- This is W.I.T.C.H.ipedia's article on the W.I.T.C.H. TV Series.
W.I.T.C.H. is an animated television series based on the Italian comic book series of the same name. Like the comics, the series follows five ordinary girls: Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin who become endowed with magical powers and become the "Guardians of the Veil". However, in the second season, when Kandrakar lowers the Veil, they become the "Guardians of the Infinite Dimensions".
The Guardians must save Meridian from the evil sorcerer Phobos and his faithful companion Cedric, who are searching for Phobos' twelve-year-old younger sister; the long-lost princess of Meridian. It is later revealed the princess is none other than Cornelia's best friend Elyon Brown, and the Guardians are then set out saving her from Phobos.
When Meridian is freed from evil and Elyon takes the throne, a new mysterious sorceress named Nerissa frees Phobos's top henchmen and reforms them as the Knights of Vengeance. Once the Guardians learn more about the sorceress and her evil plan of reuniting former Guardians, they are able to defeat the Knights only to have even stronger and more powerful Knights of Destruction, plus the five old Guardians attack them.
The Guardians chief ally is Hay Lin's paternal grandmother Yan Lin, a former Guardian herself, and the one that taught the girls about their magical destiny. They are also helped by Caleb, a heroic soldier from Meridian, leader of the rebellion against Phobos, and Blunk, a frog-like goblin creature (known as a Passling) who takes things from the human world to Meridian (and vice-versa), humorously mistaking everyday objects for other things or items of value. Matt, Will's boyfriend, accidentally learns about Meridian and when he sees all the trouble on it going on, he learns how to become a warrior to help them. They are also helped by the Oracle, leader of the Universe in Kandrakar, who was the one who chose the Guardians.
For Season 2, SIP Animation brought a new studio to animate the series. SIP Animation completed the full production of W.I.T.C.H. Season 2 around September 2005.
The UK and US versions of the show have two different opening sequences.
The UK version shows the girls and their powers in a "story version" with unique footage for the openings, while the US version shows action clips from some episodes and scenes from the W.I.T.C.H. demo reel. In the US, Season 2 didn't get a new opening because Disney wanted consistency when they aired Seasons 1 and 2 simultaneously. This doesn't apply to the UK Season 2 opening sequence, which did get revamped with new scenes. The US theme song entitled "We Are W.I.T.C.H.", is performed by Marion Raven. From episode 14 onwards, a new version of "We Are W.I.T.C.H." as the show's opening sequence, replacing the "demo" version. In the USA theme song, Irma Lair's Guardian outfit is first shown with a teal shirt and purple skirt, which are the true colors, but then later in the song, her clothes switch colors.
The Guardians' Powers and Abilities
Each Guardian's powers and abilities are fueled by Kandrakar, transmitted to the Heart via the Aurameres (the orbicular physical representations of the Guardians' powers and abilities). The Aurameres grant the same powers to each of their guardians; for instance, any powers and abilities held by Irma would also have been possessed by Cassidy.
When the Guardians transform, they change form and grow wings, which help them fly through the air. Using the Heart of Kandrakar, a Guardian can create an Astral Drop, a duplicate of herself, when the words "Spord Lartsa" (Astral Drops spelt backwards) are said. Also the Guardians can combine their powers and abilities together and create a concentrated beam of mystical magical bright pink-colored glowing energy as seen in the first episode of the series. In the second season since the removal the Veil, the Guardians can travel across other worlds and planets by opening whitish-blue oval-shaped portals called folding, with the aid of the Heart of Kandracar.
In order to travel to another place in the same world, each Guardian can teletransport. Teletransporting is a difficult power and ability to learn and one can materialize into another solid object if not careful enough. Also if a Guardian teletransports while not connected to an Auramere or a Heart than they will drain their life force which will greatly weaken them.
The Guardians can also become one with their dragon (or in Will's case, the nymph Xin Jing) and literally become one with their element all the while vastly significantly strengthening and increasing all of their powers and abilities to innumerable uncontrollable levels; which makes them one thousand times stronger and one thousand times more powerful than if they had multiple Hearts. However this is risky and rather dangerous because it costs them their humanity (both their human form and the memory of their human life) and they could be easily controlled and enthralled.
Also, it has been shown that if a Guardian uses her elemental powers and abilities and is not connected to an Auramere, it will drain their life force which will weaken them enormously. This may be why Nerissa aged so much faster than the rest of C.H.Y.K.N..
A Guardian can also become a Quinto-Guardian. A Quinto-Guardian has all of the powers and abilities over all five elements: Water, Fire, Earth, Air and Quintessence including the individual powers/abilities. A Quinto-Guardian can also gain the amazing power and ability to summon ice. The only known Quinto-Guardians are Cornelia (granted briefly by the Aurameres) and Nerissa (by using her Seal). However it is, believed that Will has the potential to become a Quinto-Guardian, as she is the wielder of the Heart of Kandakar and since the heart has the ability to tap into the powers of the Aurameres, Will could do the same but by focus, the powers on to her rather than to her other fellow guardian. If this is true, then the same could be said for Cassidy who also wields the heart of Kandakar for a brief period of time.
