Zelda x Studio Ghibli is the fan-made film we deserve

Zelda x Studio Ghibli is the fan-made film we deserve
RwanLink | Studio Ghibli

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

22nd Nov 2023 12:10

Unless you've been trapped in the Hyrule Castle dungeons, you'll know Nintendo and Sony are teaming up for a live-action The Legend of Zelda movie. We'd always hoped this day would come, and while some have been championing an animated movie, most agree a live-action showstopper is the way to go. 

Across 37 years and 45 games (yes, count them), we've had mainline entries, spin-offs, remakes, remasters, and whatever Tingle's Balloon Fight DS was supposed to be. There's plenty to pull from in terms of Zelda lore, but for many, it's 1998's Ocarina of Time that deserves its time to shine on the silver screen. 

Zelda x Studio Ghibli film is the stuff of dreams 

Even before Sony announced a live-action Zelda movie with The Maze Runner's Wes Ball, a quick scan of YouTube would turn up hundreds of fan-made Zelda movies. We already knew about RwanLink's Studio Ghibli-inspired project, with the trailer recently going viral.

Now, the creator has released the full 18-minute movie that merges the worlds of Nintendo's fantasy epic and the Spirited Away studio. Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki are known for their distinctive animation style, which merges almost seamlessly with the troubled realm of Hyrule.

RwanLink explained (via GamesRadar) how this labour of love took a whopping 600 hours to bring together. Seriously, someone at Studio Ghibli should be giving them a job. "Having previously focused on creating realistic environments, I decided to venture into something different this time," said RwanLink.

The timing couldn't be better, with November 21 being Ocarina of Time's 25th anniversary, RwanLink continued, "As a passionate admirer of Studio Ghibli films, I drew inspiration from their aesthetic and seamlessly incorporated it into the world of Zelda Ocarina of Time, paying homage to the game's 25th anniversary."

The second half of the video goes into a third-person perspective, with Link trotting around Hyrule Castle Town and meeting the various vendors. Even if we don't get a Zelda x Ghibli movie, the video makes a compelling argument for a game using this style of graphics. After all, Zelda has never been afraid to experiment.

Wes Ball is the perfect choice for Zelda

In terms of the man in the chair, Wes Ball is the talk of the town right now. After heading up the young adult Maze Runner trilogy adaptation, he's got the upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes movie. More than this, his love of Zelda is one that's spanned the ages.

Back in 2010, Ball made a seemingly innocuous tweet about how the motion capture technology used in James Cameron's Avatar would be perfect for a Zelda movie. 13 years later, he's the lucky one to bring Hyrule to life for the first time outside the forgotten animated series from 1989.

Although Nintendo overlord Shigeru Miyamoto has already warned that the Zelda movie is likely a long way off, that hasn't stopped a flurry of stars, including Machine Gun Kelly and Euhporia's Hunter Schafer, putting themselves forward. There's also our own personal hopes there's room for Danny DeVito.

The success of Universal's Mario movie will hopefully spur things forward on Ball's vision for Zelda, as we're not sure we can take the disappointment of this being one of those amazing "what if" projects that falls into development hell. If that does happen, someone needs to get Studio Ghibli on the phone. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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