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General Zelda Zelda Movie Prototype Footage

Feb 5, 2011
The Contact Us button wasn't working so I'm sharing this with everyone.

As a lot of you are no doubt aware, I am not a fan of the cartoon series. So much so to the point where any argument in defense will have me shooting down and pointing out why I don't agree or alike. I've also made it known that I would definitely love to be the one the make an animated series based on it, despite many things standing in my way. Some time ago, Reggie Fils Aime stated that there were several companies that still wanted to make movies based on some Nintendo products but never accepted, most likely because they're very cautious of their work... also the Super Mario Bros movie.

Which is why in 2007, IMAGI, the now defunct in America studio that animated the TMNT movie and Astro Boy, created a pitch to Nintendo for a Zelda film in CG. It never got approved, though the test footage is now online.


As you can see, it borrows elements from Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, along with some physical similarities to the then unmade film, How to Train Your Dragon.

So why wasn't it made into an actual movie?

My own theories are:
1) As I said, they want to be careful with who they'd trust something like this to. For example, since Saban's Masked Rider, the Kamen Rider series was forbidden to ever have an American adaptation by the creator, Shotaro Ishinomori. Kamen Rider Dragon Knight only came to be because the producers had to prove they were Kamen Rider fans... also Ishinomori passed away. (I'm hoping the same won't happen to Miyamoto before something like this does happen)
2) IMAGI only released two movies in theaters stateside. TMNT and Astro Boy. Neither were terrible, but weren't exactly big hits either.
3) Movies based on video games hadn't exactly been well received.

I for one believe that this could have been a great film... so long as the Big N kept a close eye to ensure it was done well.

What do you think of this footage? Do you think this could have been great?


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
Link's hair was horrible, JSin, but I love Ganondorf. He reminds me a lot of Winters from TMNT (probably based on his design). Anyway I just love everything that I saw. People weren't digging the art style and that's understandable, but what I saw was in no way an abomination (bar Link's emo hair of course).

Mellow Ezlo

Spoony Bard
Forum Volunteer
Dec 2, 2012
The film looks solid, I will say that. However, the one complaint I have with it is the artstyle. To me, it looks very Disney/Dreamworks like, which is definitely not what I would expect from a Zelda movie. In order to make a movie that does the games justice, they would need to make sure that it stays true to the games. The artstyle does not look Zeldalike at all, and that would be a major drawback to me. When I look at the upcoming Ratchet & Clank movie, it uses the same artstyle, and even the same voice actors, as the games. They are making the movie as if it is just one large cutscene within one of the games, and that is what needs to be done before a Zelda movie is released. In my opinion at least. Everything else looks good!
This looks both good and bad in certain respects. On one hand, this looks like it has potential. They clearly had an idea worked out on just what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it. The monsters exploding into dark energy instead of just dying was a nice touch. On the other, this doesn't immediately look like the Legend of Zelda that I've come to know. In the beginning of the video, you could have told me this was a movie for the Green Lantern animated series and I would've believed you.

Link's hair was horrible

Also that.


There's a Bazooka in TP!
Feb 28, 2009
Ontario, Canada
I would have loved if this were an actual movie, art style an all! I really enjoyed that TMNT film and was disappointed to find a sequel was cancelled in favour of a new live-action film. TMNT aside, Zelda is a franchise that really has a lot of film potential, and this type of animation would probably suit it better than live-action.

I know there's a lot of hate for the style online, but I think it was mainly in this TMNT-ish style so they could reuse assets. Ganondorf almost looks like a recoloured Winters (Patrick Stewart's character) from TMNT. They definitely created new models to present to Nintendo, but it wouldn't surprise me if many of them were altered characters from the Turtle's world. It was just a pitch, and for a pitch, this was a fantastic one. (I've seen a LOT worse pitches in my time...)

I'm not sure why people are hung up on his hair, because it looks like they took inspiration for its style from the art for A Link To The Past and the Oracle games. (Just look at that mass of hair in my avatar pic!) Maybe it's just because we can see individual strands blowing in the breeze, but that kind of large, forehead covering do is established in previous official Zelda material.

I think after licencing their characters out in the past, Nintendo is wary of doing anything like this going forward. It would take a big change in management before they would feel comfortable trusting outside parties with their characters after unfortunate events like the 80's cartoon and the CDi games. Given the recent comments from Iwata stating Nintendo makes games and not art though, I have a feeling a Zelda movie in any form is not happening for years and years to come.
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Nerdy and Proud
Jul 8, 2012
Behind My Computer Monitor
For what it is--a prototype, I mean--this isn't bad at all. Zelda's model looks great and I like that it wasn't really based off of any familiar scenes in any of the games. I'm really, really glad it wasn't live-action. I'm sure if any of you have read any of my previous posts about a Zelda Movie, you'd know how I feel about Live-Action. I don't know what it is about the clothes in Zelda, but when you put them on real people, they always tend to look like costumes and not something anyone would wear day-to-day.

