W.I.T.C.H. (TV series)
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Intertitle from season 2
|Developed by||Andrew Nicholls
Liza del Mundo
Colette "Coco" Noël
"W.I.T.C.H." by Sabrina Salerno
"We Are W.I.T.C.H" by Marion Raven
|Country of origin||Italy
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Greg Weisman
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||SIP Animation
|Distributor||Buena Vista International Television|
|Original release||18 December 2004– 23 December 2006|
W.I.T.C.H. is a European animated television series based on the Italian comic book series of the same name. The series was produced by SIP Animation in association with and participation from Jetix Europe, The Walt Disney Company, France 3 and Super RTL. Like the comic, the show follows five girls: Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin who have magical powers which they use to fulfill their duties as "Guardians of the Veil". The names of these five characters form the titular acronym, despite the characters not actually being witches. The series is set in the fictional city of Heatherfield and various mythical planets, namely Meridian and Zamballa. W.I.T.C.H. premiered on 18 December 2004 on ABC Family and concluded on 23 December 2006.
The Guardians must save Meridian from the evil sorcerer Phobos and Cedric who are searching for Phobos' sister, the long lost princess of Meridian and true heir to the throne. They later find her and the Guardians then set about saving her from Phobos. When Meridian is freed from evil and true heir takes the throne, a new mysterious sorceress named Nerissa frees Phobos' 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 more powerful Knights of Destruction, in addition to the former Guardians attack them.
The Guardians' chief ally is Hay Lin's 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 the troubles there 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.
- Will Vandom (Kelly Stables) is leader of The Guardians of the Veil and the owner of the Heart of Kandrakar. Will moves to Heatherfield with her mother at the beginning of the series. Originally Will's powers are limited to activating the transformation into Guardian form and sealing portals. However, in the second season Will fully gains her own elemental ability of Quintessence, the fifth element, which grants her electrokinetic abilities. In addition, Will is able to communicate with electrical appliances. Her only love interest and boyfriend throughout the series is Matt Olsen.
- Irma Lair (Candi Milo) is the Guardian of Water whose ability allows her to control water, and in the second season, the power of mind control. Irma acts as the series' comic relief, providing witty dialogue and remarks, which is often a source of irritation for Cornelia. Irma is appointed as the station manager of Sheffield Institute's radio station, she titles her radio segment Lair on the Air. Unlike the other Guardians, Irma does not have a boyfriend despite her affection for Andrew Hornby and the unrequited attention from Martin Tubbs.
- Taranee Cook (Kali Troy) is the Guardian of Fire, able to create and manipulate Fire, and in the second season, she has the ability to telepathically communicate with the other Guardians. Taranee is dedicated to her schoolwork, and often uses her intellect to defeat enemies. Her boyfriend is Nigel Ashcroft, whose social circle initially causes mistrust by Taranee's parents.
- Cornelia Hale (Christel Khalil) is the Guardian of Earth granting her the ability to control earth and plants and in the second season, she gains the power of telekinesis. Cornelia is vain and haughty, and is often a foil to Will. But she begins to warm up to him eventually, throughout the series. She is best friends with Elyon Brown, later revealed to be the missing Princess of Meridian. Cornelia becomes romantically involved with Caleb. His duties in Meridian later cause a rift in their relationship.
- Hay Lin (Liza del Mundo) is the Guardian of Air which enables her to control Air, and also become invisible in the second season. Her paternal grandmother, Yan Lin, was the previous Guardian of Air and introduced the new Guardians to their roles. Hay Lin is of Chinese descent and her parents own The Silver Dragon, a Chinese restaurant, where Hay Lin works part-time. Hay Lin enjoys art and is a free spirit. Despite her original distaste for dating, Hay Lin becomes infatuated with Eric Lyndon who eventually becomes her boyfriend.
- Prince Phobos (Mitchell Whitfield) is the primary antagonist of the first season. He is the ruler of Meridian, in spite of his missing sister being the rightful heir. He seeks to remain ruler of Meridian by defeating Elyon, the lost Princess, and the Guardians of the Veil.
- Lord Cedric (Dee Bradley Baker) is Phobos' General who is able to shape-shift into a man-snake hybrid. He commands Phobos' army of monsters and was tasked with locating the missing Princess in order for Phobos to absorb her powers. In the first season, he comes to Earth and opens a bookstore, under the false identity Cedric Hoffman, in order to attract the Princess.
- Nerissa (Kath Soucie) is a former Guardian of the Veil who was gifted the power of Quintessence. She is introduced as the second season's primary antagonist. Nerissa aims to regain control over Kandrakar and the other magical realms. She is successful in procuring the Hearts of several planets. In order to achieve her aim, throughout the season Nerissa creates groups who can fight the present Guardians. These include the Knights of Vengeance, the Knights of Destruction and C.H.Y.K.N., the former Guardians of which Nerissa was a member.
