Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie (a J!-ENT DVD Review)
July 24, 2012 by Dennis Amith
The popular Italian animated series “Winx Club” has a tremendous fan following and for the first time, the first film “The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie” will be available on DVD in the U.S. Also, included are seven bonus episodes! Overall, a positive animated series for fans, the young at heart or for parents looking for an enjoyable series with cool heroic female characters for their young daughters.
DVD TITLE: Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie
DURATION: MOVIE (86 Minutes) + 7 Episodes (2 hrs. and 38 minutes)
DVD INFORMATION: Full screen format, Dolby Digital – English Stereo
RATED: PG (Violence)
RELEASE DATE: July 31, 2012
Directed by Iginio Straffi
Written by Sean Molyneaux and Iginio Straffi
Produced by Joanne Lee
Line Producer: Francesco Mastrofini
Art Direction: Vincenzo Nisco, Corrado Virgili
Featuring the Voices of:
Molly C. Quinn as Bloom
Amy Gross as Stella
Alejandra Reynoso as Flora
Romi Dames as Musa
Morgan Decker as Tecna
Keke Palmer as Aisha
Matt Shively as Prince Sky
Adam Gregory as Brandon
David Faustino as Helia
Sam Riegel as Riven
Charlie Schlatter as Timmy
Will Blagrove as Navu
It’s graduation day at Alfea, but Bloom has something on her mind. She’s determined to find her birth parents – no matter what! Now, on a fantastical movie journey that takes her and the Winx Club to a strange planet with evil lurking around every corner, Bloom will learn to trust her true friends…and herself!
In Italy, the “Winx Club” is an animated and franchise hit.
Since 2004, the animated series was created by Iginio Straffi, President and founder of Italian-based animation studio, Rainbow S.r.l. and so far, there have been a total of six seasons, three films and many video games as well as books, toys, and clothes.
Suffice to say, “Winx Club” has been a big hit in its native country.
In America, while the series has been featured in Canada, 4Kids Entertainment had the distribution rights and changed the entire dialogue and music, and also altering the visuals and situations of the original series. And would continue to distribute the series through 2007 after the third season.
In 2011, Nickelodeon has aired four one-hour specials to summarize the first two seasons and have aired the third and fourth season of “Winx Club”. And now will be co-producing with rainbow S.r.l., the fifth and sixth season of the animated series. The fourth season began airing on Nickelodeon since May 2012 with the fifth season to be announced at a later time.
While the first three seasons were released on DVD in the U.S., the three films have not been released in America. But now, the first film titled “Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom” (2007) will be released on DVD for the first time along with seven bonus episodes of season 4 of “Winx Club: The Power of Believix” on August 2012.
What is “Winx Club” all about?
“Winx Club” revolves around a group of teen fairies attending attending school. The primary antagonist is Bloom, who lives with humans in the city of Gardenia and while living a normal life, she later discovers she has magical abilities and powers. She then learns that she is a fairy and joins Alfea, the school for fairies in the Magical Dimension.
- Bloom is a fairy who was raised by human parents, while her parents were considered missing. A fairy of the Dragon Flame and the most powerful of the Winx, her power is the hope that can defeat the evil of the Trix. She is also the princess of the planet Domino and is believed to be the last survivor of the planet. and is dating Sky.
- Aisha is the Fairy of Waves and has the power of controlling water and “Morphix”. She is the princess of the planet Andros and her personality is wild and rebellious. She is dating Nabu.
- Flora is the Fairy of Nature and draws her power from flowers, plants and trees. She is often happy and is quite intelligent. She is dating Helia.
- Stella is the Fairy of the Shining and the princess of Solaria. She is carefree, loves to chat and wants to be the center of attention. She is dating Brandon and is best friends with Bloom.
- Musa is the Fairy of Music and has the power of melody. She is down to Earth but can be pessimistic. She is dating Riven.
- Tecna is the Fairy of Technology and her power is derived from technology. She is logical, rational but is not good at expressing her emotions. She is dating Timmy.
While each fairy is trying to find out how to work as a team and utilize their powers, there is an evil group known as the Trix that want to take away Bloom’s power.
What is “The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie” about?
For the film “Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom”, the film takes place after the third season and Bloom and her friends are searching for her parents, King Oritel and Queen Marion. For a fairy to graduate, they must write their own ending and for Bloom, her ending would be to find her parents.
Believing they are alive, Bloom seeks the blacksmith known as Hagen, the person responsible for forging her father’s sword.
But Hagen tells her that he has been trying to find her parents but have not sensed the sword and chances are, they are not coming back.
Bloom has a hard time dealing with the fact that her parents may be dead. And to make things worst, her boyfriend Sky is leaving with another fairy for a mission that he is unable to talk about. So, while the other fairy’s have their boyfriends nearby, Bloom doesn’t.
