09 January 2016

TV DVD Review: "The Legend of Zelda": The Complete Series

Rated: "General Audiences" (manufacturer's advisory)
Starring: Cyndy Preston, Jonathan Potts, and Tabitha St. Germain
Released: September 8 - December 1, 1989 (original TV premieres) / October 18, 2005 (DVD)
Synopsis: In the magical kingdom of Hyrule, heroic Link has the Triforce of Wisdom...but villainous Ganon will stop at nothing to get it; with it and the Triforce of Power, which he already has, he'll become the most powerful wizard in the land.  It's up to Link and Princess Zelda to stop Ganon from getting it and taking over Hyrule...but, with plenty of monsters at Ganon's disposal, saving the day will prove to be an arduous task.
Features live-action segments from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.  Based on the popular Nintendo video game franchise.

The Good: For a product of its time, the animation and graphics within this series are really good, as is the voice work.  Despite the stories being a bit short, these episodes mostly held my interest until the end.  While adventure may have been the main focus, the makers added in some humor as well, which was a nice touch.

The Bad: While the production values were great, the overall feel is a bit lackluster.  The live-action Mario segments are just dumb; one of them features Inspector Gadget! Also, a lack of English subtitles or closed captions make this inaccessible for deaf or hard-of-hearing people, unless they have an interpreter handy.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Much discussion is made of Link and Zelda kissing, and they almost do several times.  A live-action Mario segment features a girl with a crush on the infamous plumber. 4/5
  • Nudity: Zelda is seen in a (one-piece) bathing suit and in an off-the-shoulder, low-cut dress once; Sprite (a fairy) wears a short skirt that is also slit on the sides, and is seen in a low-cut outfit just once; Link is seen in a nightshirt a few times; one episode features shirtless guys at a distance. 3/5
  • Language: Name-calling; nothing more. 4/5
  • Violence: Fantasy violence is seen throughout, mostly with Link using his sword to shoot enemies who just magically disappear and usually respawn later.  No blood or gore is seen. 3/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Ganon and his minions could be scary to some kids; Link and Zelda find themselves in many perilous situations. 3/5
  • Other: Magic is used throughout the series; a live-action Mario segment features a psychic holding a séance. 3/5
Conclusion: While I used to be a big fan of Nintendo video games, the Zelda franchise was never one of my favorites.  I preferred the cuteness of Mario and Pokémon to the magical land of Hyrule.  Still, I thought I'd enjoy the series based on the games...and, to a degree, I did.  Still, I can't recommend purchasing this unless you're a die-hard fan of Zelda or the big "N" in general.  I'm glad I got my copy from the library, because I doubt I'll be giving this one a second look.

Score: 3/5

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