Zelda Cartoon
Image: DiC

Okay, hands up — who watched the 1989 The Legend of Zelda cartoon growing up? It's certainly a product of its time, and is famous for everyone's favourite catchphrase from the hero of Hyrule himself, "Well, excuuuuse me, Princess!". Now Polygon has published interviews with many of the writers, voice actors, and creators of the show which reveal many behind-the-scenes secrets.

Published as part of Polygon's Zeldathon, the publication's year-long celebration of all things Zelda in anticipation of Tears of the Kingdom's release on 12th May, the article shares many of the show's creators' thoughts and reflections on the now-infamous cartoon. The 13-episode-long show aired during the Friday slot of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, but only lasted for one season.

One of our favourite anecdotes has to come from story editor and writer on the show Bob Forward and his sister, Eve Forward. Bob admits he hadn't played video games but had seen his sons play through the original Legend of Zelda on the NES, and was handed a tape of a playthrough of the game as research. As well as "a franchise “bible” provided by Nintendo," and a Japanese copy of Zelda II: The Adventures of Link, that's all they had to go on to create the show — so Bob brought in some help from his family. His sister, Eve, recalls:

"My brother somehow ended up suggesting I try writing an episode, and I was able to turn out a couple of scripts that, with his editing, ended up getting used. I was about 16-17 at the time. The only direction I had was the show bible, which outlined the basic characters and sorts of stories they were looking for. I didn’t have a Nintendo, so I rented one, and the game, and tried to play it, but I didn’t get very far. But the basic relationships were all established in the show bible..."

Using her enjoyment of Dungeons & Dragons to help create a fantasy cartoon show, Eve says that the show's seventh episode, 'Dopleganger', "was based on a cursed mirror in D&D", and that she saw Link as "more of a rogue than a fighter."

Eve wasn't the only member of the Forward family to get involved in the show's production, though. Bob reveals that he brought his own mother on board to help come up with an episode for the show:

"We had a schedule we had to put the scripts through, and I think it was two a week. That wasn’t hard — I worked on shows we had to do five a week, so two a week was just fine. Eve and I were just writing them on our own. We even had my mom pitch a story. She wrote something that we ended up having to do a lot of work on, but it wasn’t a bad initial concept."

Marsha Forward's idea ended up becoming the episode 'Fairies in the Spring', which is all about the king getting a water park constructed. If you've never seen the cartoon, that probably sounds like a wild premise. It's not. We promise. This is the show where Link's personality is that of "the ultimate teenage boy, who was like a puppy" — we're taking the words right out of Jonathan Potts' mouth here, who was also interviewed for the piece.

The whole article is full of little snippets of info like this — information on the Talking Triforce (again, yes, it sounds wild, but it's real) and where the origins of Link's catchphrase came from (covered also by our lovely friends on Time Extension). It's a fantastic snapshot of the past that many of us grew up with, but others have yet to experience. It's a trip, and to some, a treat.

If you're at all curious about the show — or just feeling really nostalgic for some over-the-top cartoon video game adaptation from the past — then the whole show is available to watch on YouTube (thanks to GamePlayersUniverse.com).

Are you a fan of the Zelda cartoon? No? Well excuuuu... sorry, sorry. Let us know in the comments what you thought of the show!

[source polygon.com]