But while she is sleeping, she has a dream of her sister Daphne telling her to keep searching and her parents are still alive. She givs Bloom a mask and tells her it will help her see Domino before it is destroyed and also tells her about the Book of Fate that their father has, which tells the story of the history of Domino.
And with her new resolve to find her parents, the sword of King Oritel begins to glow and the Ancestral Witches, who believed that they destroyed all surviving people of Domino, now wants to know why the sword has activated and feel they must kill the survivor.
So now Bloom and her fairy friends go off on an adventure to find her parents.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie” is presented in letterbox format. The CG animation was probably a big step in bringing the animated series to the CG realm and while not as high budget or detailed as other CG-animated films, I doubt that children would mind. I think the fact that the characters are in CG, most children would be excited by that.
Created in Italy, the series has its own distinct style. From its character design to the backgrounds, but it’s a colorful animated series and I actually like the pixie style of character design and that it is different compared to what we usually see in the U.S. and also from Japan.
But as expected on DVD, you are going to have some artifacts, jagged edges, softness, etc. But the film does look good on DVD, as does the seven episodes from the TV series. I doubt most children watching this series will be picky about its picture quality.
As for audio, the series is presented in Dolby Digital English Stereo, Italian dub is not included on this DVD.
“Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie” comes with the first seven episodes
“Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie” comes with a slipcover case.
I must admit that prior to watching “Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie”, I was not aware of this series. And because it was shown on Nickelodeon, I was thinking maybe this is a series for toddlers or young girls.
But I realize that this is an animated film with a series that attracts people of all ages, similar to what Nickelodeon had done with the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” but with fairies, magical transformations and yes, smooching between the female fairies and their boyfriends.
While this film may draw comparison to the recent Disney “Tinkerbell” films, the Winx Club was released before the “Tinkerbell” films and has been a major hit in Italy. From merchandise such as toys and video games, the series has been ongoing since 2004 and with the series on television in America and the release of the animated film, I can see how this series would attract viewers through its accessible storyline but also for the fact that the female characters are the heroes, not their boyfriends and I think it’s cool to have a series featuring a group of heroine’s and a series that young girls can enjoy.
First, let’s discuss “Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie”. The film is in CG as opposed to the animated series which is not. While the film was created back in 2007 and being released now on DVD for the first time, it may not be as detailed as a lot of high budget or current CG animated films are today, but for young children, I think that girls will like these characters, their personalities and special powers.
For the character of Bloom, she is a girl who desperately wants to find her parents. And being told that they are probably dead, she continues to have hope and together with their friends, they journey together to help her find her parents but also using their special powers to take on several antagonists.
In some ways, there is a similarity to an older Japanese animation known as “Sailor Moon” with its magical girl transformations and yes, even Sailor Moon’s butterfly transformation and the longing for a boyfriend and each girl having their own distinct personalities but working together as a group despite their differences.
But this series and film does show the importance of friendship and working as a team. While I did mention these girls do have boyfriends and yes, there is kissing, parents will have to decide if they mind this or not. Personally, I don’t mind it and it’s not as the characters are engaged in major liplocking, but these young fairies are excited to have supportive and caring boyfriends and show their affection with a quick kiss.
As for the animated series, because the film does go into the graduation of the fairies (previous episodes featured when they attended the Alfea school), the fourth season known as “Winx Club: The Power of Believix” focuses on the fairies now as new teachers at Alfea.
The first seven episodes of this 26-episode season is included as part of the special features (these episodes were shown on Nickelodeon on May through June 2012). The series features Bloom and friends going against new antagonists known as the Wizards of the Black Castle. These evil men are looking for the last fairy and they think it’s Bloom.
But with this group so powerful and now trying to steal more magic, they set their eyes on Earth to find the last fairy. So, to stop the Wizards of the Black Castle, Bloom and the fairies must team up and get accustomed to Earth life but also taking on other evils such as a monster that is causing all Pixies to vanish and to stop the problems and havoc that the Wizards of the Black Castle have created on Earth.
As for the DVD, the film and the animated series does have it’s own separate distinct look but in terms of storyline, I do feel it’s a series that young girls or the young at heart can enjoy. You really don’t find animated series showcasing heroines but the fact that you have quite a few, if the boys can have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men or Justice League, then why not have a group of female characters with special abilities? So, I feel that “Winx Club” is a positive animated series that showcases teenage fairies with special abilities, their own skills and personalities and a storyline that compliments those characters quite well.
And for parents, it is rated PG because there are bad antagonists and some violence but nothing that is too scary. I think that children 8 or older should be fine with watching this animated series. And there are no bad habits that children can learn from this series (as opposed to certain habits that my son had learned from another Nickelodeon show ala “SpongeBob SquarePants”.
Overall, for “Winx Club” fans, you get one film plus seven episodes on one DVD. If you are a fan or a parent wanting an animated DVD for your daughter, “Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie” is recommended!
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