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And we’re back!

I criticized WoW a lot in part I, didn’t I? Don’t worry. I’ve got plenty of good things to say about it, too.

If you don’t mind, I’ve got one more complaint. It’s not the only other thing I didn’t like, but I don’t wanna spend this post ragging on the show again. Let’s end on a positive note this time.

My last gripe (for now) is about the animation. I don’t mean the art itself. The backgrounds were gorgeous, and I liked seeing the Fairy Couture style come to life. I didn’t think the Winx’s expressions would look good — because I don’t think they look good in the stock art, to be honest — but I was wrong. (This Tecna face will be burned into my memory forever.)

What I didn’t like was the movement. Rainbow’s improved a lot since they tested this Flash-esque style in a couple episodes of season four. Everything was still wobbly and marionette-like in seasons five and six, but season seven was a big improvement — not perfect, but visibly better.

The optimist in me thought WoW‘s anmation would be just as good, while the pessimist wondered, “What if they cut corners because it’s just a Netflix show?” I think both sides of me were right. At times, the animation was just as good. Other times, it was awful.

The textures made it look worse. Rainbow doesn’t use textures in Winx Club, but in WoW, they were everywhere. The problem is they didn’t move naturally with the characters. It always looked like they were overlaid after the character was animated (which might be true), so the placement looked off based on how the character had moved.

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It was most obvious with The Crocodile Man. Because he was covered in this marble texture, every time he moved it looked like his skin stayed put. But that wasn’t the only problem with him. His limbs, his spikes, and even his head seemed to go the wrong direction sometimes. It looked so awkward, I couldn’t take him seriously.

Bottom line: the animation wasn’t as good as I hoped. And Rainbow may need to ditch the textures. They looked nice and added some realism to the art, but they don’t animate well.

Enough about the stuff I didn’t like in WoW. Let’s talk about some things I did like. Like I said, I’ve got plenty of good things to say.

First of all, I loved the new characters. Most of them had bold, unique personalities and memorable roles in the story, so you couldn’t forget them. I didn’t expect to care about the talents, but they were more interesting than I thought they’d be. (I felt like Annabelle was overused, but at least she was endearing.)

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My favorite was Naoki, a.k.a. “The Crocodile Bait Kid.” Geez, Winx. I called him that as a joke, but you literally used him as bait! What’s wrong with you?

Anyway, I loved him. He was your typical comic book geek, but he had some hilarious lines and a lovable character. When I saw him in the trailer, I thought he’d be a sweet, helpless boy who didn’t like all this scary magic stuff happening around him. Boy, was I wrong!

I’m gonna stop here. Yeah, that wasn’t much “positive energy,” but I’ll talk more about the things I liked in part III. Stay tuned!

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20 Responses to ““World of Winx” Season 1: General Thoughts, Pt. II

  1. OP you might want to take it easy with your “Tecna style humor” usually your jokes actually end up happening that’s 2 so far. Although I do want to see a boy averse to magic…maybe name him Durwood…excuse me that’s Darren at some point…there’s always that one who as Gus Gus put it “don’t like that magicy stuff” in any crowd. Also Winx how sick are you? I thought that was Icy’s job! Naoki didn’t deserve to be bait!

  2. Naoki won my affection from his first line. Being a nerd myself all his quotes were just great. And so… plugged in to modern pop culture, in a way that I don’t think Winx has ever been before even in seasons 4 or 7 when they were on earth a lot. I wonder if they used the same references in Italian or not.

    I also liked Sophie the designer, how she reacted realistically to having a bunch of teenagers suddenly show up trying to help her with stuff she didn’t need help with. She was a delightful contrast to the minor fairies swooning over the Winx all the time.

    One thing I wanted to see that hasn’t happened in the episodes I’ve seen is a male talent with a traditionally very female skill like poetry or ballet. That would’ve been cool.

    • Do we even know if the Winx are teenagers anymore, though? I just wish Rainbow would at least have a throwaway line regarding their age. At this point I’m not sure how old they’re supposed to be anymore.

      • In the classic series it’s easier to determine since each season is one year so we know the girls are 22 (everyone else but Roxy and Daphne) and 23 (for Stella) Daphne should be 35 and Roxy 19. In WOW i think the girls ages got so high that they just say 25 so that no one knows they’re extremely long lived ages (assuming it takes place centuries after the main show, i highly doubt that the Winx would want their ages being in the triple digits known because “really the winx are old women by earth standards?”)

