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Western Animation / Fantaghirò

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Based on the film series of the same name, Fantaghirò is a 1999 fantasy television series created by BRB Internacional and animated by Colorland Animation.

The kingdoms of Dana and Tuan have been at war for over four centuries, for a reason that no one except a scant few people remembers: Long ago, a princess of Tuan was seemingly scorned by the love of her life, a prince of Dana; in retaliation, she made a bargain with the evil lord Darken to become the Black Witch and exact Revenge by Proxy on Dana.

One night, under a fateful alignment of stars, the queen of Tuan brings into the world a daughter prophesied to bring peace to Dana and Tuan, and defeat Darken and the Black Witch; this is Fantaghirò. And this is her story.

Fantaghirò provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: Arigato from “Tree World” has a really bad case of this. Being an anthropomorphic worker ant, they should be female, but given that the other bug-people seen are all bad cases of Insect Gender-Bender that doesn’t actually resolve the question.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of the film series of the same name.
  • Animate Inanimate Object:
    • The Magic Stone is a small talking rock who hops around and is constantly trying to pick fights with creatures much, much bigger than him. One episode reveals he has a “family” of sorts, which consists of other (more respectably-sized) living rocks.
    • In one episode, Darken’s use of a blacksmith as a Villain-Possessed Bystander has the side effect of bringing some of his recently created weapons to life. Despite having been animated by dark magic, the weapons are open to a Heel–Face Turn and remain alive after Darken’s spell on the blacksmith is lifted.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: The kingdom of Ben-Bakar is a clear Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Middle East, complete with magic carpets and genies.
  • Big Bad: Lord Darken, who wields extraordinarily powerful dark magic and might be the show’s version of Satan.
  • The Blacksmith: Daniel Hammer is a blacksmith who prides himself on the fine quality of the weapons he produces. However, the end of the Forever War makes his weaponcraft unnecessary, and his rage at this allows Darken to turn him into a Villain-Possessed Bystander.
  • Captain Crash: “Tree World” introduces Arigato the flying ant, who crash-lands constantly. Oddly, Arigato is actually perfectly agile and graceful in the air; they just can’t land properly.
  • Disney Death: At the end of “The Last Goodbye”, Fantaghirò is mortally wounded and then turned into a wooden statue. She gets better in the next episode.
  • The Dragon: The Black Witch, a Woman Scorned who swore off love forever and was empowered by Darken to join him on his quest to eradicate all traces of goodness from the world.
  • Dung Fu: Among the anthropomorphic bugs populating Tree World is Ringo, a dung beetle who fights like this.
  • Elemental Embodiment:
    • The Magic Stone is a small talking rock who exists on the blurry border between elementals and Animate Inanimate Objects. In “The Magic Garden”, it’s revealed that he has a family composed of other living rocks (all of which are much, much larger than him).
    • The Black Cloud (from the episode of the same name) is a giant, monstrous tornado creature created by Darken that ravages the kingdoms of Dana and Tuan until being stopped by Fantaghirò, Romualdo, and the White Fairy.
    • In “The Red Diamond”, the witch Dahak summons elementals of Water, Fire, and Earth (the last of which is made of dirt to avoid being redundant with the Magic Stone) to assist her in stealing the titular MacGuffin.
  • Enchanted Forest: The Forest Of Oread, home to various magical creatures.
  • Flying Carpet: Prince Taher from Ben-Bakar has one, fitting his kingdom’s "Arabian Nights" Days theme.
  • Forever War: The kingdoms of Dana and Tuan were in a war that had lasted 400 years by the time of the series’ beginning. Fantaghirò and Romualdo manage to bring the war to an end partway through the show.
  • Four-Legged Insect: The anthropomorphic insect-people of Tree World all have four limbs.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the final episode, the Black Witch gives up her evil ways once Darken reveals that, rather than Prince Ronaldo abandoning her on the day of their wedding, he (Darken) prevented Ronaldo from attending.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The four demons the evil lord Darken unleashed on Dana and Tuan are clearly based on the Biblical horsemen, although Famine has been renamed to “Hunger” and Conquest and Death have been replaced by Hatred and Plague respectively.
  • Insect Gender-Bender: Among the insect people of Tree World are a swarm of inexplicably male worker bees and a male worker ant named Vincent. There’s also another ant named Arigato who may or may not be an example.
  • Japanese Ranguage: Arigato the inexplicably-Japanese ant from “Tree World” is supposed to talk like this, although about half the time it ends up coming off more as Elmuh Fudd Syndwome.
  • Kill It with Water: The clay soldiers Tabaras unleashes on Fantaghirò and Romualdo in “Heart Of Stone” are easily defeated by softening them up with water.
