Winx Club

TV review by
Tara Swords, Common Sense Media
Winx Club TV Poster Image
Fairy-themed cartoon raises body-image issues for tweens.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 41 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 88 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Teen heroines have impossibly shaped physiques, and some are stereotypically obsessed with their appearance and boys. That said, the series' themes include teamwork, cooperation, self-esteem, friendship, and respect. Guys and girls are on equal footing when it comes to putting up a fight, due to the uniqueness of their individual powers. Viewers see a teen cope with discovering the truth about her past and the danger it poses to her safety. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Teens' giddiness over boys and obsession with their own appearance sends iffy messages to girls about body image and relationships with boys. But the characters do use creativity and rationality to solve problems, they draw strength in their collective abilities against their enemies, and they never back down from a challenge. Bloom's parents are caring and concerned about their daughter's welfare. Many characters are stereotypical, particularly the main villains of the series: the Trix witches Icy, Stormy and Darcy, mean girls with magic on their side.

Violence

Some hand-to-hand fighting, but more often violence takes the form of magical weapons such as light swords and guns that shoot energy rays, flying fireballs, and the powers to conjure storms, freeze people in ice, and deflect enemies' advances with energy shields. Some storylines touch on characters' deaths, but there's no blood or gore.

Sex

There's ongoing drama surrounding the main characters' attraction to their male counterparts, and some of their encounters include kissing and references to "going out" or getting dressed up (and made up) for a date. The girls wear skimpy outfits that accentuate their impossibly tiny waists and long, thin legs, and they talk about wearing make-up and high heels, implying that those actions correlate to their attractiveness.

Language

Occasional name-calling: "dimwit" and "blimp."

Consumerism

The series has inspired an international marketing conglomerate of DVDs, games, toys, and other accessories.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the main characters in this fantasy cartoon aimed at young girls wear minimal clothing that shows off their impossible body proportions. In other words, this show does little to promote positive body image in its young audience, since what kids see on-screen is an unattainable goal. Stereotyping is strong in a few of the teens, who moon over boys and talk about dating; evolving relationships mean there's some kissing and hugging, too. Violence is a concern, and although most of it is rooted in fantasy (energy balls, light swords) and blood and gore are nonexistent, some storylines incorporate a character's death. That said, the content's not all bad; the magical storyline appeals to young tweens' sense of fantasy, and recurring themes of cooperation, respect, and friendship offer some teachable moments.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5 year old Written byTahiti1 February 18, 2012

Fabulous example of "Girl Superhero's"

Let me quickly start by saying that a small part of me agrees with some of the other reviewers that this show's boyfriend/girlfriend element is not necessa... Continue reading
Adult Written byChrisams August 20, 2010

Great for Tweens

For a show aimed at Tweens (9-14+), Winx Club is right on the mark. The character design is distinctive, colourful and girly, other reviewers have pointed out... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byA-Deadly-Serenade February 3, 2013

Bad influence? You're kidding, right?

This show is a bad influence? Haha, oh gosh... If you people only have problem with how the girls are proportioned, then the show clearly isn't as bad as... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 22, 2012

Winx Wins

Personally, I disagree with peoples comments on the "sexy" content of the show. I cartoons your allowed to make the characters designs as unrealistic... Continue reading

What's the story?

Bloom (voiced by Liza Jacqueline) is an ordinary teen whose life changes forever when she rescues Stella (Amy Birnbaum) from a pack of monsters. Once the dust settles, Bloom is shocked to learn that Stella is actually a fairy princess from another planet -- but that's nothing compared to Bloom's reaction to discovering her own magical powers. At Stella's urging, Bloom enrolls in Alfea College, a school for fairies in the Magical Dimension. Together with their roommates Musa (Lisa Ortiz), Tecna (Cathy Weseluck), and Flora (Kerry Williams), these powerful fairies form the Winx Club and set out to counter their enemies, a trio of witches from a rival school. They're often joined by four magical Specialists, and later episodes show them joined by new fairies Layla (Christina Rodriguez) and Roxy.

Is it any good?

Start with mystical fairy powers, add the ability to fly, flashy clothes, and the constant slumber-party atmosphere of a fairy boarding school, and you have any tween girl's recipe for fun. WINX CLUB is teeming with witches, warriors, and magical mysteries, but it's also bogged down by some content that's not so great for its very impressionable target audience. The girls sport tiny skirts and tummy-bearing tops that show off their impossibly small waistlines and slender legs, and everything from their long, flowing hair (pretty, but not very practical when you're fending off bad guys) to the mere poses they strike invokes some sexual undertones. And all that is in the absence of the guys, with whom they share hefty doses of flirting and eventually some dates and kisses.

Violence is the other sticking point, although it's pretty fantasized (mostly energy balls and magical powers), and blood is minimal. On the upside, though, if your tweens do tune in, they'll be treated to an imaginative story with bold, take-charge heroines who find strength in cooperation, creativity, and a thoughtful approach to solving problems.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about body image. What do you think of the way the characters' bodies are drawn? How does what you see on TV and in movies influence your impression of what's attractive?

  • Are any of the characters in this show good role models? If so, who? What qualities are important to you in a role model? Who are some of your role models?

  • What role does stereotyping play in entertainment? How do writers use stereotyping for comedy? Are there instances in which this type of content isn't funny? Can stereotyping ever teach a lesson?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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