Winx have rescued Tecna from Omega, so escaping Oblivion shouldn’t be too hard.

TV & Movie News

Credit to WinxClubRus for this news!

Well, this is…interesting. Rainbow’s partnering with Netflix again to create a live-action series adaptation of Winx Club. According to World Screen, the show will “follow the six fairies as they learn how to hone their powers at a magic boarding school,” just like the cartoon.

I’ve got some questions. How much and what parts of the show will be included, or will it be a new story with hints of the cartoon? Will it be like Maggie & Bianca: an Italian cast dubbed over in English? What about World of Winx? Will it continue alongside this series?

Most likely, the show won’t come out until late-2019 or even 2020. We’ve got plenty more Winx stuff coming before then: season eight (next year), the fourth movie, and whatever Rainbow’s got planned for the 15th anniversary (also next year). We’ll see what happens.

WinxClubRus on Instagram
World Screen: “Winx Club Set for Live-Action Series on Netflix”

Guest Posts

Today’s Flora’s birthday, so how about a post about her? Will‘s back with part III of his “Life of Winx” series.

Winx Girls: Life of Flora

~ By Will N. ~

Nature’s rosiest girl, roommate of Bloom.

When we first meet Flora, she is quite a shy girl, until someone makes her mad — even Bloom initially did — as much as you would think it impossible with her. Throughout the years, her struggles have been with her confidence and keeping numerous secrets because of being ruled by her emotions, instead of ruling them. This leads to her being treated like she’s cardboard, but it would be unwise to count her out. She might appear like the rose, but watch out — there’s a few thorns along the way to that budding flower, as recently she’s stopped holding back as much as she used to.

The secrets that Flora keeps pertain to holding Helia to a standard so high that he doesn’t even see it — despite loving him for being a supposedly more confident version of her — and to not fight but try something else until she’s endangered. And she’ll do the same if he or her sister Miele are endangered, to the point she makes enemies regret it. It’s not just her overprotectiveness that she keeps hidden. We didn’t even know meet her parents until just recently.

Maybe she’s more of a “superwoman” than she lets on. It’s in her nature. As we all know, it’s more about the hidden things than the obvious in multiple environments. She also refused to let Miele help until she nearly became mushroom food, as Miele reminds her of how Bloom used to be in her freshman year: a reckless, redheaded Earth girl — even if Miele is also Lynphean — and one redheaded Earth girl is enough for her.

Of the Winx, Flora is the closest to Tecna and Bloom due to their various emotional battles and able to work them out in other ways. But like any true flower, she often needs strength from the water that Aisha provides, which includes boosting her confidence and just being there to vent if need be. But she still remains closest to Tecna and Bloom because they know better how to handle it, Bloom by being a twin sister of sorts and Tecna by reminding her of the logical way to deal with her feelings while still being open.

Flora is also the first person we know to have a friend outside the club in Mirta, who gave her the confidence she needed to undo that Trix spell which almost made her Kiko’s lunch — and possibly makes her more confident today. Mirta might really be her true best friend instead of Aisha or Tecna, because every rose has thorns — even if water and opposing energy do help somewhat.

Flora’s achievements are small but well worth the wait. First off, summoning a venus fly trap to get revenge against Stormy for trying to kill Miele. Next, she blew up a rock telekinetically — quite impressive for someone who prefers vines. Third, she was able to summon a spring rain to thaw her wings and unfreeze Icy’s blizzard. What took her so long?

This shows that like Tecna, she can be strategic but is more subtle, as her last achievement is attempting to fool the guards on Domino into letting her in by pretending to be Krystal’s sister. Too bad it didn’t work.

All of this just goes to show anyone in the Winx universe that if you thought messing with Bloom was a bad idea, Flora will make you wish it was Bloom you messed with. Not such a goody-two-shoes now, is she?

Guest Posts

Happy Valentine’s Day! Will’s back with the second entry in the “Life of” series. This one’s about our resident ray of sunshine: Stella.

Winx Girls: Life of Stella

~ By Will N. ~

The princess of the oldest kingdom in Magix, Solaria. We know her as the cheery girl, even if she gets on the nerves of her friends sometimes — because sometimes, the shining sun can be a little bit too hot to handle. When we first see her, she’s fighting Knut and faints due to exhaustion after Bloom’s spontaneous assist.

From there, Stella was given a privilege that the other girls didn’t get until a few years later: going directly to Bloom’s home, signifying that the two would eventually become the best of friends — even telling Bloom she was a fairy and taking her to Alfea to meet the others. She has also shown leadership capability but lost it early on — or so it would seem, as she selectively uses her skills in that field.

In her family life, it’s rather depressing. Her parents, King Radius and Queen Luna, are divorced, even if they seem to be getting along again, thanks to a wish to get them to stop arguing and listen when in her presence. Stella is probably aware of it not going to last long, which is why she doesn’t talk about it much to anyone but Bloom or Brandon — and rarely if that, as those who get too close to the sun will get burned badly. Her coping with terrible situations like these is making jokes, unless something threatening like her best friend’s unexpected disappearance or family’s possible death is near. Then she gets serious.

When it comes to her love life, the squire Brandon (who once posed as a prince) has been much better than the man he’s supposed to be the future knight for. He has graduated from a friend to boyfriend to fiancé with Stella. This is because to deal with Stella, one must be able to adapt (and as his water double implied on Andros). It’s not a problem until he’s had enough with Stella behaving like “a three year old” (as Musa puts it) even worse than her friends do. Then he just leaves to get her to think.

However, she doesn’t just try to set up her own love life. She pretends to be the matchmaker for her friends, which doesn’t always work. Maybe one day, she’ll learn her lesson.

Bloom’s not the only artist in the group. Stella has shown capability but is a designer of couture clothes, even if some are better than others. If there’s a new outfit these days, chances are it’s Stella’s work more often than not. It has also been Stella’s knowledge of art and fashion that has saved the Winx a few times, or a way to make some tools that are minorly magnetic to use when needed.

The highlights of Stella’s star-studded magic show her intelligence, when she chooses to use it.

Both her Harmonix spells qualify as something more spectacular than sunbursts. A sun boomerang that can be used for multiple attacks, and a reflecting mirror as a shield with the ability to turn the attack back on the enemy shows she can strategize. Another example of quick thinking is when she used her Lunar Magnetism to magnetize some rocks for a trick on the Trix.

Her fashion sense has also gotten everyone out of a jam once: solving the Codex Cypher by putting colors in a way that wouldn’t clash. Who would have thought that ancient civilizations had that kind of style?

If you could fix something about Stella’s negative side, what would it be?