This week is the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The Nintendo 64 classic was released in 1998, and became the framework for the series for several generations until Breath of the Wild’s open-world structure changed everything in 2017. In celebration of Ocarina of Time turning a quarter of a century, Zelda YouTuber and animator RwanLink has released a short film, made in Unreal Engine 5, which takes locations from the game’s first few hours and reimagines them in Studio Ghibli’s iconic animation style, and it looks pretty rad.
The video primarily focuses on Castle Town, the residential area in front of Princess Zelda’s castle where Link meets several townsfolk and things just seem generally cheery before shit gets real grim in the second half. But we don’t really get into that in RwanLink’s video. Instead, Link vibes with the common folk, and only gets the briefest glimpse of Zelda and series antagonist Ganondorf. The short film takes some liberties with the source material, as well, including showing Fi dancing on the Pedestal of Time.
RwanLink’s video only hints at the dark turns in Ocarina of Time, but I would be interested to see later moments, like the time-skip or the battle with Ganondorf made in this style. The video is a bit of a departure from their other Zelda animation videos, which opt for a more realistic style as opposed to the cel-shaded look seen here. Check it out below:
While a Ghibli-style Zelda movie seems like a pipe dream, Nintendo has announced it’s working on a live-action film in collaboration with Avi Arad. If you don’t know that name, Arad is the founder of Marvel Studios and has producer credits on films from the comic book company’s portfolio, ranging from the original Iron Man to the Spider-Verse series. Despite his attachment to Marvel, Arad has also worked on other films like the middling Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland and next year’s Borderlands adaptation.
Zelda may not be getting the animated treatment, but Nintendo has had a resounding success in the animated space this year with The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Sure, it might not have been great, but it did make a buttload of money at the box office.
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