For us American fans, the 4Kids dub was our first Winx Club experience. We woke up around 7:30 a.m. to catch new episodes — or reruns, lots of reruns — every Saturday morning.

4KidsTV aired Winx from 2004 to 2008, then brought it back briefly a few years ago for the “finale.” That’s about half of the series’ ten years on TV.

But now that Nick owns the rights, the 4Kids dub is barely mentioned anymore. Quotes pop up now and then in games and on toy packaging, but that’s about it. It’s even hard to find the toys now. There were even DVDs still planned to be released. Not anymore.

What about the RAI English dub? Rainbow still uploads clips and episodes from it on their YouTube channel and on WinxClub.com. It’s also streamed on Netflix. And remember the season one boxset coming out in March? According to reports on Michael’s Winx Club, that will be the RAI English dub, too.

YOUR SAY: Is the 4Kids dub still an important part of Winx Club‘s history?

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42 Responses to “THURSDAY YOUR SAY: Does the 4Kids Dub Still Matter?

  1. It is, America would not even know about Winx without it. Even if 4kids changed a lot of things at least they promoted the show correctly and even did the episode recaps properly. No silly narrator, Bloom doing the opening recap was a good idea, as she was there so she knows what happened and was catching us up. I think the idea of an off-screen artificial narrator is silly, a character in the show can easily narrate us on what’s happened without causing confusion which artificial narrators like to do. Also Bloom and Flora were the mascots not just for Winx but for the entire 4kids network, they were like the Mickey-Tinkerbell of Disney . Bloom is in almost every 4kids bumper you can think of from the Sizzlin’ Summers to their US National Anthem rendition, and not surprisingly they were the only good singers and possibly the only legitimate Americans in the lineup despite being an Italian cartoon. I think each dub has it’s pluses and minuses and hope Nick gets the idea to have Bloom narrate again, at least she doesn’t insert things out of nowhere when she narrates.

    • I also like how the narration used clips from episodes that arced throughout the season instead of just the last episode and how they would actually use mainly the clips. That way, you’d get to see what happened instead of just hearing a summary of it.

      • Yeah, nick’s narration and Rai’s for that matter was a cheap summary. At least with Bloom narrating on 4kids if you missed about 3 episodes Bloom would catch you up on what happened including the most touching goodbye scene before a final battle with the enemy. I have to say 4kids handled relationships and big battles better. Stella and Brandon’s goodbye scene in season 2 still makes me cry just thinking about it. Then Aisha reassuring Sky that everything was going to be okay is also quite tear-jerking. Then Sky rescuing Bloom with the L word, much better than asking her to wake up. That I would have gladly loved to see Nick keep in the special. Saying I love you to the person you are fighting for is much more motivating to return that person to themselves than wake up. I’m probably one of the few guys that will admit to crying over season 2’s finale climax then instantly jumping when Bloom returns and Aisha pretty much says this time you’ve gone to far, no one messes with my friends not now, not ever prepare to go to oblivion.

  2. Actually, I would venture to say that all dubs are meaningless.

    Dubs are great for those of us who don’t speak Italian, Japanese, etc. but as far as adding anything of depth or value to the show’s plot, I don’t think they do. Especially in America. –– In numerous instances with foreign shows, especially those targeted towards children and teens, parents here tend to get riled up over every little curse, violent scene, demonstration of sexuality, etc. which results in these imported shows losing virtually all of their depth and edginess.

    I think that dubs are more about function and being able to cast a wider net for profit and business expansion, as opposed to adding to the actual show itself. The original is the original. And I don’t think anyone can argue that. The Rai originals of S1 through S4, and the Rai and Nick combination efforts for S5 and S6+ are canon, but, the way I judge it, if Rai wasn’t involved in the script, then it’s not canon. To be completely blunt, everything but the original show, that includes: script / dialogue, scenes, names, etc. is just a bastardization. –– Plus, as you said, 4Kids technically made the ending of S3 the show’s finale; when they no longer had the production rights. So since they only dubbed half of the series, and changed numerous elements both large and small-scale in it, they skewed the story quite a bit. So the reality is, the second they lost their production / distribution rights, their dub no longer mattered. I think that’s been a huge hinderance for the series; too many studios and networks have gotten their hands on it, and each one handled it differently, so even for some of us older fans, there are some blurred lines in regards to what we should and shouldn’t look to, to connect the dots.

