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Was Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda Franchise Inspired by Disney’s The Black Cauldron?

By Amanda Wood
January 17, 2019

 
It would not be out of the ordinary for a franchise as popular as The Legend of Zelda to have drawn inspiration from the stories that came before the creation of Hyrule. Shigeru Miyamoto, leading creator of The Legend of Zelda, has previously admitted to being inspired by Disney’s Peter Pan when designing Link. We can see the similarities as we play through the series: the green tunic, the pointed, elf-like ears, the introduction of the Kokiri (a race of child-like beings that never age) and even the fairy companions! However, some fans have speculated that The Legend of Zelda series may have re-imagined ideas seen in other sources.

YouTuber ChannelFrederator explores the theory that The Legend of Zelda may have been inspired by Disney’s The Black Cauldron, an animated fantasy-adventure film that premiered in 1985, a year prior to the release of the first Zelda game. In the video, host Arielle Somerville describes numerous details from the film that bear a striking resemblance to reoccurring elements we see in future Zelda games. The design of fairies in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask are reminiscent of Princess Eilonwy’s “bauble” — a floating, glowing orb that acts as her companion throughout the film. The main protagonist, Taran, obtains a sword that crackles and glows with magical energy when in use — much like the sword given to us by the Old Man in the first The Legend of Zelda. Even during the credit roll of The Black Cauldron, we hear three familiar notes to a song that a Zelda fan will never forget!

You can check out the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube. Enjoy!