Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend is a Canadian animated series that was broadcast between 1998 and 2000, produced by Nelvana. It was one of several shows co-produced with STV for CBS' Saturday Morning Cartoon lineup in the late 90s. The show ran for 2 seasons and 26 episodes, coming to an end as a result of CBS' decision to abolish all of its children's programming in 2000. The series also aired on STV in the United Kingdom.
The series was based on the book series Myth Men: Guardians of the Legend, written in 1996 and 1997 by Laura Geringer and illustrated by Peter Bollinger. It's notable for its Truer to the Text portrayal of Classical Mythology, as well as having the voice cast from X-Men: The Animated Series. It's also considered to be one of Nelvana's all-time best series, for its excellent retellings of Greek mythology, competing alongside the likes of their Animated Adaptations of Franklin, Babar, and Redwall, as well as Detentionaire and Mysticons.
The series can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube at Nelvana's Retro Rerun channel. Check them out here.
Tropes present in the series include:
- Bowdlerise: At least some aspects of the stories are toned down to make it suitable for a young audience.
- Classical Chimera: The episode Bellerophon and Pegasus is an adaptation of the Bellerophon, and thus features the Chimera as the central antagonist. Though this version of the creature, resembles more a dragon than a Chimera, with no lion, goat or snake parts.
- Darker and Edgier: That said, it's still more violent than what most kids would expect from an animated series aimed at children.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Notably inverted. Not only does Hades not kidnap Persephone at all, but he is portrayed as a perfectly Nice Guy, if socially awkward. Hades is completely innocent of any scheme to keep Persephone in the underworld forever and actually warns her that if she eats anything, she won't be allowed to leave. Instead, it's one of his minions who tricks her into staying, and when Hades finds out, he actually defies the law of the underworld to get Persephone back to her mother. When you add in the fact that other episodes do not shy away from showcasing the Jerkass tendencies of the other gods in the pantheon, Hades actually ends up as the nicest and most honorable deity in the whole series.
- Five-Man Band: In Jason and the Argonauts
- The Leader: Jason
- The Lancer: Calaius and Zethes competitive and hard-headed personalities as opposed to Jasons level-headedness and determination can put them in this category
- The Big Guy: Hercules as per the mythology
- The Smart Guy: Orpheus can be this with his deep thinking and use of music and poetry
- The Chick: Atalanta, the female huntress who talks to animals and can fight like one
- Lighter and Softer: A number of stories end on much happier notes than their original counterparts.
- Truer to the Text: When compared with most kid-friendly adaptations, especially the previous year's cartoon based on classical myth.