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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (also referred to as The Legend of Zelda or The Wind Waker) is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated fantasy action-adventure film produced by Illumination Entertainment, based on the 2003 Nintendo GameCube video game of the same name. The film is directed by Michael Wildshill and co-directed by Kyle Balda, and written by Geo G., Darren Lemke, and John Logan, and stars the voices of Thomas Middleditch, Jodelle Ferland, Nicolas Cage, James Cromwell, Ariel Winter, and Isla Fisher.

The film sees Link attempting to save his sister from the sorcerer Ganon and becomes embroiled in a struggle for the Triforce, a sacred relic that grants its holder's wishes. Aided by allies including pirate captain Tetra and a talking boat named the King of Red Lions, Link sails the ocean, explores islands, and traverses dungeons to acquire the power necessary to defeat Ganon. Wind, which facilitates sailing, plays a prominent role, and can be controlled with a magic conductor's baton called the Wind Waker.

Universal Pictures released the film on February 12, 2016 in the United States and Canada. The film received generally positive reviews from film critics. Observers praised the visuals, voice acting, and music. The film was also a box office success, grossing over $159 million in the United States and $518 million worldwide. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.


Further information: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

While Link is celebrating his 12th birthday, a gigantic bird flies overhead and drops a girl into Forest Of Fairies, a wooded area of Outset Island. Link rescues the girl from Bokoblins in the woods, but as he returns Aryll is kidnapped by the bird. The rescued girl introduces herself as the pirate captain Tetra, who reluctantly agrees to help Link rescue his sister. With Tetra and her pirate crew's assistance, Link finds Aryll on an island called the Forsaken Fortress, along with two other kidnapped girls named Maggie and Milla from Windfall Island. Before he can rescue them, he is captured by the giant bird known as the Helmaroc King. The bird then takes him to the top of the tower where a man in black stands. With a single shake of the head from the man in black, the bird flings Link far out into the sea.

Link is rescued on Windfall Island the next morning by a talking boat that calls himself the King of Red Lions. The boat tells Link that the giant bird is controlled by Ganon, the same evil from the ancient legend. He also says that Link needs to find the three Pearls of the Goddesses, Farore's Peral, Din's Pearl and Nayru's Pearl, to gain the power he needs to rescue Aryll. Farore's Pearl is found in the Forest Haven, an island with a giant talking tree known as the Great Deku Tree. Din's Pearl is found on Dragon Roost Island, given to him by the lava spirit Valoo. Nayru's Pearl is found on Link's hometown island, Outset Island, inside a cave on one side of the island, and within this cave, a water spirit, Jabun hands over the final pearl. Once Link has all three pearls, the King of Red Lions leads him to the Tower of the Gods, where Link faces several trials before being taken deep beneath the ocean's surface to a castle, suspended in time, where he finds the Master Sword, the legendary Blade of Evil's Bane.

Link returns to the Forsaken Fortress to rescue Aryll. He is soon joined by Tetra and pirates Gonzo and Senza who take Aryll, Maggie and Milla to safety while Link duels with the Helmaroc King. Link comes out victorious over the Helmaroc King, but Ganon easily overpowers Link. Tetra returns to help Link, but she is also overpowered. Ganon reveals that the Master Sword has lost its power to repel evil, and discovers that the necklace Tetra wears is a piece of the Triforce, being the Triforce of Wisdom, leading Ganon to conclude that Tetra is the previous owner of that sacred relic, Princess Zelda. Tetra denies it before she and Link are rescued by Prince Komali, lava spirit Valoo and Quill of the Rito tribe.

Link returns to the underwater castle with Tetra. There, the King of Red Lions reveals himself as Daphenes Nohanson Hyrule, the King of Hyrule, and that they are standing in Hyrule Castle, the seat of power in the ancient kingdom. The King explains that after Ganon had broken free of his seal, the gods ordered those chosen to take refuge on the mountaintops and subsequently flooded Hyrule, sealing it and Ganon under the Great Sea. The King confirms that Tetra is, indeed, Princess Zelda, the predestined protector of the Triforce of Wisdom.

Zelda is told to remain in the castle while Link and the King return to the surface to investigate why the Master Sword lost its power. They discover that two of the ancient sages that provided power for the Master Sword by prayer, being Fado, of the Kokiri tribe and Laruoto, of the Zora tribe, were killed by Ganon's forces. To restore the Master Sword's power, two new sages must be awakened. Link eventually finds the new sages among Medli, of the Rito and Makar, of the Koroks, and restores full power to the Master Sword. Soon after, the King of Hyrule learns that the Forsaken Fortress had been abandoned by Ganon, and begins to fear the worst. He then urges Link to seek out the eight pieces of the Triforce of Courage left behind by the ancient hero of legend, the Hero of Time.

Link accomplishes this task with Tingle's help, and returns to Hyrule to find that Ganon has found Zelda and kidnapped her. Link follows them to Ganon's Tower; there, Link kills Phantom Ganon and Puppet Ganon before the real Ganon overpowers Link and takes his piece of the Triforce, being the Triforce of Courage. His own piece of the Triforce, being the Triforce of Power combines with Link's and Zelda's pieces to form the complete Triforce, which grants the power to govern all. Before the Triforce can grant Ganon's evil wish, the King of Hyrule appears, lays his hand on the Triforce and wishes for Ganon and the rest of Hyrule to be washed away, and for Link and Zelda to be returned to the surface. Enraged, Ganon duels Link and Zelda as water begins to downpour over Hyrule. The battle ends with Link stabbing Ganon in the forehead with the Master Sword, turning him to stone. Link and Zelda then return to the surface, while the King decides to stay in Hyrule. Zelda returns to her old form as Tetra, Prince Komali, Medli, Makar and the pirates find them and Link is reunited with his sister, Aryll. The film ends with Link, Tetra and the pirates returning to Outset Island, and decide to sail away in search of a new land to call Hyrule.



On March 16, 2013, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment announced that they were developing a 3D computer-animated feature film based on The Wind Waker.

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The film's release date was moved up to February 12, 2016, from its initial July 8, 2016, date, switching places with Illumination Entertainment's other film The Secret Life of Pets.

Home media

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, 4K Blu-ray and digital download on June 29, 2016. Special features include three short films titled Final, Treasure Hunting, and Splash!.


Box office

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Critical response

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Possible sequel

Although Universal is reportedly interested in making a sequel and turning The Wind Waker into a franchise, Universal only had the rights to make one The Legend of Zelda film. Director Michael Wildshill has indicated that a sequel is not imminent, stating, "It was close. An almost."