For a lot of my younger readers, I’m sure it is hard to think of the classic game series The Legend of Zelda as anything but the, well, classic game series. However, some might be a bit surprised to learn that there was an animated series that aired briefly on television, featuring 13 episodes of pure nostalgic (albeit cringy) gold.
For those of you that have been living under a rock for the past several decades, The Legend of Zelda is a wildly popular game series by Nintendo that was first released in 1986 which follows our silent hero, Link, as he faces enemies to rescue the fair Princess Zelda. To this day is regarded as one of the greatest video game franchises in the world. So, it makes perfect sense that folks would want to capitalize on that sweet market and make a neat animated series for kiddos who loved the game.
Therefore, The Legend of Zelda animated series was born in 1989. There were thirteen shorts that were around 13-15 minutes long and were originally featured in the place of Friday airings of another old-school classic game-turned-live-action/animated series, Super Mario Bros Super Show! You read that right, there were only thirteen episodes.
And I got the opportunity to binge all thirteen of them, and I am here to tell you what I discovered.
From the first episode, I was put off majorly by two things: Link’s brown hair and his god-awful voice. Lord have mercy, that voice. I’m sure somewhere you might have heard the phrase, “well excusuuuuuuuuuse me, Princess!” You can thank this series for that line of gold. And since watching the series, those words have been embedded so deeply into my psyche that I am sure it has become my sleeper agent phrase. Every episode beats the hell out of it so much that it isn’t just Link’s catchphrase, it could also become a drinking game to make sure you’re nice and wasted by the end of the series.
In my opinion, the animation really was not too bad. It screamed 1980s and was pretty fun. I actually really dug Zelda’s character. She didn’t fit the trope of the helpless princess and wasn’t garbed in a ball gown the entire series, which was kind of refreshing. And even though there was that special *ahem* tension between Link and her throughout the series, they never actually kissed, which was also an ongoing joke.
All in all, I found the animated series fun, cringy, totally 80s, and highly annoying. I wholeheartedly disapprove of the voice acting of Link and how out-of-character he was presented to be, but what can you do with a thirty-year-old cartoon? If you are curious about the series or just need a wave of nostalgia, you can find the entire series right here.
So, what do y’all think? Did you ever watch this old cartoon? What do you remember and what did you think? We want to hear your opinions, people, so drop them in the comments below! ✌