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. Most of the time a Heart is found to be in the form of living being, as it is for Earth, Meridian, and Aridia.
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 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 signalled that the other members of C.H.Y.K.N. were freed from her control.
Zamballa was first introduced in the season 2 episode "P is for Protectors". Zamballa is a purple world with a jungle stretching out as far as the eye can see. At the centre is a Pyramid, the palace where Kadma lives while the Veil is still in effect. The Zamballans themselves look like walking purple trees. The Guardians learned of Zamballa from Yan Lin, who told them the story of when she was a Guardian and had to protect the world of Zamballa from an attack of Phobos. Kadma led the attack against him. After, the Zamballans were so grateful that they offered her the Heart of Zamballa itself and made her Queen. However, the Veil was raised and cut off Kadma her Guardian friends and other worlds and she had to live there without hope of leaving.
But with the Veil lifted and Nerissa out to control the Ex-Guardians, they agree Kadma must be warned, but Nerissa and her Knights are already there and are glamoured as W.I.T.C.H. destroying Zamballa. Soon Kadma learns of the deception and with Taranee's help she manages to defeat Nerissa. In the next episode, "Q is for Quarry", the Guardians and Kadma team up to defeat Nerissa once and for all and come up with the idea of taking the Heart of Meridian. At first, Will gets the chance to, but refuses, saying that much power will corrupt her. Kadma instead takes it and merges the two Hearts, which form the Seal of Nerissa. Because Hearts cannot be taken by force, soon Nerissa will have two Hearts and Kadma under her control. The Zamballians and the Guardians gather to discuss what should happen next.
Ironwood makes herself Regent of Zamballa and her first act is to banish the Guardians, Yan Lin, Blunk, and Caleb from their world so that Nerissa is never tempted to return. In "Z is for Zenith" the Heart of Zamballa is returned and Kadma abdicates from her throne to live on Earth, while Ironwood takes the Heart and is made Queen herself.
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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 it 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 Its 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.
- Will Vandom - Kelly Stables (52 episodes)
- Irma Lair - Candi Milo (52 episodes). Milo also gave her voice to Mrs. Knickerbocker, Anna Lair & Trill.
- Taranee Cook - Kali Troy (46 episodes)
- Cornelia Hale - Christel Khalil (46 episodes)
- Hay Lin - Liza Del Mundo (52 episodes)
|No. Of Episodes||Actor||Character/s|
|51||Lauren Tom||Yan Lin; Yan Lin (Young); Susan Vandom & Alchemy|
|44||Serena Berman||Elyon Brown/Princess Elyon/Queen Elyon|
|27||Dee Bradley Baker||Martin; Sniffer; Aldarn; Frost the Hunter; Gargoyle; Khor & Mr. Huggles|
|24||Byrne Offutt||Uriah; Tom Lair; Vathek & Andrew Homby|
|22||Jason Marsden||Matt Olsen & Shagon|
|17||Steven Blum||Raythor & Blunk|
|10||Lloyd Sherr||Vathek & Coach O'Neill|
|9||B.J. Ward||The Mage & Halinor|
|8||Loren Lester||Julian, Aketon & Tynar|
|7||Michael Bell||Drake & Crimson|
|6||Cam Clarke||Dean Collins|
In the early stages of the first season, the series was a major hit and a TV breakout. However, the show's popularity began to decline in the second season. 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 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 (also in VCD format), Brazil, and Malaysia containing episodes of the first season which was divided into volumes of varying number of episodes. Each volume contains 2 art cards, each featuring one of the W.I.T.C.H. girls.
In the UK, the first three volumes were released in 2006 on 1 May, 19 June, 21 August respectively. In October 2007 the volumes were re-released as a DVD box set along with the box set of volumes four, five and six.
Season 2 has been released in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Russia only.
- "Disney Animated Co-production W.I.T.C.H. To Launch At MIPCOM". Jetix Europe N.V. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- DeMott, Rick. "W.I.T.C.H. Licensed On Free TV To 13 Countries Across Europe". Animation World Network. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Divide and Conquer". W.I.T.C.H. Season 1. Episode 7. 26 February 2005. Jetix.
We're not witches, it's just our initials.
- "L is for Loser". W.I.T.C.H. Season 2. Episode 12. 27 August 2006. Jetix.
- "Music from and Inspired By W.I.T.C.H". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "W.I.T.C.H.". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Artios Awards". Casting Society of America. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
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