Western Animation / Lady Lovely Locks

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Lady Lovely Locks is a Merchandise-Driven animated series from The '80s. It debuted in 1987 and was produced by DIC Entertainment.

The show told the tale of the pretty blonde-haired princess Lady Lovely Locks, her friends Maiden Fair Hair and Maiden Curly Crown, and her Fairy Companions the Pixietails. Most of what they have to worry about comes from the evil Duchess Ravenwaves, who with her assistants Hairball and the Comb Gnomes, wants to take over the land Lovely Locks rules. There's also a family of friendly dragons, a blind wizard, and a prince who turns into a dog.

Besides the cartoon and toys, tie-in books were made, as were a series of German audio dramas set in a different continuity than the cartoon.


Tropes featured include:

  • All There in the Manual:
    • An Enchanting Fairy Tale Adventure, the first tie-in book, reveals that Lady's status as an orphan was caused by Ravenwaves' mother, Grand Duchess Ravenhair. When Lady was born, Ravenhair sent a powerful tornado that sent everyone far away, including herself and Lady's parents. Lady only escaped because her crib was in another room.
    • In episode 2 Lady mentions seeing a handsome stranger, implied to be Strongheart, at Mirror Lake, but the details are only in a tie-in book, which differ from the cartoon slightly as well.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Hairball is a troll who can change sizes depending on his moods, looks like a living ball of hair in the show, and casts powerful magic.
  • Alliterative Name: Lady Lovely Locks' name and title start with L.
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • The German audio dramas are set in a different continuity than the cartoon, with Ravenwaves and Strongheart having a secret past together, the witch that cursed Strongheart being in debt with Ravenwaves' father, and Lady and Strongheart marrying and having a child named Leilani. They're also Darker and Edgier than the show, with Lady and Strongheart nearly dying at some points.
    • The tie-in books are generally compatible with the cartoon, though details of Strongheart's curse, Silkymane's appearance, Lady's powers, and Hairball's appearance are different.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: At the end of each story on VHS, a live-action version of Lady Lovely Locks talk about what she and/or other characters had learned, and how the viewers could also learn from their experiences. Unlike a number of shows that did this, where they would last 1 minute at most, the segments on this show ran for about 2 minutes or so. The end of the first story would even have her talk about a little bit about the next one just before the commercial break.
  • Animesque: Production duties were shared by Japan and France, while animation was done in Japan exclusively, like many American cartoons of this time.
  • Animorphism: Prince Strongheart was cursed to change into a dog.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The audio dramas had an alliance between Ravenwaves and the witch who cursed Strongheart, Lazulia. There was also a third villain, a snake named Snake Lee, who switched sides often.
  • Blind Seer: Shining Glory is blind but knows many things about the land, and has very powerful magic.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Lady Lovely Locks, Maiden Fair Hair, and Maiden Curly Crown, respectively.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: There are times when Ravenwaves and Hairball create good opportunities to cut Lady's hair, but most of the time they're too busy gloating to cut it.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Episode 7 has Lady's powers weakened, and she does a lot of the work herself, especially in the final segment where she rides a sled and evades Hairball's magic.
  • Damsel in Distress: Nine times out of ten, the Pixietails save Lady Lovely Locks from whatever trouble she is in this week.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Sometimes Lady Lovely Locks is able to rescue herself, though usually in the middle of an episode rather than the end.
  • Darker and Edgier: The audio dramas are more serious than the show, with Lady and Strongheart marrying and having a child named Leilani, several characters dying or nearly dying, and Ravenwaves' plans to take over going beyond cutting Lady's hair.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: Lady Lovely Locks usually wears her fanciest dresses no matter the occasion, by way of Limited Wardrobe.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Despite her title, Lady Lovely Locks is a princess.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: One of the tie-in books states that Lady's true power source is the love and goodness in her heart, not her hair or a magical comb, which Duchess Ravenwaves doesn't understand.
