The Legend of Zelda
Rated: N/A :: Released: 15 October 2005
Directors: Eiji Aonuma and Yoichi Yamada :: Starring: Cyndy Preston, Jonathan Potts, Len Carlson, Colin Fox and Elizabeth Hanna
By James D. Deaux IV
15 May 2008 I am nearing my wit's end. My eyes and ears hate me for the torture I put them through. My hands are sick of typing summaries of these idiotic shows. And my brain, well, let's just say it's ready to lead the rest of my body in a bloody coup d'้tat. (Don't even ask what I'm going to do when Saw V rears its ugly head later this year.) But luckily, the show I'm reviewing today is so stupid that I don't really require my brain to write about it. If you remember the old NES Legend of Zelda games, then you probably (and unfortunately) remember the ever-so-hideous cartoon that meandered about shortly thereafter in 1989. (Although, I have to say that claiming this cartoon was based upon the eponymous video game is like saying one ounce of coherent thought was put into it.)
The Legend of Zelda cartoon series took place on The Super Mario Bros. Show! back in... you know what? To hell with trying to explain and dissect this series. It's the return of 10 Questions!
01. How in the name of all that is holy can anyone call this wretched pile of festering entrails The Legend of Zelda and not be classified as retarded?
This cartoon bears no similarity to anything in the Legend of Zelda video game series that didn't have the CD-i label on it, because if it did, then we have all been misled over the years. Link is apparently not a silent, young Hylian boy who grows up to become the world's greatest hero. No, he's actually a vociferous idiot who lives in Hyrule Castle and spends most of his days trying to get a kiss from Princess Zelda. What an eye-opener. Speaking of Zelda, she is a stuck-up bitch who spends her time forcing Link to do menial tasks around the castle and is generally just a waste of space and oxygen. (Her nose is also bigger than her ears. Just felt I should throw that out there.) Dumb as a brick and just as interesting, she is a stereotypical blonde if ever there was one. More on her later.
Of course, you can't have a cheesy, poorly acted action cartoon without an over-the-top villain who talks to himself entirely too loudly. In this series, the perpetual Zelda villain, Ganon, is a warthog-like creature who teleports all over the place and laughs indiscriminately at everything. This Ganon meanders around as only a hideously misrepresented video game villain could. One thing he does is disguise himself and disrupt a magicians' contest in order to steal the Triforce of Wisdom. Wow. I know I'm hooked. You know what the real Ganondorf would have done in the same situation? He would walk right up to the castle, blast the gate away with a snap of his fingers, saunter into the grounds, eviscerate everyone inside, take the Triforce, then chuckle at the smoldering pile of death. Now, of course, they couldn't very well do that in a children's cartoon, but to see Ganon displayed like this is aggravating. There isn't much more to this mercifully short-lived series other than Spryte, the little fairy that follows Link around and flirts with him at every turn. Spryte's only redeeming value is that she makes all kinds of sexual innuendos towards Link, and I admit I chuckle at some of them since she is literally only five inches tall.
02. Where art thou, voice acting lessons?
I suppose I should preface this by saying that not even Sir John Gielgud could have pulled off a decent performance in this series, the scripts were that awful. Also, Len Carlson, who voiced what was supposed to be Ganon, didn't do a bad job. Still, that doesn't mean I'm going to let all the other wretched voice acting get off scot-free. Jonathan Potts (Link) was outright nauseating to listen to as he portrayed the skirt-chasing "hero." Although, given that he took part in Jason X, maybe this series was just a precursor. Zelda got it even worse because she sounded like she was voiced by a porn star. I mean that in every sense, too. Her voice starts and stops at bizarre times, and she puts the inflections on the wrong words not unlike everybody in the Double Dragon movie. But the other aspect of this little theory of mine is even better. There are some absolutely hysterical moments involving Zelda saying things you'd expect a porn star to utter. Example: Zelda is hosting the aforementioned contest (don't ask why), and after some old guy causes a tomato to grow from a seed to a fully mature fruit, she says, "Ooh! It's so big!"
The inflection is every bit as unintentionally funny as it sounds. Looks like Spryte isn't the only naughty-minded character here. The thing is, that line isn't even good enough to be in a live action porno. A hentai movie on the other hand...