  • Living Statue: In “Heart Of Stone”, Tabaras magically animates some life-sized clay statues and sics them on Fantaghirò.
  • Macro Zone: In a non-video game example, Tree World is a titanic oak tree inhabited by human-sized insects. It used to be a completely normal tree until some magical life-giving crystals were buried under its roots.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: The series is a very straight example of this, as the kingdoms of Dana and Tuan have exactly the trappings (dragons, enchanted forests, etc.) one would imagine when hearing the phrase “magic in the Middle Ages”.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The witch Dahak from “The Red Diamond” has four arms, which allows her to, during the climax of the episode, wield two swords, an ax, and a chain simultaneously.
  • The Power of Love: A major element of the show. Honestly, it’d be easier to list the episodes where someone’s love for someone else (usually Fantaghirò’s love for Romualdo, or vice versa) didn’t end up breaking some sort of curse or powering some sort of spell.
  • Redemption Equals Death: In the final episode, the Black Witch renounces her evil ways to join Fantaghirò’s fight against Darken and dies shortly after the battle is won, due to a combination of the injuries she sustained during the fight and the loss of the dark magic that had been powering her 400+ year lifespan.
  • Runaway Groom: Four hundred years before the events of the show, Prince Ronaldo of Dana failed to show up for his wedding with Princess Kara of Tuan. Kara, who had been deeply in love with the prince, felt so shocked and betrayed by this that she swore never to love another again, and made a pact with the evil lord Darken to get revenge on Ronaldo by destroying his kingdom. And that’s how the Forever War between Dana and Tuan started. In the show’s finale, it’s revealed that Ronaldo did not abandon the wedding of his own accord; he was prevented from attending by Darken as part of a Batman Gambit to cause Kyra to turn to evil.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Villain-Possessed Bystander Daniel Hammer is defeated when Romualdo refuses to take up a sword and fight him, as the act is so antithetical to the reason he accepted Darken’s deal that it snaps Hammer right out of the spell.
  • Swords to Plowshares: At the end of “The Weapons Of Peace”, Daniel Hammer’s Talking Weapons allow themselves to be remade for more peaceful purposes (for instance, Crossbow becomes a violin while Arrow becomes his bow) and set out to enjoy their new functions in life.
  • Taken for Granite: In “Heart Of Stone”, Romualdo is turned into a stone statue after falling into a river while fighting magically animated clay soldiers (long story). The only way to fix him is a Magic Kiss... applied to the sorcerer who cast the curse.
  • Talking Animal: Mother Goose is a talking… well, goose. The only explanation offered is that she comes from the forest of Oread.
  • Talking Weapon: In “Weapons Of Peace”, Darken’s spell on Daniel Hammer also causes a few of the weapons he’s made to come to life- specifically, a sword and shield, two daggers, a pair of bolas, and a crossbow and arrow.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: The series’ opening theme, “One Love” (no, not that one), really serves to hammer home how much The Power of Love is going to be showing up in the show.
  • Tough Beetles: Ringo, the dung beetle defense expert from “Tree World”. Amazingly, he somehow manages to make Dung Fu look dignified.
  • Trojan Horse: In “The Weapons Of Peace”, some random weapons are inexplicably left as a gift outside the doors of the castle of Dana. The befuddled guards pick them up and bring them inside… at which point it turns out that these weapons can fight on their own.
  • Unexplained Accent: It’s fairly common for comedic characters, especially nonhuman ones, to have accents that they have no business having. The worst offender in this regard is probably the talking arrow from “The Weapons Of Peace”, which sounds like it’s from New York.
  • Villain-Possessed Bystander: Later in the series, the wizard Darken starts appearing before people in moments of extreme emotion and offering them the power to destroy whatever has made them upset in exchange for helping him kill Fantaghirò and Romualdo.
  • When the Planets Align: On the night of Fantaghirò’s birth, the stars aligned in the sky to form an “F”, portending her as the one who will bring peace to Dana and Tuan. (Never mind the fact that, with only four stars shown moving into position, them forming an “F” should be logically impossible).
  • William Telling: In “The Weapons Of Peace”, a sentient crossbow tries to shoot an apple off the head of a hapless victim (who was tied to a post). Fortunately, it ends up missing both the man and the apple.
  • Woman Scorned: Princess Kyra’s reaction to Prince Ronaldo pulling a Runaway Groom is to make a pact with the evil lord Darken for the power to exact Revenge by Proxy Ronaldo’s kingdom of Dana, thus sparking a Forever War between Dana and Tuan. In the final episode, Kyra, now the Black Witch, learns that, rather than betraying her, Ronaldo was prevented from making it to the wedding by Darken himself; in shock, she renounces her evil ways and turns on Darken.