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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is a 2016 Japanese/American computer-animated action comedy-adventure film based on the 2002 video game for the Nintendo GameCube of the same name. It was produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures. Nintendo played a role in the film’s production, screenplay, character development, and animation consulting. Cast members have yet been confirmed. The film was directed by Chris Renaud, and featured an original story written by one of The Legend of Zelda creators, Eiji Aonuma. It was released on April 15, 2016.
Link, the protagonist of the Zelda series. He struggles against his nemesis, Ganondorf, for control of a sacred relic known as the Triforce. Link spends a large portion of the film sailing, traveling between islands, and traversing dungeons and temples to gain the power necessary to defeat Ganondorf. He also spends time trying to find his little sister Aryll.
- Debi Derryberry as Link
- Miley Cyrus as Princess Zelda
- Clancy Brown as Ganon
- Tara Strong as Aryll, Queen of Fairies
- Dan Aykroyd as King of Red Lions, Helmaroc King, Valoo, and Jabun
- Grey DeLisle as Medli/Laruto
- Jenny Slate as Tetra
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The film was originally announced in September 1999 under the untitled Zelda film, originally a traditional animated film being made by Glass Ball Productions and Co-produced by 20th Century Fox. In May 2005, Geo G. had acquired the rights of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, which the title was changed to, with a release date for 2009. On September 19, 2008, Glass Ball announced that The Wind Waker has been cancelled and was replaced by Sherman's Lagoon.
Geo Animation Studios, had an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Paramount Pictures, began development of a film in 2008. Founder Jake Sharratt shared that the Geo Animation Studios release will have a PG rating, possibly pushing toward PG-13.
When plans for a Legend of Zelda film were first announced in June 2010, it was with an expected 2012 release. Jake Sharratt was scheduled to write and direct, with Eiji Aonuma as producer, and had begun initial treatment. However, in 2008, Sharratt was taken off the project to direct Dead Lead. Early script treatments were written by Seth Green, but in fall 2011, he was released from the project. In June 2011, it was announced that Eiji Aonuma was signed to write the screenplay in preparation for a 2012 release.
On December 19, 2011, Geo Animation Studios announced in their annual report that their The Legend of Zelda film project is now officially cancelled.
On March 16, 2013, it was announced that a 3D computer-animated feature film based on The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker will be released on April 15, 2016. Written by one of The Legend of Zelda creators, Eiji Aonuma, it will be produced by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, animated by Illumination Mac Guff, Shigeru Miyamoto is set to produce, and directed by Chris Renaud, the director of Despicable Me, The Lorax, and The Secret Life of Pets.
Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, died in 2015, and this film is dedicated to him.
Universal Pictures will distribute the film in theaters in the United States on April 15, 2016. It will distribute the film in Japan on May 20, 2016.