The Legend of Zelda is awesome! Who doesn’t love it? I see you raising that hand. Put it back down! You know what isn’t awesome? The Legend of Zelda cartoon. Ugh this was painful to get through. For those who don’t know, DiC Animation got the rights to produce a cartoon based on Super Mario Bros. and the Legend of Zelda in 1989. They combined them into the Super Mario Super Show. Let’s just say neither were very good, but that’s a story for another time. Anyway, let’s get into this disaster of a shit show.
I only had the patience to sit through 4 episodes before it got annoying (well, it got annoying immediately). The show begins with a neat intro, using the iconic Legend of Zelda theme. Good thing it’s a great song because you’ll be hearing it all the time. The intro demonstrates some solid animation and gives you an inkling of hope for a good show. But then something happens, the characters start talking. Oh do they talk! The intro ends with Link saying his catchphrase, “excuse me, princess.” He says this several times per episode. Does it get annoying? Does the sun come up in the morning?
Well, time to get into why it’s so shit. The first episode begins with Link waking up in Hyrule Castle. Turns out he’s an obnoxious, one liner spewing dipshit. DiC turned him into a typical wise cracking 80s sitcom character. This is why Link doesn’t talk. Also, Link is a major pervert. He spends most of the series sexually harassing Zelda every chance he gets.
Speaking of Zelda, she is a total bitch. The titular princess gets mad over EVERY LITTLE THING. Typical woman amirite guys? Just kidding don’t sue. We’ve certainly come a long way when it comes to portraying women. To the show’s credit, Zelda isn’t a typical damsel in distress. Maybe she’s a little too capable, making Link almost unnecessary. She seems to get captured for plot convenience.
Then there’s Sprite the Fairy. If you though Navi was annoying (she still is), Sprite cranks it up to 11. She has such a shrill voice and doesn’t shut up. Sprite has a crush on Link and cock blocks Link when he’s trying to get some with Zelda.
Then we have Ganon. Oh Ganon, what have they done to you? Just like everyone else in this show, he’s a complete moron. One of the most iconic video game villains has been transformed into a childish idiot, doing things like sneaking to the Triforce and screaming “all mine!” Way to be stealthy there Ganon. He talks to himself about his plans while teleporting around the room. What an intimidating villain.
Every episode is basically the same. Ganon cooks up an idiotic scheme to steal the Trifoce. Spoiler Alert: he never succeeds. His plans often involve obvious disguises or turning Link into a frog. Uh Ganon, couldn’t you just kill them instead of these stupid plans? The cartoon follows the Team Rocket formula of failure. Rinse and repeat every episode and BAM, you got the Legend of Zelda cartoon. No character growth or overarching story, just silly 80s antics.
The Zelda cartoon is surprisingly inappropriate for its intended age group. There’s a decent amount of sexual undertones. In the very first scene of the show, Link is catcalling Zelda when seeing her in her undergarments. Sprite watches Link take a bath and mentions how she likes seeing him like this. Part of each episode seems to be focused on Link trying to get laid. Additionally, Link seems to revel in killing. You know, because that’s how heroes act.
There’s so much potential for a great series based on the Legend of Zelda. Unfortunately, Dick Animation didn’t see that. It’s silly, repetitive, and very stupid. The Super Mario Bros. cartoon at least fits with the lightheartedness of the original games. Apparently, this version of Link and Zelda were the “inspiration” for the Zelda CDi games (bleh!). Thanks for that DiC. Maybe Nintendo will one day give us an animated series worthy of having the Zelda name on it. I have hope with the recent success Castlevania animation this will come to pass.