    I don’t ‘hate’ the 4Kids version though; if not for the 4Kids version, I never would’ve discovered Winx in the first place. However, I’m not sure what you mean when you say there weren’t DVDs released, I bought all 5 of the DVDs that 4Kids released for the whole of S1 years ago. I live in Maryland, but we were on vacation in Georgia and while grocery shopping, I happened to find them [at a Walmart] in their $5 bin.

    • Actually, I would venture to say that all dubs are meaningless.

      It really depends on the dub, and you touched on that a little later in your comment. I think when people hear “dub,” they automatically assume it means a heavily-edited version of the show that looks nothing like the original. Ironically, it’s thanks to companies like 4Kids that people feel that way. 😛

      But not all dubs are like that. As you said, the RAI-Nick combo seasons are canon. Rainbow was involved in the development; therefore, whether we like the cultural differences or not, the show is the way they want it to be for the English-speaking audience. They have a say in how the characters express themselves in English, so there’s still consistency with the original version.

      On the other hand, 4Kids’s dub was done without Rainbow’s input, like you said. They just did whatever they wanted to, so the characters ended up completely different. Tecna’s British accent and Musa’s use of hip-hop slang are good examples. The original Tecna and Musa (and the Nick versions of them, too) are nothing like that.

      However, I’m not sure what you mean when you say there weren’t DVDs released, I bought all 5 of the DVDs that 4Kids released for the whole of S1 years ago.

      They were planning to release more, but it never happened. This is the specific one I was talking about: “Fire and Flame.” The release date kept getting pushed back until it was eventually cancelled.

      • Exactly. What I was alluding to with the concept of dubs not mattering, is that specific content that’s linked to dubs, like the examples you gave with Tecna’s accent and Musa’s slang being completely arbitrary additives. I love dubs when they’re done right, I only speak English fluently, and sometimes sitting there and reading subtitles can get a little tedious, I like being able to hear the voices, and understand the language. However, I don’t like writers consciously “abusing” dubs. Essentially, it comes off as them using the opportunity to insert or remove whatever they like, and ultimately, it cripples the show’s content, and causes events linked to whatever they’ve taken out or altered to lose their solid ground. Frankly, all dubbing would just be made so much simpler if there was a contract stipulation that they could not alter any dialogue or remove any scenes…however in a country as woefully conservative as ours, we never would’ve gotten the show to air!

        Ah, yeah, the S1 DVDs I have came separately, it was several episodes to a disk and there were 5 total: Welcome to Magix!, The Power of the Dragon Fire, Bloom’s Secret Past, Stolen Dragon Fire!, and Battle for Alfea. I bought them in 2005 or 2006, and [I believe] they were released here in 2004. Then when they released the S2 and S3 DVDs they stepped up their game and only made it 2 disks per season instead of 5, so it was a LOT cheaper and easier to get them.

  3. I feel in terms of music and voice acting, especially that of Liza Jaqueline as Bloom, 4Kids wins hands down in terms of stylisation and characterisation. I couldn’t stand the RAI dub after hearing the 4Kids one as they weren’t as powerful, I strongly feel they didn’t relate enough with the characters to portray them. Nick’s still growing on me, but I still hope the day would come where they re-hire the 4Kids actors to play their characters beautifully again. :’)

    • I had the same reaction when I first watched the RAI English dub. Tecna and Aisha’s voices annoyed me. After Aisha’s strong, confident voice in the 4Kids dub, that soft, wispy voice just didn’t cut it for me. And Tecna sounded like a little boy. 😛

      • My problem too. Helena Evangilou and Lucinda Davis just do not have that strong confident voice that Bloom and Aisha are supposed to have, the leaders of the club sounded like wimps. Also Jody Resther as Tecna was not a good move, she should stick to Francine Frensky on Arthur. The rest were way too squeaky, except for Stella, Jennifer Seguin was the only voice i could stand as Stella if Caren Manuel couldn’t do it. Nick was okay with most girls sounding 4kids-like, now Bloom just needs a little more work. 🙂

