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The Legend of the Titanic was a full-length animated movie based on the infamous Titanic disaster, specifically the recent hit Titanic. It was released in 1999 and is not to be confused with that other Titanic cartoon, Titanic: The Legend Goes On.
The plot is set on a voyage of the RMS Titanic, and concerns the romance between a rich man's daughter Elizabeth, and a gypsy who calls himself Don Juan. Everard Maltravers (called Baron Vanderbilt in the dub of the sequel) is the unscrupulous owner of a whale hunting company, who wishes to own whaling rights of all seas owned by Elizabeth's father. He intends to marry Elizabeth, and then make her father to sign over all whaling rights to him. Oh, and then he intends to cover his tracks by sinking the Titanic ship afterwards. You know, because it wasn't depressing enough that it was an iceberg that did it. Talking mice, dogs and undersea animals also make an appearance.
Unlike that other Titanic cartoon though, this one has actually a sequel called In Search Of The Titanic, also titled Tentacolino, which takes place three years after the first installment. In Search of the Titanic has little screentime for the actual Titanic ship and most of it takes place in Atlantis. It also features some musical numbers which compete with those in Titanic: The Legend Goes On.
Both films provide examples of:
- Beta Couple: Mice in the first film, dogs in the second film.
- Conspicuous CG: Looks like the makers tried to show off their CG and it's most commonly seen during long-distance shots of the Titanic, but also elsewhere in the first film and ocean in the second.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Some of the animal characters.
- The Dragon: Jeffries.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Sharks prevented the Titanic from swerving around the iceberg by jamming the ship's rudder. Even though it was completely pointless because the ship had too much momentum to turn in time.
- Sharks were also the reason the damned iceberg was there to begin with. It involves tricking a very strong but idiotic octopus. Yes, really.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods
- Expy: Not surprisingly, all the characters are this to the ones from the original Titanic.
- Eyepatch of Power: The evil whale hunter. Also, the mouse villain in the second film.
- Happily Ever After: One of the absolute worst uses of this trope ever.
- Heroic Dolphin: The talking dolphins that are trying to stop the evil whalers.
- Recurring Riff: The main theme in both animations.
- Simpleton Voice: Jeffries, Maltravers' manservant.
- Talking Animal: Unlike that other Titanic cartoon, humans and animals have no problem communicating with each other. At first, it appears that the heroine Elizabeth has been given a special magical gift due to being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing by accident (namely, shedding a tear at night over the rail of the ship, causing it to touch a dolphin), but soon afterwards, we see that other human characters have no problems speaking with animals either.
- In the case of Elizabeth's gypsy love interest, he was supposed to be able to understand the animals because his soul was in tune with Elizabeth's (or something like that).
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Dolphins and whales = Good. Sharks = Bad. The octopus is also given a head that resembles Casper the Friendly Ghost because the idea of a hideous or bizarre looking good guy is unthinkable.
The Legend of the Titanic provides examples of:
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Maltravers and Mr. Ice.
- Dance Party Ending: When the narrator finishes telling the story.
- Disney Death: Two times, neither explained.
- Dueling Movies: With Titanic: The Legend Goes On. A very odd coincidence.
- Not quite so odd when you consider that this movie came first and was very popular in Italy. Yeah...
- Eek! A Mouse!: Discussed near the beginning, but doesn't happen.
- Everybody Lives: Yes. Even Captain Smith and Wallace Hartley's band make it out alive.
- Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: And news at the end showed that yellow journalism was already active during that point of time.
- Fairytale Wedding Dress
- Fantastic Racism: "There's one thing I'm not, and that's a racist." Keep in mind, we're not even talking about race. We're talking about a male mouse who's being teased for liking a human female.
- Flash Back: Most of the film.
- Flying Seafood Special: The dolphins that talk to Elizabeth apparently have an unexplained ability to float in midair. Most of the time because the same five or so frames where they're airborne get recycled and looped until the end of their lines...
- Going Down with the Ship: Captain of the ship decides to go down with Titanic but others have a different idea.
- Gorgeous Period Dress
- Green Aesop: Against dolphin/whale hunting.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Two times- but they weren't real deaths anyway.
- Lens Flare: During CG flybys.
- Lighter and Softer: There are times when Lighter and Softer actually works, and then there's that other Titanic cartoon - and then there's this...
- Love At First Sight: Taken to the extreme.
- More like "Love At First LINE".
- More like "Love At First Sniff Of The Glove", for the male lead.
- Magic A Is Magic A: Thrown out the friggin' window. Elizabeth can talk to animals because her tear was caught in a net of magic moonbeams, and the initial magic was enhanced by the dolphins. No, really. How, then, does Maltravers' henchman understand the sharks? It's never explained. We don't even get so much as A Wizard Did It.