As for Link's hair... well, it wasn't that bad, but I'm not crazy about it. I'd prefer a style similar to the SSB4 style, quite frankly.


Rock and roll will never die
Jun 15, 2012
London, United Kingdom
I like Zelda's model, but Link's hair reminds me of that episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch where she becomes a boy for a day

218613.jpg Ahh, the nineties...

Anyway, I do like the idea of a Zelda movie however they would have to be extremely careful to get it right, which would be difficult. I mean, if you do an animated version people are going to bicker over the design, as is happening here, also the plot and which game they should make into a movie in the first place. If they try to cross games over or come up with a new one entirely, people will like that even less, thus storyboarding would be an absolute nightmare for everyone- the gamers, the fans, Nintendo, whoever is writing it, whoever is producing it, etc etc

I think it would work better with actual actors in it, but then the sheer amount of money needed to make a Zelda movie; I mean, it would be on a Hollywood scale and I'm not sure it would be able to garner a big enough budget to account for the props, the effects, the stunts. I don't know, it just has the feeling this won't happen which is a shame but all things considered even for a solid prototype, I'm not surprised it was ultimately rejected.


Jan 10, 2011
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
As I commented on the IGN video showing this, I think a Disney-esque Zelda could work. It's already a light-hearted and whimsical fantasy series, after all.

By the way, I think it's hilarious that the sword Ganondorf is holding looks remarkably similar to Ghirahim's blade form.
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Vocare Ad Pugnam
Jul 31, 2010
Gotham City
I really enjoyed the TMNT film for what it was, and though the animation was great, I wasn't too fond of the character designs and other aspects of the film. But that's TMNT, and this really reminds me of it, design wise. Everyone has that anorexic body and the bigger guys have that skinny legs and waist, wide chest look, like Max Winters from TMNT. Zelda also looks a lot like April O'Neil, and don't even get me started on Ganondorf... I wouldn't have been opposed to this film, but I also think The Legend of Zelda deserves better than this for their first outing on the big screen. Although Nintendo should really think about expanding the Zelda franchise beyond video games. An animated film would do justice, if done right, and I've also always wanted to see an animated WW cartoon series.


Wake Up!
Nov 13, 2012
I Love the TMNT movie, and think that if they would use more Nintendo Concept Art Style for the characters this would have been great. A pitch is just that; a pitch! Ganon Looked terrible! Nothing like what he should. The monsters on the other hand Looked awesome! Really liked the look of Zelda, and was hoping the trailer was a lil longer really! I think this could work. Live-Action wouldnt really work for a Zelda Movie, and i think CGI would be the way to go!

By the way, I think it's hilarious that the sword Ganondorf is holding looks remarkably similar to Ghirahim's blade form.

Considering this was made in 2007, it is quite odd how Gonons Sword look Extremely Similar to the Blade Demise used in SS! odd! almost as if Nintendo straight stole the design from this pitch!
I bet Nintendo said no because they didn't want more non-canon stuff being branded as official under their endorsement. I mean, it's not like they published anything recently that was written by a totally unaffiliated person or anything... *cough*Hyrule Hysteria*cough*

All kidding aside, I'm sure they're still a little on-edge about granting other companies permission to use their trademarks because of a possible repeat scenario of the CDi games. I mean, Nintendo and Phillips were going to collaborate on a game. To do so, they shared their rights to the characters and all that, but they never got around to making anything. So Phillips just went ahead and made stuff on their own since the permission was still valid. I suppose I don't blame Nintendo for that paranoia, but it seems Nintendo is running out of ideas for the series, and sometimes fresh input from the outside would aid greatly. Even if it meant something in movie form. I mean, if they're really concerned about it being "non-canon", just put a disclaimer before the film starts.


Twilit wildcat: Aerofelis
I love how Zelda fought instead of being a damsel in distress. Link's hair looked fine to me, but Ganondorf looked like he belonged in Ninja Turtles. I also couldve gone without the monsters exploding into black sparks when they died, I usually don't like too much blood and gore, but it would be more realistic with that...enemies just poofing into nothing after being killed is better for games.

So that's my opinion. Anyone else interested in the random hylian knight at the beginning? He looks like he would be an important character if this went through.
Aside form Sexydorf (who looks like Death from Darksiders 2 here) and the generic upsidedown triangle torso artstyle i rather like it. Link looks great ad i'd like to see him looking like that in a game. Zelda has a good degree of OoT to her while looking new, very nice really if a little generic.

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