      • Oh yes, I have a voice crush on Aisha’s 4kids VA, to the point where I even imagine the main in the novel I’m writing having a similar-sounding voice. I also reeeeally like Valtor’s and Roxy’s Nick VAs. The music was a bit cheesy, but in places it was really good. I especially miss Baltor’s (though really, no one calls him that; I’m only doing so for “dub accuracy”) wicked guitar riff for his especially evil acts. That was just cool. xD

  4. ;p ;O of course Winx Club first started with 4Kidz and then Nick of course and 4Kidz had all the first original episodes. We are getting so crazy over how Nick is making the Winx Club episodes seem really bad and we forget about 4Kidz . Also some little kids grew up maybe watching the Nick version then we did like when we grew up we watched the 4Kidz . And a lot of people probaly don’t even know about 4Kidz who started it all.

  5. Not really anymore. There were so many things wrong with the 4kids dub, changes to the story, locations and other things, music changes and just cutting transformations (and having the same order every single episode) All in all, I do give 4kids credit for introducing me to the Winx so I owe them tht, but Rai English and Nick did it much better

  6. I’m American, but I could never get up in time to watch Winx Club back in the day, So I discovered Rai English online instead and have always loved that dub the most since. I try not to be biased because it’s my favorite English dub, but some of the Rai actors definitely had voices that fit certain characters better or were better at delivering their lines. Plus they have the most seasons dubbed right now with 4 seasons, 4kids with 3, and Nick with 3 complete and a 4th ongoing.

    I think Rai English is the best to use for companies because of the amount of seasons it’s covered, and because 4kids has had legal problems with Rainbow in the past, But I really hate it when fans use the defense of saying “4kids is the best because it’s the Winx Club of my childhood.” It makes fans as a whole look bad with online “dub wars” and certain fans not even giving Rai or Nick a chance, when Rai and Nick are commercially the best to use for any DVD releases or TV airings for the companies in charge of Winx Club.

  7. i think 4kids should matter as well give if part of winx history as well.

    besides it also count give since those who seem series since begin til s3 version of 4kids should include it as well sure thing recall 4kids dub like tecna got british accent, aisha was called layla, musa had bit hip-hop saying, etc.

    sure casting 4kids roster aka new york voice casting give irony such as riven’s dub voice in 4kids was same person who did Leonardo in 4kids version TMNT yet in nick’s dub he is voice by person who did Donatello in 4kids ninja turtles.

    yea still bit 4kids within winx history.

  8. Actually, The Rai Version is the Netflix version. 4kids isn’t on netflix, they just list the VA’s there.

  9. It’s important for historical reasons if nothing else. Many American fans, and probably more, got into Winx through the 4Kids dub and thus still like it for nostalgia if nothing else. Something that got a significant number of fans into the franchise can’t be called meaningless after all.

    Having not watched it myself, I can’t give a proper verdict on its quality aside from general distaste for changes made to the plot and names. Voice wise I’m sure they were better in most ways than the RAI dub, though it mostly boils down to what you heard first. RAI season 1 voices ranged from acceptable (Flora, Riven) to terrible (Tecna, Lucy). The only real stand out was Stella, who still has far and away the best Stella in the franchise. RAI season 3 holds most of my most iconic voices, as that’s where everyone hit their stride. Except Musa. She doesn’t have a solid voice I’m really fond of.

  10. Ah, the 4kids dub! “Winx” being the word for magic! Tecna’s British-ish accent and Flora’s breathy little voice! Musa’s awful, AWFUL slang! The Trix’s Wisperian Crystals! (seriously Nickbow, “vacuums”? That’s worse than “Bloomix!”)

    Is it still important? Only as one more piece of the patchwork canon, I suppose. It is a shame that the internet seems to want to forget about it, because it was’t all bad– and I think the patchwork canon is one of Winx’s strengths, or at least something you might as well enjoy ’cause there’s no way Magical; Advenure will ever fit.