The Hearts are the sources of mystical energy for the worlds they come from. They can be represented by a jewel, a talisman or a living being. Prominently featured in the series is the Heart of Kandrakar, a pendant that allows W.I.T.C.H. to transform. Over the course of the series, it is revealed that Elyon Brown, Queen of Meridian, is the Heart of Meridian, and Lillian Hale, Cornelia's younger sister, is the Heart of Earth.
Various planets play an important role in the W.I.T.C.H. series. Earth is the home of the Guardians of the Veil, later the Infinite Dimensions while Meridian, Kandrakar and Zamballa are mystical planets that are introduced as the story progresses and the evil forces get stronger. Nerissa also briefly visited a place called Aridia, a desert realm in an attempt to steal their Heart (an unnamed male rock giant). But her attempt failed when the Seal of Nerissa signaled that the other members of C.H.Y.K.N. were freed from her control.
Two seasons were produced, both of which adapt plot elements from The Twelve Portals and Nerissa's Revenge comic arcs. Each season consists of 26 episodes, creating a total of 52 episodes. The first season was produced by For season 2, SIP Animation brought a new studio for production. SIP Animation completed the full production of W.I.T.C.H. Season 2 around September 2005, and it premiered in the United States, Canada and the UK in June 2006.
Cancelled Third Season
In early 2007 producers of the W.I.T.C.H. TV series, were planning on making Season 3, based on the Ari of Arkhanta Arc, but was cancelled, due to criticism of the second season of the show. Clues of a planned Season 3, can be seen in the last episode of Season 2, Z is for Zenith. There have been many complaints and petitions about the cancelled season. Among the most active is the online site "Save W.i.t.c.h. For It's Third Season" at petition online.
The UK and US versions of the show have different theme songs. The UK introduction shows the girls and their powers in a "story version" with unique footage for the opening, while the US version shows action clips from some episodes and scenes from the W.I.T.C.H. demo reel. In the UK version, the opening theme is "W.I.T.C.H." performed by Sabrina. However, the US opening uses a demo version of the song "We Are W.I.T.C.H" until episode 14 when it is replaced with a version sung by Marion Raven. While the footage and theme are unchanged for the remainder of the US series, in the UK version the opening sequence of the second season is changed to incorporate the new plot developments and characters.
W.I.T.C.H. received little notice from critics. Common Sense Media, one of the few outlets to review the series, noted that the show is "an animated fantasy-adventure series for tweens", and gave it 3 out of 5 stars.
In 2005, the series, received greater recognition, and was gaining popularity. The first seasons plot was given high positive reviews. In 2006 however, The series began to received more negitive reviews by criticis, mostly due to what the critics, described as, poorly planned story plot, for the second season. Critics, claimed the while, the first season also differed from the original plot of the comics, the first season did not differ far from the comic's storyline, in comparison to the second season. The series also faced problems from rival series Winx Club, which had been gaining greater popularity, as it's series went on. Eventually, W.I.T.C.H. lost out to Winx Club, leading to the TV series being cancelled before the released of the already planned 3rd season.
In 2006, Joey Paul Jensen was nominated for the Casting Society of America's Artios Award for Best Animated Voice-Over Television Casting.
W.I.T.C.H. has been released on DVD in Europe, Australia, the Philippines (both in DVD and VCD versions, which is currently in the first season), Brazil, and Malaysia currently spanning 3 volumes, each containing episodes of season 1. They each come with 2 art cards featuring one of the W.I.T.C.H. girls. The DVDs together only contain the first 11 episodes. Volumes 4, 5 and 6 are planned to be released on the 3rd September 2007 for Region Code 1 and 2 and on the 17th of October for 3 and 4, which could see the rest of Season 1 on DVD. Two box sets have been released in the United Kingdom and Russia: the first box containing volumes 1, 2 and 3. The second contains volumes 4, 5 and 6. The complete first season has been released as a set in the United States.
- For season 2, SIP Animation brought a new studio to animate the series.
- In the episode "M is for Mercy", a few scenes involving Shagon and W.I.T.C.H. fighting each other was censored in the UK version, but was left alone in the US Version. Reason was because it showed abusiveness, when the girls were being violently beaten up by a boy. Though by doing this, illiminates important materials for the plot of the scene, and the episode. Also, the UK version was cut due to 'taunting' on both Shagon's part and from the girls.
- In episodes "R is for Relentless" and "V is for Victory" of Season 2, Usagi Tsukino (Serena in the English Dub) from Sailor Moon, dressed in her school uniform, makes two cameo appearances, first in the lunch line and then walking through the corridors of Sheffield Institute. Obviously showing the shows inspiration from Sailor Moon.
- The American first season dvds have "It Begins" and "It Resumes" as two separate episodes, rather than as the combined vesion aired in th US. The opening narration in the aired version is also absent. Two brief scenes not originally in the version aired are present on the dvds. In the UK, six DVDs containing all 26 episodes of Season 1 were released, but never Season 2.
- W.I.T.C.H. was planning of making Season 3, based on the Ari of Arkhanta Arc, but was cancelled, due to criticism. Clues of a planned Season 3, can be seen in the last episode of Season 2, Z is for Zenith. There have been many complaints and petitions about the cancelled season.
- In the television series, all of the guardians can fly whereas in the comics, only the air guardian can fly until Hay Lin grants her friends this power to save their lives.
- There are many Lord of the Rings film series references throughout the series.