Way back when, a rumor was floated about a possible CGI Legend of Zelda movie from Hong Kong based animation studio Imagi Entertainment (TMNT, Astro Boy), but like the Ghost Ships of Hyrule, nothing much ever materialized. Not that this is an uncommon thing (we’re looking at you, Ghostbusters 3 and/or live-action Voltron Movie) in a world where rumor spreads faster than the truth. Regardless, it’s remained an oft-fantasized, never actualized fanboy dream… until now!
Game Informer broke the story when it discovered a clip of test animation on the online portfolio page of DP and layout supervisor Adam Holmes. The clip contains one minute and 37 seconds of pure, unadulterated, LoZ-filled goodness! In that short span, the animators managed to capture the mood, wonder and adventure of a Zelda game with slick animation that would put a smile on even old Zora’s fish-face.
As you’ll see, the mood is instantly set when the camera pulls back from a ominously cloudy sky to capture a trio of knights on horses approaching a dreary castle down a narrow valley. They’re met outside by a young girl in a red cloak holding a small wooden box, presumably containing a piece of the Triforce (SQUEE!). However, before their meeting can commence, they’re attacked on all sides by a vicious group of Poe-like demons. The knights are the first to fall, but Zelda – ever the heroine – tosses off her cloak and draws her sword, ready to fight or die. Before her skills can be tested, an arrow whips through the air, impaling an attacking creature! Zelda looks up to the top of the valley to see the elf-himself, the boy in green, Link, triumphantly riding his trusty horse Epona – he fires off a few more arrows before leaping to join his princess as they face off the approaching hordes of darkness led by a pre-pig-faced Ganon and then… NOTHING. UGH! The clip is frustratingly brief.
It’ll never cease to amaze me how movies like Street Fighter and Double Dragon can get green-lit but a faithful, gorgeous adaptation such as this never makes it past early development. Cue the Ocarina of Time playing military Taps…