The first season of Fate: The Winx Saga asserted that, while many of the main characters are fairies, it’s been hundreds of years since anyone turned into a fairy with wings and all. This is in stark contrast to the original animated series, where the main fairies go through fun and colorful magical girl transformation every time they use their full power. (And throughout the show, transformations become more and more complex as they unlock new powers.)
Live-action show turns colorful cartoon into something darker and sharper, no big sparkling eyes to be found. That’s not to say there isn’t a morphing magic – at least initially.
[Ed. note: This article contains spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 of Fate: The Winx Saga]
In the final episode of season 1, the fire fairy Bloom (Abigail Cowen) transforms into her fairy form, complete with flaming fire wings and glowing eyes. Host Brian Young told Polygon that transformations have always been something the creative team has always kept in mind, and when they achieve it, they want to do it fairly.
“We started the process of getting back to season 1 with Bloom, because we knew we wanted it to be a big surprise at the end of season 1,” he explained. “And then part 2, we were like, OK, so now we have to do this several times. For it to have an emotional impact, we needed to raise the stakes a bit. “
Like an adult Sailor Moon fans, Young understands the importance of magical girl transformation, and his goal in season 2 is to get the achievement. The screenwriters found a solution by staging three miracles at once. Water fairy Aisha, earth fairy Terra and light fairy Stella rush to rescue Bloom. They embrace all of their emotions – both good and bad – and eventually unleash their full power to defeat the bad guys. They are all different types of fairies, which means their transformations all look different. For example, Aisha’s involves swirling water manifesting in fountain-like wings.
“We always talk about it like a music video,” Young said. “I had a storyboard picture for it and the whole scene was huge, and we shot a lot of scenes of all the girls on all the different rigs with all the different settings. together. When the VFX process started, we thought conceptually, like What do their wings look like? What do the beads look like? And that’s a pretty big deal, and it’s a conversation that starts before we even shoot. “
Although the transformations were expensive and difficult to get right, Young knew he had to keep them, because they were so important to the show. He talked at length with the creator of the original cartoon, Iginio Straffi, about what made the Winx stand out, and Straffi always guided him back to the old point. It’s not just magic and fashion (though a lot to be magic and fashion).
“At its core, Winx Club is about friends,” says Young. “It’s about friendship, it’s about these girls, going through these experiences, not just life and death experiences, but heartbreak, romance and love and turning towards each other, and having a small unit of protection like this. We always talk about the room itself as a perfect little cocoon of normalcy, as everything around them goes awry. Making sure we preserve those friendships is really important. “
Fate: The Winx Saga currently streaming on Netflix.