    The part of the 4kids time that was really important for me was the official website, which was extensive and well done, with active forums. The nice folks at 4kids hosted “chats with the characters,” and wrote blogs for the characters that corresponded with the events as they aired. 4kids may have done dumb things with the dubbing but they clearly valued the show more than Nick with its long hiatuses.

    The site’s forums were a hotbed of fun, bad spelling, and internet catfights such as you can only get when girls age 10-20 get together in great fannish passion. “I’m the true fairy of the dragon fire!” “No, I am!” There were a whole lot of “online fairy schools” and magic lessons. Mine was the best. Anyone remember me? Anyway, there was much juvenile fun had. I enjoy the more intelligent conversation here, but I kinda miss the fanbrats occasionally. But only occasionally.

    And now a PSA. I saved the character blogs and “books from the Alfea library” from the site, drop me a note at [email protected] if you want them for anything. I’d really like someone to post them on the internet somewhere, but the wiki deleted them and Michael never got back to me so bleh.

    • The Trix’s Wisperian Crystals! (seriously Nickbow, “vacuums”? That’s worse than “Bloomix!”)

      Sadly, that wasn’t Nickbow’s fault. They were called “vacuums” in the RAI English dub, too, which means that might have been the original name for them. But I agree: it’s lame. “Whisperian Crystals” was cooler.

      • Why would they call the crystals vaccums? They aren’t sweepers, they’re magic drainers. Whisperian crystals are better. and wow, I missed those character blogs and chats.Anyone wonder what kinda journals/blogs Roxy would have wrote if 4kids dubbed season 4? Nick could take a few hints from 4kids marketing. 7:30 on Saturdays might not be the best timeslot but it’s better than Sundays at 1:00, also why aren’t Bloom,Aisha and Tecna talking to promote the show when they fly in bumpers, they’re usually silent. I think Tecna might be on her way to becoming a mascot, ever since Nick got the show they’ve been slowly phasing in the other girls to Bloom,Stella and Flora’s mascot status, they started with Aisha and Tecna because they were the easiest to promote, and maybe Musa and Roxy can work at it if Roxy ever joins as they are always left out. Sure Tecna get’s ignored in the show but not as much as she used to, last season alone gave her six or seven episodes where she had a major role, sure it was primarily her strategist role but hey we finally saw Zenith!

          • The word Vacuum means a space devoid of matter. It holds nothing and the Trix’s vacuums are empty unless they have the dragon flame in them. Technically the name is correct. It is boring but still correct.

            As for the 4Kids dub… I always go and check it out when I want to see Winx with some intensity. The VAs were great especially Aisha’s. I do generally avoid it otherwise because they made some changes to the anime and when it comes to anime I like to be as close to the original as possible. Rai is actually my favorite and not just because I saw it first. I actually likes the VAs and I really hated the slang the 4Kids dub introduced to the show.

            Does it still matter to the show? Well, it depends on who is answering the questions. It doesn’t to me. I never liked it except for the VAs and when it was gone I didn’t miss it at all. Still when looking at it from a different perspective. If they hadn’t already introduced the show to America, Rai may have had a difficult time selling the show to American audiences. And at least Nick should have looked at what 4Kids did wrong and right and improve on it. Pretty sure they didn’t though.

          • *facepalm* It was the original word? But… but…

            Well they suck up magic, so it would work except that everyone who hears “vacuums” thinks of a vacuum cleaner, which is a totally non-mystical item even if whatsername did fly on one in Hocus Pocus. Maybe the Italian word made sense and they translated too literally or something. And anyway, didn’t the Trix summon them for other spellcasting stuff besides just stealing magic? It’s been a long time since I saw season 1 but I swear they did the sit-in-circle-with-crystals thing to curse the eggs for the dance or something.

  11. To be honest, if it had been Nick introducing this show to me now, I don’t think I would have become so glued to it.
    I, too, feel that the 4Kids’ dub stood out so lovely that it made the RAI sound dull. It just gave them so much character… Even the Nick dub doesn’t appeal to me as much, particularly with Stella and Bloom.

