Hi! It’s Annie!
Apparently the news for this little reboot has been out for a while and I just haven’t heard about it. Yes, I have in fact been living under a rock. The Winx was definitely one of my absolute favorite shows growing up. I had all the dolls, I watched every episode I could get my hands on, my sister and I would run around in the backyard pretending we were our favorite characters (Flora and Tecna respectively, you can probably guess which one), you get the picture. I loved the pastel world, and I’ve held onto my love of pastel colors, and I wanted to be a fairy flying around with them. I was sure that the Winx series had been forgotten, so imagine my surprise when this was announced. And now I definitely wish that this series had remained in it’s time. I am not one for a dark gritty reboot, but that is the least of the problems here. I hate to tear down a show before it even comes out or without any of us giving this a chance, but there is no excuse for many of the things that happened here.
One of the reasons why the original Winx club was so beloved was because of the diversity. Of this six member team, three of the main characters were white. Bloom, Tecna, and Stella. Flora was Latina, Musa was East Asian, and Aisha was Black. This diversity was also reflected in the cast of voice actresses for the characters. Though in this new reboot a Black woman was cast as Aisha, Musa and Flora received no such luck. Musa and Flora are both played by white women. The magic of this show (pun intended) was that anyone could be a fairy or even a princess. It didn’t matter what your race was, and the lineup of fairies testified to that. Aisha was also a princess in the original show, which now has also been revoked. It was actually a pretty big part of her character. Now the only person who can be a princess is Stella, one of the traditionally white characters. This is not only disappointing, it’s downright hurtful. I’ve had friends who watched Winx and were grateful to see a cartoon character that looked like them. Really, all these creators needed to see was the immediate Twitter reaction to their trailer to know that they messed up big time when it came to casting.
Anyone familiar with the original Winx probably automatically noticed the lack of Tecna, the fairy of technology. Though she was another white character, Tecna was really important for a different reason. The fight to make intelligent female characters has always been a difficult one, and the presence of them in new media largely happened due to characters like Hermione Granger becoming popular. But more than that, it’s difficult to find female characters interested in STEM. Tecna was that. She was actually one of the first female characters in media that I saw being extremely interested in STEM. Tecna inspired me to study science more seriously. Instead of having a badass STEM character, they have now combined Musa’s music power and Tecna’s technology power into one power that they have called “mind”. Which is basically just that she’s an empath and has to wear headphones to keep people’s feelings out of her head. So more like neither? At least she will be spared from the reboot treatment.
Why change Flora’s name to Terra? Why? The only reason that I can see is that Flora’s name is too “girly”. Since when has anyone said that femininity is a bad thing? Seriously, what’s the point of this?
I’m really sick of people taking beloved childhood franchises and making them darker (both figuratively and literally). First of all, making the colors and camera work darker takes a lot of the vibrancy of a fantasy world away. The original Winx world was, as I said, bright and pastel. It was that way for a reason, not just to be “girly”. It was that way because the artists were making a fantasy world that you’d want to live in. Really, this show was originally a children’s show for a reason. Leave it alone and come up with another idea if you want gritty. Winx was always a positive and safe world for me to escape to when I was growing up and I don’t think making it a dangerous world now does anything for the story and definitely not for the franchise.
We’re just getting far too much of these anyways. I love many of these franchises and some of them I initially feel excited about seeing again. But the truth of these is that it’s the studios playing it safe. This isn’t the result of people not having any new ideas. People still do, but because reboots are safe those people aren’t seen or heard by studios so much anymore. More than ever it seems like studios are even running out of ideas for reboots as well. Which is why things like Winx are getting pulled back up out of nowhere. I love many of these original franchises, but I can go back and watch them. I want to love new stuff too.
Hopefully the creators will have already learned something from the initial feedback they received on Twitter. We don’t want to see this many reboots, especially not when they are completely whitewashed. Even though this new season will still come out, hopefully this is an example that writers will learn from in the future. Meanwhile, I will go back to watching the original Winx and pretending that this never happened.
See you across the pond!