If you enjoyed Winx Club’s first three seasons, you owe it to yourself to find and see this movie. I went in looking forward to Secret of the Lost Kingdom (SotLK). One of the reasons was that the main story arc of the series, that is lead character Bloom finding her biological parents, had yet to be resolved. SotLK resolves that and delivers much more in the process.
With that said, I still tried to keep my expectations moderated. After all an arc three seasons in the making can easily be disappointing when finally resolved.
Also, SotLK moved Winx into the world of computer generated imagery (CGI) from traditional animation. When a show is as stylized as Winx Club, the transition from cels to 3D models can be daunting at best, and awful at worst.
Gladly, I can report that SotLK succeeded on all the mentioned fronts. Especially in the tricky area of CGI where they managed to capture the spirit of the art direction in 3D. However they went beyond just capturing, they enhanced it in some places and added whole new elements in others. New locations, new outfits and new vehicles were all on display as SotLK went above and beyond the “necessary”.
A good word to describe SotLK is artsy. Dramatic lighting, sparkles and translucent clothing/wings were all realized more easily and more often in this high quality feature. Iginio Straffi kept a close eye on his popular creation and kept it from drifting away from its core.
Like the series the movie was at times serious and others fun. There was even a pleasant musical scene flying through the clouds.
One of my interests in Winx Club lore has been the famed Company of Light. We finally get to meet the remaining three members. The old gruff weapon smith Hagen, and Bloom’s parents who have not aged since being trapped when Bloom was a baby. It was interesting seeing them not much older than Bloom and much younger than the remaining un-trapped members.
Special props go to the costume designers. They did a great job translating the known outfits into 3D as well as designing some elegant-in-their-simplicity jumpsuits.
The men were treated pretty well this time around. They got some good screen time for supporting characters. Both Hagen and Oritel were treated with respect.
Another supporting character, Faragonda was shown fittingly powerful. Of the other two members of the company of light, Griffen is barely seen and Saladin not at all.
There is a great reveal in the beginning where the girls go enchantix and have a tough battle with a horde of robots. This battle and the others in the film were well planned out and exciting. The fight scenes moved along and the action was quick and snappy.
Of course SotLK is not without its faults. Occasionally the movie was a little slow. Then again one man’s “slow” is another man’s peaceful pacing in a pretty scene. The three bad witches from all three seasons of the series (the Trix) only made the briefest cameo appearance. Additionally the Ancestral Witches who fought against the Company of Light did not get enough comeuppance.
SotLK leaves open the door for more action in the Winx Club universe. With word of a fourth season and the possibility of another movie, we have not seen the last of Bloom, Stella, Flora, Tecna, Musa and Layla (Aisha).