After an entertaining but slightly disappointing season 2, Winx Club hits its stride in a big way for season 3. The characters are a couple years older now, as are the viewers since season 1. Perhaps this emboldened talented creator Iginio Straffi to go with more mature drama and subtler characters. One major key used to add that drama was cleverly tied to the third season’s magic power upgrade, enchantix.
In season 1 lead fairy Bloom gained her fairy powers. In season 2 all six Winx Club fairies gained their marginally interesting charmix power add-on. However season 3′s enchantix formed a whole new costume and higher order of power. The drama was weaved in by only granting these powers after an act of sacrificial heroics. This insured that there would be at least six cutom tailored dramatic scenes involving the upgrades.
For example, Stella dove in front of her father to save him. In that tense moment she gained her enchantix and kicked some serious butt. Additionally in one of the season’s most dramatic events, Tecna achieved her enchantix and seemingly sacrificed herself to seal the icy Omega Dimension prison. If you were not moved by Musa’s realization and scream of anguish for her lost friend, change the channel and watch the news.
Season 3 also introduced a new kind of master villain for Winx Club. The suave, roguishly handsome Baltor eclipsed season 2′s Lord Darkar in power and scope of his evil designs. He was conniving, arrogant and well voiced. When faced with fighting half the original famed Company of Light (veteran headmasters Faragonda. Griffin, and Saladin) he instead tricked them into fighting each other. Dastardly coward.
The season was very arc-driven, and episodes sometimes ended in cliffhangers. The one where a disfigured Stella is thrown out of a high window was especially dramatic. Winx Club restored to prominence its foundational arc revolving around Bloom’s search for her biological parents. While it was not resolved, it was moved forward and Bloom learned much about herself and her family history.
The boys got better story treatment than they did in season 2. One major arc revolves around the Baltor-aggravated political and romantic battle for power involving Prince Sky, Bloom, and Diaspro. The latter was a non-Alfea trained fairy with a potent and interesting gem based power set. She was a fine example of the quality character designs that went into season 3.
Baltor uses the original three bad witches as his goons (like Darkar before him). That seems to be their role in life. The introduction between them was fun and interesting as they escaped the fearsome Omega Dimension together. Baltor holds up as an imposing and nigh unbeatable villain until the last few episodes where he has a few uncharacteristic breakdowns. I did not find them a fitting way for him to express his desperation.
I believe they thought season 3 would be their last, although Iginio Straffi knew they were making a movie. Bloom does not find her parents by the end, but after Baltor’s defeat the season ends on a hopeful note. She is finally ready to mount a rescue. Winx Club season 3 although “girlie” may surprise those who normally do not watch that kind of show. The drama, friendship and good versus evil elements have broad appeal.