  12. I guess it is important for English-speaking fans, since they grew up with it.
    It has no meaning for the rest of the world, though.

  13. Yes, and no. For nostalgia reasons, yes. For technical reasons, no. Though the sub was great and did a great job introducing people into the show. But they edited to much stuff out of it, meaning that for season 1, 2 and 3 I had to withstand the ear-torture that was the RAI Dub. As part of Wins Club’s history, it’s important, but really shouldn’t be remembered as anything other than that. I’m a sucker for the 4Kids opening though. One could get ear-gasms just listening to it.

  14. I don’t know why but as much as I hate the 4Kids dub of Winx, I feel it has it’s own unique charm to it.
    Out of how bad all 4kids’s dubs are Winx Club would be in the middle, better than Mew Mew Power (why did they chaged the name of it) and One Piece (4Kids’s worst dub) but better than Magical DoReMi (again with name changes) and Pokemon (though bad it’s probably their best dub).

  15. Whatever everyone else says, it will always mean the most to me. I tried to watch rai, but couldn’t get through one episode. I love 4kids because the storyline was real, the characters relateable. I feel like I know the girls not as iconic heroes, but as friends. I still view 4kids as the first three seasons, and nick for seasons 4-6. Is winx still important to the winx fans? Well…. it depends on the fan. But for the franchise, the history of winx it was an alternate reality some of us prefer. Not better, not worse, just another winx that still lives for those of us who keep it alive. So to me, 4kids winx will always be my winx club.

    • Real storyline? I’m sorry but 4kids did botch alot of Winx’s stroylines and changed alot of things from the original. Sure they may have kept some of the basic premises but they changed waayyyyyyyyyy too much stuff

      • Real as in more human, the rai dub made Winx sound boring. Also 4kids did right in changing domino to sparks and Andros to Tides. So to me the kingdoms of Bloom and Aisha are called by the rai name with the 4kids name being the planet names. Domino just doesn’t sound firery nor does Andros sound watery. So like Bloom I agree that 4kids is 1-3 with nick being the movie on. Sure the rai dub makes sense but how can you sit through 5 squeaky voices with that dialogue? Seriously Stella was the only voice I could stand.

  16. Canadian fans also had their first exposure to Winx Club from the 4Kids dub. It aired on Ytv here in Canada and Ytv was a lot more consistent with season 3 than Fox was. Canadians also get the Rochester Fox station and a few different WB stations depending on their cable package. Fans in the UK, Ireland and Australia also had the 4Kids dub until 4Kids lost the rights in 2010. Australia had the Cinelume dub for the 4th season. II believe the English RAI dub only aired in India so no English speaking fanbase had the RAI version and were all exposed to the 4Kids dub as the first experience with Winx Club. Really, you should recognize more than just the American fanbase when you make posts like this OP, it’s a tad offensive. Because the 4Kids version wasn’t just shown to American fans. If it were, I never would have met my husband on the 4Kids message board.

    Okay rant over. 4Kids is still valid for me for the sake of using Ice Coffin for Icy’s attack and Whisperian Crystals instead of vacuums. I also prefer how they handled Riven and Musa’s interaction in the end of season 1 and in the scene with the Crypt of the codex in season 2. I don’t agree with planet changes, name changes, changing Musa to a princess or line changes (except some of the Trix had better lines in the 4Kids dub) because they were unnecessary. But some of the tweaks were okay.

    4Kids is an important part of Winx Club history because it brought people from other countries together to discuss a show and find out more about it.

    • Really, you should recognize more than just the American fanbase when you make posts like this OP, it’s a tad offensive. Because the 4Kids version wasn’t just shown to American fans.

      I’m speaking from my experience and that of many people I’ve met. I know other countries had the 4Kids dub as well, and by no means was I meaning to leave them out. But the dub is associated with America since 4Kids Entertainment was an American company.

      I can’t possibly account for every single Winx fan in the world. That’s why I need fans like you to help me spread the net wider. So thank you for letting me know.

      And I certainly don’t mean to discredit your story of meeting your husband. I asked the question because I know the dub meant different things to different people, and this was more or less a poll of everyone’s opinion. Obviously, the 4Kids dub means a lot to you, and your opinion is just as valid as everyone else’s.