- Makes Just as Much Sense in Context
- Meaningful Name: Tentacles.
- Off-Model: The animators of North Korea's SEK Studios have quite a few problems regarding perspective at several different scenes. Most obvious ones are some of the objects or character not having a consistent size.
- Pimped-Out Dress
- Pretty in Mink
- Swiss Army Tears: Here, in conjunction with moonlight, help to understand dolphins. Although other characters seem to understand them too.
- Talking to Himself: Both halves of the Big Bad Duumvirate are voiced by Gregory Snegoff.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: "But rrrememberrr, not all that glitterrrs is gold!"
- Unexplained Recovery: Camembert and Tentacles.
- Unreliable Narrator: This was implied (whether or not on purpose) at the end of the movie, when Top Connors, the grandfather mouse, finishes telling his grandchildren the story. His wife, Stella (who had also been on the Titanic as a passenger), tells the kids that "your grandfather loves to tell stories, but like all sailors, you must not take everything he says seriously."
- The narrator is absent in the sequel, though.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: None of the passengers seem to notice or care that a bunch of anthropomorphic mice are having a big dance party on deck in the middle of the film. Also, that giant talking octopus appearing in the Hudson River doesn't seem to catch any media attention.
- Urine Trouble: The male lead's dog urinates on an officer's shoe.
- Voodoo Dolphins: The explanation for why Elizabeth can talk to dolphins doesn't explain why she can talk to mice.
- Nor why the villains can talk to sharks.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The introduction indicates that the film will feature some explanation of why the Titanic is remembered as sinking with tremendous loss of life, and even provides an easy way out by hinting that there's some magic that can allow people to talk dolphins. But no, the passengers simply arrive safely in New York, with no explanation of why it's remembered as such a disaster.
- Whole Costume Reference: Some of Elizabeth's dresses are... very close to Rose's.
- Wicked Stepmother: Elizabeth has one named Rachel, who is much crueler than the stepmother from the other Titanic cartoon. Rachel is in league with Maltravers, wants Elizabeth to marry him, and even betrays her husband to Maltravers. She also has a cat named Lucifer. Rachel escapes with Maltravers after he sinks the ship. Makes you wonder why she didn't just leave her husband and marry Maltravers.
Elizabeth: (to Rachel) "If Mr. Maltravers is so important to you, then you marry him!"
- Your Size May Vary: Most notably, Tentacles.
In Search of the Titanic provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Gay: Pingo, the toy fish advisor to the King of Atlantis, talks in a stereotypical gay lisp. He also has long eyelashes and is constantly smiling.
- Animate Inanimate Object: Besides Living Toys, there's also a throne for the king.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Maltravers regularly does business with talking, gangster sharks, but finds the idea of them fighting merpeople from Atlantis to be "ridiculous".
- Anachronism Stew
- Apparently Human Merfolk / Fish People: A large part of the population of Atlantis.
- Atlantis: Where most of the events take place in the sequel.
- Atlantis Is Boring: And so is this movie!
- Bag of Holding: Pingo and his box.
- Boastful Rap: The shark antagonist starts rapping. About halfway, the genre of the song changes.
- Cool Chair: The throne which the king has.
- The Dandy: Pingo.
- Demoted to Extra: Maltravers, Jeffries and Mr. Ice return, but they all have minor roles now.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: One of the soldier toys.
- Electric Jellyfish: Rather interesting example. Jellyfish in here are used to send telegraph messages.
- The Faceless: The King.
- Face Palm: A "face tentacle" happens when the shark finishes his musical number.
- Gender Equals Breed: Guess what kind of breed the female dog is.
- ...a dog?
- Happily Married: Don Juan and Elizabeth.
- Heart Symbol: Smile gets one when he sees the other dog.
- Hook Hand: The main mouse villain has one.
- Living Toys
- Love At First Sight: How could they have resisted?
- The Masquerade: Inhabitants of Atlantis don't want their city to be revealed.
- Non-Singing Voice
- Our Mermaids Are Different
- Stockholm Syndrome: The only possible explanation for the protagonists having no resentment at all towards the people of Atlantis, after the latter tricked the former into drinking the Elixir of Life, which forces them to stay in Atlantis for the rest of their lives. Throughout the rest of the movie, they continue to worry about a plot to overthrow Atlantis, but apparently have forgotten their friends and family (even weirder when you consider that Top Connors should be married).
- Spring Coil: Pingo has one.
- Suddenly Voiced: Smile.
- Technical Pacifist: Atlanteans.
- Tempting Fate: "Honestly, there really isn't anything to worry about." Then the sharks arrive.
- Trap Door: The mice fall into one.
- Villain Song: In this case, it is a shark in the second film who gets to sing.