It's a good balancing act.
When I was a kid, and I first saw the ad for this game, my first thought was "OMG! HE'S CARRYING A PIG!" The style change didn't occur to me until a few seconds later. Why? Because it was a new Zelda game.
Anyhoo, there are a lot of things I like about the game, and a lot that I didn't like.
- How smooth the animations and movements were. They were fluid.
- The characters.
- The little things; the cute little moments, the way Link's expression changed and how he looked at key items.
- The music.
- Most islands didn't have background music, which made them feel 'empty' or that something was missing.
- The sailing. The main overworld was HUGE, but most of it was water, making it feel like filler.
- How Zelda kept shooting you with the Light arrows when you were too busy running from Ganondorf.
- The beginning felt a bit 'rushed'.
- Link's voice (sorry!)
I think part of the reason it was able to 'get away' with such dark themes was because of the cutesy style. To some people, it made it all the more scarier. To me, it seemed to take the edge off of it. Not exactly a bad thing, though. It was able to include the dark themes that it wanted to include, without completely scaring away younger audiences. The style can appeal to younger players and older ones, and the dark themes can be enjoyed by older players.
I think the game balanced things pretty well, overall. You had some scary and sad moments and really cutesy happy ones too.
So.. yeah, that's my opinion, sorry!