A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Winx Club: Mystery of the Abyss is an Italian production featuring fairies who are fashion-obsessed and often portrayed as dumb or shallow, with several remarks insulting how others look or their lack of up-to-date fashion. There's a lot of magic-driven fighting with potions and spells, and a rather convoluted plot about pollution allowing bad energy to reappear in the ocean. Of particular concern are all the characters' exaggerated bodies, with tiny waists and emphasized sexuality, and outfits that include teensy miniskirts and perilously high heels. There are some positive messages about friendship in there somewhere, but they are easily outweighed by fashion snark.
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What's the story?
Politea has released Tritannius from slumber, but her motives are not exactly pure. With the help of the Winx Club, she hopes to capture the Pearl of Depth and increase her power and promises to share the wealth. But first they must defeat the Trix witches, and hope Politea, known for her manipulation and cunning, will keep her word.
Is it any good?
Some parents may not mind this dose of silly fun, but there's not much here to recommend. WINX CLUB: MYSTERY OF THE ABYSS is a fairy-filled adventure where girls are powerful, magical, and fashionably dressed; this might be a recipe for perfectly upbeat fun if it weren't for the exaggerated body types, skimpy, formfitting clothes, and shallowness and superficiality running throughout the film. One character pretends to be dumb and relishes mispronouncing words. Another would rather be shopping at any given moment, no matter how serious the situation at hand or incongruous her request is. Another is full of little insight other than remarking on how unfashionable their enemies are. Add to that six-inch heels, flowing manes, and a convoluted plot that hinges on something about pollution, ocean magic, portals, and mutants, and there's a lot to follow for something so unwilling to upend the easiest stereotypes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way the film handles appearances. Why is one character so concerned with how others look?
How are the girls' bodies drawn? Why do you think they look that way? Do you see girls who look like these characters? What message might some of these characters send about body image?
Some of the characters play dumb or pretend to care only about shopping. Why do you think they exist in this film? Do you ever see boy characters who are portrayed this way?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love fairy tales
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