  • Evil Counterpart: Duchess Ravenwaves has the Comb Gnomes to Lady's Pixietails, Titan to Lady's horse Silkymane, and Messmutt to Lady's dog Silkypup. Hairball is also an evil wizard, while Shining Glory is a good wizard.
  • Evil Former Friend: Hairball used to work under Shining Glory and knows some of his spells, as well as how to get into his manor.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Hairball worked under, then betrayed, Shining Glory and does most of the magic Ravenwaves requires.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the cartoon, Prince Strongheart is never able to tell Lady the truth of his situation. The audio dramas resolve the issue by freeing him from the curse.
  • Fairest of Them All: Ravenwaves plans to be the fairest ruler in the land by stealing Lady's hair.
  • Femme Fatale: Duchess Ravenwaves uses her beauty to get what she wants at times.
  • Fisher King: The Land of Lovelylocks is kept safe and happy as long as Lady is there to watch the Looking Room. In the first episode, Ravenwaves schemes to make Lady stay away for an extended period of time, plunging the kingdom into ruin.
  • Freudian Trio: Lady Lovely Locks is the down-to-earth ego, coolheaded and intelligent Maiden Fair Hair is the superego, and comical and impulsive Maiden Curly Crown is the id.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Duchess Ravenwaves is very jealous of Lady Lovelylocks and the land she rules, and is always attempting to seize it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The final episode ends with a hint at this for Ravenwaves, as she's miserable over always losing and being alone. Lady tells her that being kinder to others can help, and she storms off to think things over.
  • Hidden Object Game: Illustrations of The Merch from books, puzzles, cards, etc. have hidden Pixietails to find.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: This goes for the heroes and the villains.
    • The Pixietails have very strong magic and end up doing most of the work themselves, while Lady's only contribution is to summon them by shaking her hair.
    • Shining Glory's magic ends up resolving the plot a lot. In instances where he's out of the picture the solution is usually to save him so he can save the day.
    • Hairball has a wide knowledge of magic and is usually out in the field, while Ravenwaves is content to sit and watch from afar.
  • I Have Your Wife: "The Wishing Bone" has Ravenwaves kidnap Shining Glory and hold him hostage for Lady's hair.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Hairball changes sizes depending on his moods, and can also shrink at will.
  • Inescapable Net: Dragon-hair nets are almost completely unbreakable and are resistant to most magic. Ravenwaves uses one to capture Shining Glory, while Maiden Fairhair uses one to stabilize the castle after a tunnel was dug underneath it.
  • Left Hanging: The audio dramas end with the Pixietails saving Leilani and returning her to Lady, and wondering what will happen next when she wakes up in the morning.
  • Lunacy: Prince Strongheart can only regain his human form under the light of a full moon, with a rare blue moon enhancing the effect.
  • MacGuffin: Lady Lovely Locks' hair, which was her power source. Duchess Ravenwaves' goal was to cut it and obtain power over the land.
  • Magic Hair: Lady's multicolored hair is the mark of royalty, and can summon the Pixietails and power the Looking Room, which helps her see and heal troubles in the land.
  • Motif: Hair. Besides the characters' names, several trees and plants look like hair, Lady's abilities revolve around her hair, Ravenwaves plans to get her hair, and hair raises and lowers Castle Lovelylocks and grows underneath it as support.
  • Near Villain Victory: Duchess Ravenwaves came very close to cutting Lady's hair at times, especially in "Vanished," where she held Pixiesparkle hostage, then ordered that all the Pixietails leave them alone, including the one she was holding. She was only foiled when Pixiecurl, who was too far away to hear the order, snatched away her scissors.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Ravenwaves rarely takes part in schemes personally, letting Hairball and the Comb Gnomes handle the dirty work.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Maiden FairHair is not fair-haired, having dark brown hair instead.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: For one thing, baby dragons look more like scaly pigs with hair. For another, they grow from a magical tree.
