The Legend of Zelda (TV series)

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The Legend of Zelda TV series was an adaption of the first two video games from The Legend of Zelda series. The show only lasted a single season of 13 episodes and ran from 1989-09-08 to 1989-12-01. Episodes are around 15 minutes long and were shown in each Friday episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. The characters were adapted from the video games by Bob Forward and a team of writers. The show was produced by DIC Enterprises and Sei Young Animation and distributed by Viacom Enterprises in association with Nintendo of America. Although the series has an overarching theme, the episodes are not serialized. The characters from the show also sometimes appeared in Captain N: The Game Master, and, although there is no direct relation, a lot of the show's character design was reused in the Valiant Comics adaption.

Each episode follows Link and Zelda as they protect the Triforce of Wisdom from the evil sorcerer Ganon and his minions who are trying to steal it. If Ganon successfully steals the Triforce, he can combine it with his Triforce of Power and rule the land. Running themes in the show are Link's frequently failed attempts to kiss Zelda (much to the chagrin of his fairy admirer, Spryte), and his line stolen from Steve Martin, "Well, excuse me (Princess)!" To downplay the violence of the game, when Link kills one of Ganon's minions, they are instead teleported back into Ganon's giant glass cauldron where they will slowly re-materialize to be summoned once more. One interesting aspect of the show was that many sound effects were taken directly from the video games rather than being created by by Foley.

Personal

I enjoyed the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! in 1989, but I especially loved Fridays when I got to see The Legend of Zelda episodes which were my favorite. Although the show is hokey and childish in retrospect, I really liked it as a nine-year-old.

Status

I don't own the show, but I have seen every episode.

Cast

Role Actor
Link Jonathan Potts
Princess Zelda Cynthia Preston
Ganon Len Carlson
Spryte Tabitha St. Germain
King Harkinian Colin Fox
Triforce of Wisdom Elizabeth Hanna
Triforce of Power Allen Stewart-Coates
Additional Voices Don Francks, Marvin Goldhar, Christopher Ward, J Bizel, Rocío Garcel

Review

Good

  • A lot of material was imported from the video games including the main characters, monsters, weapons, and items. The writers took a few liberties, but, the show is very recognizably Zelda.
  • The character design for Link, Zelda, and Ganon are great.
  • Although Zelda is still frequently a damsel in distress, I love that she can also hold her own in a fight and serves as a strong female character. This is much more interesting than her totally passive roles in the games of the time.
  • I love that the producers included sound effects directly from the games.

Bad

  • The goofy slap-stick comedy and pratfalls have not aged well.
  • The animation is pretty awful.
  • Rather than be heroic, Link's character is an obnoxious ass. However, his brashness is sometimes endearing.
  • Although an absolute beast in the game, Ganon is a wimp in this adaption.
  • Without ant continuity across the episodes, there is no closure to the series, and the final episode ends much like the first.

Ugly

  • Link's catchphrase is really annoying.

Media

Links

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