        • Can we age Daphne? I don’t remember much of a timeline for pre-bloom times. We know 16 years before s1 bloom was born and sparks fell. But we don’t know how long the company of light was fighting the witches. Could of been a hundred years of fighting. Daphne could be a hundred years old also when Bloom was born.

      • I sort of assume they’re “about seventeen or eighteen” these days and will probably remain that age for the rest of the series. They seemed to be aging one year per season up to season 4, then in season 5 they were back to being students, much to the dismay of everyone who wanted a sensible continuity. They certainly still act like teenagers in lots of ways. But since their ages haven’t been mentioned in a long time we’ll all have to make our own guesses.

        • With Stella mentioning engagement and all i highly doubt they are teens, they only act wacky became they forgot how to be adults without Roxy around. The student thing? Given the fact that the ” 7 cool powered winx” by stereotypes (techno magic is under rated seriously) were shown with their own classrooms (Bloom’s pizza parlor, Stella’s botique, Flora’s greenhouse, Musa’s café, Aisha’s gym, Roxy’s park and Daphne’s history class) it’s safe to say that graduate student teaching program is what’s going on here. The girls are learning more about magic to do their job as guardian fairies but seem to be caring more about the student part than the teacher part which affects the alfea students learning, they need to find a balance between teaching and adventuring or choose one or the other.

  3. Speaking of Annabelle, there’s just one thing that really, really bugs me about her. Well, not about her, per se, but about the way the show treats her. The show treats her like she was the only one of the kidnapped talents that matters. Everytime Bloom starts ragging on the bad guys for kidnapping people, she only mentions Annabelle. “Where’s Annabelle?”, “What have you done with Annabelle?”, “Why did you kidnap Annabelle?”. Girl, Annabelle wasn’t the only one that’s missing. Last I checked, so were Sophie and Yu, but not once did any of the Winx express concern over their safety. It’s all about Annabelle.

    I can forgive the fact that the detectives only investigated Annabelle’s disappearance since the other two are from foreign countries and their cases might fall under those countries’ law enforcement’s responsibility, but the whole “we’ll just focus on Annabelle even though two other people were also kidnapped” thing that the Winx had going on is just plain weird and lazy.

  4. *spit takes when I see the Tecna face*

    Naoki looks like the kind of character whom I desperately want to hug and who would probably be my best friend. I agree with cupcakedoll that it would’ve been cool to see a boy with a traditionally feminine talent. I’m very for bending gender norms in both cartoons and real life, but I’m going to stop right here before I get out my pitchfork and start ranting.

    I haven’t actually seen this animation in action, but I have mixed thoughts on the Fairy Couture stock art. I’m fine with there being a new stock art style, and I think the additional texture on the outfits looks really nice, but there’s something off-putting about it to me that I can’t explain. I think it’s the way their faces are drawn, but I’ve found that it doesn’t bother me when I don’t think about it, so I just don’t think about it.

  5. I know that in Winx 3D Magical Adventure (the season 4 movie), Bloom was 18. Mike said something like “It’s hard to control an 18 year old girl”. If I’m right, it was right after Sky cancelled the wedding (yes, I have the RAI version). Let’s just assume that nick wanted a rival to Monster High, so they’re aging at the same rate? My theory is that Alfea has a university section to it, so the Winx became students there. Anyhow, not counting WOW, there have been 3 seasons/years past season 4, so they’re 21/22. This doesn’t work with the first season though, with Bloom being 16. To be honest, I think that they’re younger than 24/25 because they dress like teenagers. The movie has some cannon issues though, an example is Oritel and Marion not appearing until season 5, even though Sparks/Domino was freed in the first movie. Basically, the cannon contradicts its self and I’m not completely sure how old the Winx are.

