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Western Animation / The 3 Wise Men

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Gold, for those who show their courage. Frankincense, to reward humility. Myrrh, for those who act from the heart.
The 3 Wise Men (Los Reyes Magos in Spain) is a 2003 Spanish animated film produced by Animagic Studios. It tells the story of the journey of the Magi to the baby Jesus and the wrath of King Herod... though this version is a little different from the ones we've seen in the past.

For starters, the Magi are wizards who know magic, and Herod has a goblin-like minion named Belial. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The film was directed by Antonio Navarro who was nominated for a Goya Awards for this film.

The 3 Wise Men provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Melchior somehow managed to turn his shadow into a shape of a chicken, and doesn't know how to undo it.
  • Anachronism Stew: While fighting with the bandits, Melchior puts one of them in a Santa Claus suit, despite this being thousands of years before the Santa Claus mythos was invented.
  • Another Story for Another Time: When Jimmy asks what happened to Midas, Melchior's assistant, the bartender replies that he plans to tell his story at another time.
  • Blessed with Suck: Melchior's assistant, Midas, gets his iconic golden touch much to his dismay, as in this version he isn't even interested in gold at all.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The gold Melchior received as a prize to pass his test later saves his life when Herod stabs him.
  • Disney Death: Melchior suffers one of these after king Herod stabs him, but he's saved by the gold he received after passing his test.
  • Disney Villain Death: Belial, still in his monster form, falls from a cliff to meet his demise after being defeated.
  • Eye Scream: Belial loses temporarily control of his body when his eye necklace is tossed to the sky by Tobias, feeling everything the necklace is experiencing before it's destroyed. For the rest of the movie, his right eye is shut down.
  • Eye Spy: Belial has the ability to do this, pulling one eye out of its socket and giving it to Tobias on a necklace to spy on the wise men. After Tobias makes his Heel–Face Turn, he chucks Belial's eye into the air, which is carried away and dropped by a desert hawk.
  • Fat Bastard: Big Bad Herodes is despite as an egotistical tyrannical fat king obsessed with getting the royal treasures.
  • Faux Action Girl: Sarah is supposedly a tough warrior, but is constantly captured by the villains.
  • Framing Device: The story is told by a bartender in modern-day New York to a boy named Jimmy.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: After losing Belial, King Herod resorts a desperate version to this in exchange for the royal treasure, and almost manages to fatally wound Melchior when he attempts to attack him, but ultimately loses after getting distracted, allowing Tobias to subdue him.
  • Meaningful Echo: "And remember, only a few believed David could have defeated Goliath" Later in the film, inspired by this advice, the three kings manage to kill Belial inspired by that quote.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Belial gets close to killing the main trio until King Herod screwed it by gloating about his victory and accidentally revealing himself.
  • One-Winged Angel: Belial transforms into a green beast in the climax of the movie.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: King Herod's spies, who can transform themselves and their horses into wolves at will thanks to Belial's dark magic.
  • Piranha Problem: Belial has a bunch of pet piranhas, despite this being set before the Americas were discovered.
  • Reality Warper: Belial can do this, as he changed one route with magic and made an illusion of a sea appear in the middle of a desert.
  • Secret Test of Character: The hidden temple does this to our protagonists in the trials. They passed.
  • Star of Bethlehem: The star guides the three titular characters to the hidden temple and to Bethlehem.
  • Taken for Granite: If you touch one of the statues in the third test, your body turns into stone. Melchior and Caspar suffered from the curse, leaving Balthazar all alone. Although they recover after Balthazar passes the test.
  • The Shadow Knows: Melchior's shadow is shaped like a chicken, revealing his cowardice. It isn't until he becomes braver and confronts Herod that his shadow returns to normal
  • The Stoic: Balthazar is this at first, but later he opens up to his feelings.
  • The Three Wise Men: They are the main protagonists of the film.
  • Trickster Mentor: In his class, Caspar notices two bored students creating a doodle with magic and disciplines them by transforming said doodle into an angry version of himself.