There’s a new piece of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild animation out there that has us dreaming of a new animated Zelda series.
This animated short is the result of a collaboration between animators Youyang Kong and Qianya Yin who are known in certain circles for publishing some pretty impressive pieces of fan animation. It’s an incredibly short animated short (clocking in at under two minutes), but the length of the piece is really second to what it offers on a technical and emotional level.
Technically speaking, this animated short isn’t some revolutionary new (or relatively fresh) approach to animated entertainment such as we see in titles like Into the Spider-Verse. However, there is a kind of watercolor “washed-out” style that really does seem to fit the franchise and kind of reminds us of the drawings in the old instruction books for The Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It also invokes the Wind Waker with things like its smoke effects.
More importantly, the art and animation do a terrific job of conveying the emotions of the characters and the stakes fo the situation. Granted, it’s a pretty simple scenario (Link battles two Guardians in order to protect a helpless creature), but the animators do a fantastic job of wringing a lot of heart out of the principal characters and simple story. All of Link’s facial animations appear true to the character, which is pretty impressive when you consider that he’s not really a firmly established character in the first place so far as mannerisms and personality go.
This actually gives us quite a bit of hope for the possibility of getting a worthwhile animated Zelda series, even if the rumored Zelda series from the Netflix Castlevania team was reportedly nothing more than a rumor. There’s always a chance someone will revisit the idea on a large scale, though, especially considering that Nintendo’s new president is very interested in expanding further into multimedia projects.
For now, we look forward to what else these animators will come up with.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.