  6. Oooh, I can’t wait for you to talk about the writing. Yeah, it’s not revolutionary or anything, but I just love how the Winx are actually being mature! Bloom’s one line to Louise in the first episode had me taken aback given how clueless the girls are made in the main series!
    And thank goodness you pointed out the animation. While it does look good, there are some times where the girls look odd because of all the gradients used. Like, when they turn their heads and the lighting in their hair doesn’t move or how some of the limbs move. The Crocodile Man is the biggest case and he ended up coming off as annoying to me (especially because he just has one noise that he makes over and over). There was also this one scene where Aisha was dodging the Crocodile Man’s attacks like a boxer would and the animation used for it was awful. It looks like they just drew one stock image of Aisha in a blocking stance and stretched and shrunk it in order to simulate movement. It just looked really off.
    I think my favorite talents have to be Naoki (his sci-fi references are adorable), Sophie (I loved her relationship with Stella) and Madelyn (she’s kinda tropey but her dynamic with Musa was a treat to watch). As people above me have mentioned, Annabelle felt like she was mentioned way too much by the Winx.

      • Now who’s john, Michael, the boys and peter? I think the shaman might be…Tigerlily’s brother hard to hit since Peter would have went with Anabelle and the pirate zombies are hook’s crew. Must be a revenge on Anabelle for “stealing her man” thing from Tink’s end…you know how she gets whenever Peter doesn’t pay any attention to her..

        • I thought The Lost Boys were supposed to be the talents. That’s what the flier from The Licensing Expo said, but I didn’t get that sense in the show. John and Michael? Not sure about them, either.

          Peter? Hmmmmm… In a moment of insanity, I once thought Ace might be Peter. I seriously doubt it, but if it turns out to be true…I think I’ll be sick. 😛

        • Ace=peter? Maybe Ace seems like Tinkerbelle’s favorite insult to peter. “You silly (insert swear here)”

  7. I also really liked Naoki, he was really cute and entusiastic about Winx and magical things and I like old science-fiction museum he liked so much. 🙂
    Usually I’m a bit sceptical about stereotypical nerd charactrers, because I don’t understand this stereotype to be honest. Why being interested in comics means you like science-fiction and are very good at coding? I know, it’s stereotype based on american culture, but those connections are a bit silly for me… I like comics, but I’m definitely not good with computers. 😛 But Naoki was adorable teenage boy also believable in his actions, more than stereotype.

  8. Positive you say…
    Well Naoki confused me. I thought his talent was some kind of tech thing. Like special effects artist or mechano puppets. I didn’t know comic nerd was a talent. But he was okay.

    You seem to be hanging around the station. So I’ll get on the positive train here…
    I liked the soundtrack. “Sparkle of Light” the intro song is catchy (full version available on youtube). I have some concerns about what the lyrics mean for the direction of Winx in general but I enjoyed the song. And Annabelle’s song “This is Me” both catchy and full of feels (full version also available). I loved it. I have never had a season of Winx where there wasn’t a couple songs I liked.

    The dreamix transformation was kinda confusing to me. I’m used to the transformation being energizing. Cuz they’re getting ready for a fight. And the songs were something you could work out to. I didn’t know why it was so slow. And was confused by the catwalk at the end. Took me like the whole series to realize its DREAMix. It starts off with them waking up from sleep. Less dream as in wish fulfillment and more dream like being asleep. Guess I’m a slowpoke. But ya…transformation both visual and audio were…different for me. Not sure how I feel.

  9. I really liked Naoki, too. He was such a bright character in multiple ways. I wouldn’t mind a spinoff series starring him, honestly…
    The textures didn’t bother me too much, although the movement is a bit of a downer. It had its flaws, but it was still nice to look at for me. But, I kind of wish they had kept some of the more unique features of their faces, like different eye shapes…

    I wonder what it’d be like if Netflix did help just a bit in production… I mean, so long as they focused on the age group 12-14, or around there. It could backfire, of course, so I dunno, but I feel like Rainbow could use just a smidge of help in the writing department. There were a few iffy lines that felt a little under the age range.
    The transformation was a bummer. It just showcased the outfit without much “transformation,” so it wasn’t very entertaining.
    I felt like Bloom was a bit bland of a character, but for most everyone else I was superbly happy that it felt like there was more characterization.

    I enjoyed it for sure, despite the negatives. Also… I don’t believe I ever saw Kiko… 😮

  10. I have to disagree with you on the animation style with all of the texture. I really like it. Reminds me of this other show that I watched as a kid that used the same technique called “Chowder”. I thought it was interesting in how they decided to use this animation style combined with the Couture look. Yes, I do admit that the marble-texture on the Crocodile Man was a big of an overkill, but on the other scenes with their clothes, I didn’t really mind. I thought it was a breath of fresh air for something different and that’s exactly what I got in WoW.

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