  • Out of Focus: With so many characters and only 10 minutes of runtime per episode, Maidens Fairhair and Curlycrown rarely get to do anything important.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Lady, the Maidens, and Ravenwaves all wear beautiful dresses.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Tangleland is a swampy, thorny area full of danger, in contrast to the beautiful land of Lovelylocks.
  • Pretty in Mink: Fur-trimmed coats are worn when the characters go to the Frosted Mountains.
  • Princess Classic: Lady Lovely Locks is sweet, polite, and caring even in the face of danger.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Lady tends to wear pink.
  • Princesses Rule: Lady rules her kingdom despite being a princess, not a queen. Justified as her parents are gone.
  • Purple Is Powerful:
    • Duchess Ravenwaves wears dark purple and her doll has purple streaks in her hair.
    • Shining Glory wears purple wizard robes.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: This trope is discussed, but ends up averted in "The Bundle," with Hairball taking advantage of Lady's kindness to betray her. Lady feels awful that Hairball was lying, but says that if they did think he was causing trouble and he wasn't, they'd feel even worse.
  • Scenery Porn: The show is lavishly animated, especially in dungeon scenes. The hand-painted backgrounds are especially pretty.
  • Shapeshifter: In the second episode, Hairball disguises himself as the handsome Baron von Tress to win Lady's trust.
  • Shock and Awe: The Comb Gnomes can cast lightning magic.
  • Small, Annoying Creature: The Pixietails, the Comb Gnomes, and the baby dragons.
  • Swiss Army Tears: In episode 7, when she's unable to free everyone's trapped reflections in a frozen lake, Lady cries. The love in her tears melts the ice and saves everyone, including herself.
  • Subverted Suspicion Aesop: Played with in the episode where Hairball is kicked out of Ravenwaves' castle. He asks to work at Lady's castle, but only so so he can gather her hair and get back in Ravenwaves' good books. Maiden Fairhair is rightly suspicious of him, but when the truth is revealed Lady says that if he was serious about reforming and they didn't believe him they'd feel even worse than when he betrayed them.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands:
    • Ravenwaves' spyglass let her spy on Lady no matter where she was.
    • There's also a heroic version with Lady Lovely Locks' Looking Room, which let her see what was going on in the kingdom and acted as a conduit for her Fisher King powers, letting her repair damage done to it.
  • Talking Animal: In the audio dramas Strongheart could speak in dog form. Averted in the cartoon, where he couldn't talk at all in dog form.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Shining Glory didn't get a toy. Inverted with Maiden Golden Waves, Maiden Misty Curl, the Curly Kittens and Lili Tops, who were in the toyline but not in the cartoon.
  • Two Shorts: Each episode is about 10 minutes long, separated by commercials.
  • Vague Age: Lady, the Maidens and Duchess Ravenwaves all look like children, especially in the illustrations, but their voices and stations of authority suggest that they are young adults. The audio dramas add to the confusion by having Lady and Strongheart get married and have a child while the illustrations stay the same.
  • Verbal Tic: The Pixietails add "ix" to the end of every word they say, making most of their speech nigh incomprehensible.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Hairball is the Laughable Lackey to Duchess Ravenwaves. While not incompetent, his voice, cough-like laugh, and appearance make him less of a threat than she is.
  • Villain Ball: Ravenwaves and Hairball often have Lady captive, but spend too much time menacing her rather than getting her hair.
  • With Lyrics: The full opening and ending themes are the main theme with lyrics.
  • World Building: The series had several details given about the fantasy world, including how Lady's looking room worked, how dragons were born, areas outside the kingdom, and areas like the Lake of Reflections, the Frosted Mountains, Mirror Lake, and cryptic references to the Sea of Far Beyond. A tie-in board game showed even more locations, some of which were used in year 2 of the toyline and in books.
  • You Don't Look Like You:
    • Hairball in the books and illustrations is a white-haired gnome, while in the show he's a living ball of brown hair. The only thing they have in common is the name and bushy mustache.
    • In the toyline Silkymane is purple with a purple-pink mane and tail, while in the show she's light grey with a hot pink mane and tail.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/LadyLovelylocks