“You have been both a Winx or a W.I.T.C.H.,” an oft-circulated Tumblr put up pronounces.
That meme is referring to 2 animated displays that each debuted in 2004 and each targeted round magical-girl groups led by means of a plucky redheaded protagonist. Whilst Winx Membership aired on Nickelodeon within the U.S. for 5 extra years earlier than getting an animated revival and a spin-off collection, W.I.T.C.H. quietly departed from ABC after its 2nd season. Nonetheless, to children who grew up gazing them, the 2 displays have been inextricably connected, given their anime-influenced persona designs, thrilling fable tales, and numerous casts. (And regardless that younger American audience would possibly now not have learned, each had roots in Europe, with Winx Membership originating in Italy, and W.I.T.C.H. being in accordance with an Italian comedian collection of the similar identify.)
Winx Membership’s reputation set it up for a up to date revival: Netflix simply became it right into a gritty live-action collection. However the streaming carrier might’ve picked the incorrect display to faucet into that power. Each displays starred magical woman groups bond by means of friendship, however W.I.T.C.H. was once a lot darker, and would higher are compatible the tone of Netflix’s Destiny: The Winx Saga.
W.I.T.C.H. follows 5 teenage ladies — Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, and Hay Lin (get it?) — who be informed that they’re Guardians of the Veil, superpowered beings who can regulate quintessence, water, fireplace, earth, and air, respectively. They’re in command of protective the border between our common international and quite a lot of fable worlds. The primary season basically specializes in the sector of Meridian, a medieval fable realm not too long ago taken over by means of evil prince Phobos and his snake-shapeshifter right-hand Cedric.
When the women know about their powers and their new roles, they will have to in finding the rightful inheritor to the throne and unfastened Meridian from Phobos’ rule. The ladies stability their twin lives, this means that preserving their powers a secret from their households and different buddies. In the end, they meet Meridian teen Caleb, who at age 15 leads an underground rise up. The collection doesn’t want to be remade as one thing darkish and edgy, as it already is beautiful darkish and edgy. W.I.T.C.H. was once extra action-focused than Winx Membership, so that you can make bigger to a male target audience. That didn’t make it any much less of a lady display, however from the get-go, W.I.T.C.H. had that plot-heavy, action-focused vibe that Destiny: The Winx Saga tries its hand at. It’s jarring in The Winx Saga to peer the protagonists studying a couple of struggle that scarred the era earlier than them, however the similar beat would paintings simply wonderful in a W.I.T.C.H. replace, the place the women are already seeking to overthrow a despotic chief.
Even one of the most extra particular threads of Destiny: The Winx Saga — the strain between the women and the theme of fallible mentors — are found in W.I.T.C.H. Many of the W.I.T.C.H. protagonists know each and every different earlier than they obtain their powers, and so they don’t precisely get alongside. It’s much more true within the comics, the place new woman Will struggles to hook up with the others when she first meets them, particularly when she’s dubbed their chief. Whilst the Guardians first of all bicker, they slowly paintings towards a robust, enduring friendship.
W.I.T.C.H. could also be forward of Winx Membership when coping with sophisticated relationships with mentor figures. The very foundation of ways the Guardians get their powers units up that pressure. Every era of Guardians passes their powers onto the following, and the second one season of the display specializes in the present staff studying extra in regards to the girls who got here earlier than them — and the way one doomed the remainder by means of lusting after energy. Destiny: The Winx Saga provides those mentor relationships to the Winx international, however W.I.T.C.H. already did it 15 years in the past.
And at the maximum superficial notice imaginable, W.I.T.C.H.’s visible aesthetic was once all the time grungier than the intense neon of Winx Membership. All over the day, the W.I.T.C.H. ladies attend Sheffield Institute, a brick-walled academy that appears extra just like the darkish academia vibes of Destiny: The Winx Saga’s tackle Alfea faculty than the unique purple whimsical partitions in Winx Membership ever did. Beneath Phobos’ rule, Meridian is enshrouded in shadow, typhoon, and fog, and the royal fort’s hallways seize Gothic decadence. Even if Phobos is in the end overthrown, Meridian is extra rooted in golden-swathed earth-tones than the jewel-toned worlds of Winx.
W.I.T.C.H turns out primed and posed to change into the darkish and edgy magical woman collection that Destiny: The Winx Saga is attempting to be. However sadly, the short-lived display may just now not be stored. Whilst the second one season, led by means of showrunner Greg Weisman of Gargoyles and Younger Justice, arrange a 3rd, it by no means manifested. An previous discussion board put up claims it is because there was once so little investor and manufacturer pastime.
Sadly, W.I.T.C.H. isn’t these days to be had for streaming, and the DVDs best launched in Europe, Australia, and the Philippines. Nonetheless, the reminiscence of W.I.T.C.H. lives on — in Tumblr posts, in fan artwork, and within the hanging parallels of a live-action display about 2004’s different five-member magical woman display. Possibly someday it’ll land on Disney Plus, however till then, Destiny: The Winx Saga must suffice.