The Legend of Zelda - Animated Series

The onslaught of Nintendo franchise products continues with the Zelda cartoon series.
By eep
March 15, 2005

Video games have reached its peak and anything with a Nintendo logo or character was to be had by all game freaks. Watches, lunch boxes, book bags, pens & pencils, t-shirts, underwear, bed sheets & pillow cases, TV trays, etc. Who would have expected anymore? In 1989, on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show (a live action rendition of the popular Nintendo video game), the greatest cartoon trailer ever created was shown…The Legend of Zelda – The Animated Series, coming Friday so and so month. Oh my god!!!

The memories I held for this series was only love and appreciation. Remembering how Link kicked the crap out of all those Molblins, skeletons and getting laid by the Princess. Well, it’s all in a days work for a hero. Killing and screwing. Nothing could taint my devotion for this series, I thought, until Christmas 2004 rolled by.

Ingrid, Josiah and Kendra know how nostalgic I get with retro junk and how mainstream it has gotten within the past two years, so they took it to their advantage and bought me The Legend of Zelda – The Animated Series on DVD.

Ecstatic and quite high strung from all the Christmas spirit, I quickly loaded it up into my DVD player and watched what my memories and wishing thinking had exaggerated. Granted the visuals were as I remembered…amazing (still using cell animation)! Though for 1989, one would think that the storyline for a television program would be just a tad thicker. Simple planning, too easy of a plot to follow, what was I watching? Was this The Legend of… show I was once deeply in love with when I was eight? Whoops! Let’s back track. I was eight, of course I appreciated it. I loved Punky Brewster in 1989. Sigh. I just hoped the next two episodes weren’t as dull.

The other two episodes carry on the same monotonous road with mind-numbing plots and obvious dub over voices (this makes the animators life a hell of a lot easier since the characters mouths don’t move). The same formula every other cartoon series has had to date with only slight changes to work with the Zelda characters. Girl trouble, mix-ups, misunderstandings, growing up; blah!

What really made the series authentic were the musical scores and the sound effects. The theme songs and storyline themes seemed to be perfectly revised and played by a small orchestra while the sound effects were straight rips from the game. This was a huge plus for a bona fide feel of the generally tale.
Transferring video game schemes into a cartoon series was still at its breaking ground, for Americans anyway, but where was the third Tri-Force? This, for me at least, was very confusing. The plot did revolve around Gannon and Link gathering the tri-force, just like the game established. Either one of the sides, good or evil, must collect all three of the Tri-Force to gain its ultimate power. Understood, but what’s this?

“Whoever gets both Tri-Forces will rule this land, forever.”
Only two pyramids of the Tri-force?

If only the game had two I wouldn’t have spent so many months playing. Though the game does specify that both Gannon and the Princess have a Tri-force each, they never explain who has the third. The original game is to find the eight pieces of the Tri-Force of Wisdom that the Princess broke up to hide from Gannon, but where the hell is the third one?

Never mind. I haven’t beat part two yet.

Their interpretation of Link is quite exceptional though. Take a look at what they had to work with. I guess as long as Link’s scheme was brown and green, anything would have been approved.

You have to give them credit.

The video game will forever ever be a legend for forcing Sega boys to turn off their Master Systems and buy a Nintendo Entertainment System to indulge themselves with Link and Molblins. As for the cartoon, it was breathtaking when I was about seven or eight but for now, sixteen years later, it does hold some enthusiasm for future cartoonist…don’t repeat the same mistakes. Overall the series is great for new Link fans (N64 generation as well as Gamecubers). Though, for the old and weak 8-bit generation, cherish your polluted memories of this series. It’s a whole lot better. I promise you. Two out of a possible Four.

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