      I’m sorry for offending you.

      • You should have worded your opening sentence differently then at first. Instead of saying for ‘American fans’ you could have said ‘For me as an American.’ then expanded. I’m American as well, I know that it;s hard for us as Americans to expand on things. America is a big thing as far as entertainment goes which is why other countries do have our TV stations (The majority of my TV stations here in Canada are American or styled after American TV stations with very few exceptions) and our TV shows in their cable packages. Honestly I didn’t know how much of an influence we had on international media until I talked with my now husband and other friends from Canada and Europe.

        It’s the internet, we can’t guess tone or sometimes even meaning. However words in general do need to be chosen better. As a blogger for an international show, you have to go outside of yourself a lot more and try to include other people from other countries as well as Americans. I really felt for my friends who are fans of the show and had the 4Kids dub in their countries that they weren’t included in how it meant. You need to be inclusive, not exclusive when describing the English speaking fandom’s experience with the first English dub.

        To be honest, until I started talking to a friend of mine who has now seemingly dropped off the face of the earth, I didn’t even know that Winx Club wasn’t American. 4Kids had over Americanized it and now I see Nick doing the same. And no, I don’t feel you were making light of how I met my husband, I just felt that you were excluding most of the English fandom with your initial post by declaring that American fans are the only ones that mattered in regard to the 4kids dub.

  17. I will never forget the weekend, how ever many years ago it was, that my cousins came over and told me about Winx, which we all watched that Sunday morning on 4Kids. I’ll never forget those awesome days with 4Kids bringing me new magic, and a new obsession 😛

  18. 4Kids was how I first discovered Winx Club, and a lot of fans did too. A friend of mine introduced me to the series, so out of curiosity I watched a few episodes when it aired on Miguzi and wound up liking the series. Despite the weird script changes and annoying music, I liked (most) the voice cast and the fact that they made it work…in their own 4Kids-y way. The only thing I really wish they would have done was made the Italian version available with English subtitles like they did with some of their anime licenses.

    After I discovered it on the internet, the Cinelume (RAI) dub was my choice for a long time. In addition to having a good voice cast, for the most part they stuck to the script, bar a few name changes and mistakes. If I’m bored and want to watch some Winx, it’s the dub I watch. :p

    Nick was a good experience for me up until mid-season 5. I loved the voice cast, so if they had kept the characters’ personalities in tact and not made so many drastic changes, I might have a higher opinion of it.

    My favorite experience by FAR though was getting to meet Lisa Ortiz (Musa’s 4Kids VA.) Not only could she change voices on a whim, but she was a total sweetheart!

  19. Are you kidding me? 4Kids made what Winx is today from the little girls(or boys) back then, to the kids now. To be honest, if it weren’t for 4Kids , I dont think Winx would have half o f the American fans it has now. If it were RAI Engback then I definitely wouldn’t have watched it,. Awwful dub.

    • Rai wasnt that terrible, it had some poor voice choices but it did much better than the 4kids dub did in terms of storyline and characters. They stuck much closely to the original dub than 4kids did and 4kids has a habit of “americanizing” alot of animes and shows not spoken in english

      • Just because Rai stuck close to the original, does not make it the best version. 4Kids dub may not have been perfectly synchronized with the original story, but the story they told was wonderful, and left alot of us wanting more. They advertised, aired consistently, and though they differed in places from the original storyline, they actually HAD a storyline, which is more than I can say for nick!

        • Yeah the story they told, not the story that it already was. I do give them credit on things, they had some good voices and music choices and like u said they advertised it very well. But they didnt do their job in terms of telling the story that was already set in place, they changed that and told a completely different story, good job for them but not good as a whole. Someone pointed it out above about dubs and parents getting riled up about everything so a foreign shows gonna have a lot of changes that make it completely different from what it actually is. 4kids has always done that with shows not made in America, like Mew Mew Power for instance, One Piece when they had it and Winx. if they had jus stuck to dubbing the show and jus the voices and kept everything else like the Rai English version, it would’ve been fine

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