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.
Has an under construction characters page.
Tropes present in the series include:
- Adaptational Badass: Andromeda is a warrior and is never chained to a rock. Instead, she teams up with Perseus to slay the sea monster threatening her people.
- Adaptational Dye-Job: Typically portrayed with golden hair, this series portrays Helen with brown hair.
- Adapted Out: Many things and to list them all would probably require an entire page and some of these are justified, since the show had only a half-hour time slot. For instance, there is no Priam or Deiphobus and thus, Paris is Troy's ruler, at the same time telling us there is no Hector, and Helen's forced husband at the time of the Trojan Horse. There is no Agamemnon either, despite Mycenae being depicted in some episodes, and the Greek side seems to be strictly Spartan and Ithacan in origin, though the episode with Circe does show that Ulysses fought alongside Achilles and Ajax, showing that the Myrmidons and Salamis were present while also raising the question if Hector actually did exist or not in the world of this retelling, though if he did he is clearly unrelated to Paris.
- Age Lift: Some sources say Menelaus was thirty at the beginning of the Trojan War, this series, however, portrays him as being older, in his early sixties at least by the time it has ended.
- Bowdlerise: At least some aspects of the stories are toned down to make it suitable for a young audience.
- The Cameo: Achilles cameos in Jason and the Argonauts as a pupil of Chiron and an image of him is conjured up by Circe in Ulysses and Circe.
- Catapult Nightmare: With her sisters' words ringing in her ears, Psyche has a nightmare that her husband is a demonic creature. She then wakes up and bolts upright in her bed.
- 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.
- Compressed Adaptation: Instead of four tasks, as in the original account, Psyche only has one task: to reach the Underworld and ask Persephone for a box of beauty.
- 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.
- Flight of Romance: As a demonstration of trust, Eros turns invisible and carries Psyche across the stars, then returns with her to their palatial home.
- Gender Flip: The Ceryneian Hind, a female, is portrayed as a Golden Stag, a male.
- Lighter and Softer: A number of stories end on much happier notes than their original counterparts.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: For one example, the reason for Hercules' labours were changed. Rather than having been enchanted by Hera to slay his children, Hercules boasted he could shoot an arrow into the sun. Hera promptly sent the burning arrow back down to earth as revenge for Hercules daring to see himself as the gods' equal, resulting in a village being burned down and the labours to be performed because of that tragedy.
- Princesses Rule: Gender-inverted into Princes Rule. Paris is identified as the Prince of Troy, but his father Priam is Adapted Out, leaving him as the city's ruler.
- Rule of Symbolism: In the "Psyche and Eros" episode, Eros secretly spies on Psyche's playtime with some butterflies. This is in reference to Psyche's classical depiction of having butterfly wings on her back after she becomes a goddess.
- Secret Test of Character: After failing to shoot Psyche with one of his arrows and actually falling in love with her, he reports back to his mother Venus. The goddess, in return, replies that the girl will only care that he is a powerful deity, and will not see "his kind and gentle heart". Eros then decides not to reveal his face nor identity to Psyche, as a test of her good character.
- Shown Their Work: Zeus is stated to have made Danae his wife. This might sound like Bowderlization or a case of Pragmatic Adaptation, but Zeus was actually closer to a serial polygamist than a philanderer and in those days, kings typically had multiple wives and sources actually state that Zeus married her.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Paris is portrayed as a tall, dark, handsome individual with blue eyes. Given that he is the villain of Ulysses and the Trojan Horse, this crosses over into Beauty Is Bad territory.
- Truer to the Text: When compared with most kid-friendly adaptations, especially the previous year's cartoon based on classical myth. It even averts the typical Adaptational Heroism and Adaptational Villainy that is usually applied to Paris and Menelaus.
- Unrelated in the Adaptation: Much like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, which was airing at the same time, Hercules and Iolaus are not portrayed as uncle and nephew.