03. Was this animation inspired by a Charles Dickens novel?
Upon first glance you'll see some pretty backgrounds. I would even argue that the backdrops and miscellany used in this series were better than most other cartoons at the time. However, when you get to the characters and creatures, then you can recoil in horror. The fight scenes look like wounded Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots fending off a herd of lobotomized Ronin Warriors. Link runs around pulling seemingly the entire inventory of a Final Fantasy item shop from his satchel while shooting baddies with his sword's magical disintegrator beams. Pink disintegrator beams, that is. As if that weren't bad enough, you can observe the many torches and fireballs that look like waves of tomato soup spraying around. As would be expected, the lip-synching is even worse. There are several instances where characters will say whole sentences though their mouths never open. I know animation wasn't exactly at its pinnacle in the late 1980s, but come on! Great backgrounds, horrific animation: a tale of two cities.
04. Plots? Don't you mean plot?
It was difficult distinguishing the 13 episodes, because every plot was exactly the same: Ganon and his minions steal the Triforce of Wisdom (or they kidnap Zelda) thanks to Link's and / or Zelda's ineptitude, and it (she) has to be retrieved. And they always do, roughly three minutes later. In between, Link zaps some things with his magical (and extremely short) sword. Yay for originality.
05. Shouldn't the title of this series have been The Legend of Some Stupid, Unappreciative Bimbo?
I cannot believe I'm about to say this, but here it goes: Princess Zelda is a moron. Link might be dimwitted in this abject disaster of a cartoon, but Zelda takes the imbecile ball and sprints away with it. She acts as if Link, who's saved the kingdom countless times (despite himself), is her personal butler / jester. It never ceased to amaze me how Link would manage to save her life, yet she'd act as if it never happened. Personally, I wonder why he even bothered to save her since she was such an ungrateful twit. Why the bloody hell was Princess Zelda, of all people, portrayed so ridiculously?
06. Could someone explain to me how come there are only two Triforce?
Having a set of items with the prefix tri- should indicate that there are three articles in said gathering. The only two pieces of the Triforce that are shown in this show are Power and Wisdom. The Triforce of Courage, which is the one Link is forever, uh, linked to, is never even mentioned in this
abortion cartoon, much less seen. In hindsight, maybe they only kept the word Triforce because changing it to Biforce would have brought with it a whole new set of problems.
07. Is there a more annoying catchphrase in animation history than Link's?
Link, as I stated earlier, spends most of his time trying to get a kiss from Zelda, yet he never succeeds. Every time Zelda gets mad at him for whatever reason, he would blurt, "Well, excuuuuuuuuuuse me, Princess!"
This line has become infamous in video game circles for its cheesiness and dreadfulness, but really, the phrase itself is the entire show (and the CD-i games, for that matter) in a nutshell. It represents everything the real video game Link and Zelda aren't, and when Link says it, he is always reacting to Zelda treating him like garbage.
Speaking of garbage, can we deliver these DVDs and CD-i games to a landfill in New Mexico? I hear it would have plenty of company.
08. Not that I particularly mind, but how did all of the sex jokes make it past the censors?
Spryte is the repository for so many sexual innuendos, it's insane. Her costume design was basically a pink Tinker Bell skirt, only shorter. She watches Link take a bath and even as Link yells at her to get out, she says that she always likes how Link looks particularly "at the moment." The animation also gives us several upskirt shots since Spryte's outfit is so outrageously short. The funny thing is, there's at least one instance that was what I like to call "animating yourself into a corner." Ganon flicks Spryte into a wall and she lands in such a way that there was no way they could draw her without her crotch showing. Given that I couldn't stray my eyes away from the, um, focal point, I looked and it appeared that Spryte was going commando. However, I simply couldn't tell given the poor animation. Bottom line: I can't believe the censors let some of this stuff slide. But hey, I'm not going to complain.
09. Why exactly did I spend money to relive these memories?
If you people only knew how much I yearn to get laughs out of you.
10. If you ask a stupid question, should it even warrant an answer?
During one episode, Link and Zelda decide the best way to catch Ganon, who has just made off (yet again) with the Triforce of Wisdom, is to launch themselves into the air in a very Looney Tunes-like way. While soaring merrily through the sky they spot Ganon on the ground and Zelda actually asks Link, "How are we going to get down?" Oh, I don't know, Z. Maybe a little thing called gravity? Then, to top it off, they crash to the ground completely unharmed. Isaac Newton would have cried if he ever saw this cartoon; never mind the countless Zelda fans who wept after watching this nonsense.
Grade: 16/100 You'll have to excuuuuuuuuuuse me for not grading it lower.