Nintendo's space shooter Star Fox is back, and with it comes a new 15-minute-long Star Fox anime — called Star Fox: The Battle Begins — available to view now on YouTube in its entirety. The short sets up the story for new Wii U game Star Fox Zero, detailing the efforts of crack pilots Fox McCloud, Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad, and Falco Lombardi against forces led by evil hovering monkey face Andross.
The short has some surprisingly lavish production for a promotional tie-in, with slick animation, capable voice acting, and even a few jokes. Longtime fans of the series will spot several nods to previous games — Falco plays an approximation of the original SNES Star Fox during his downtime, Peppy yells advice at inopportune moments, just like in Star Fox 64, and Slippy Toad remains a bumbling moron who shouldn't really be allowed in the air.
The involvement of Shigeru Miyamoto and established anime studios has made The Battle Begins more watchable than some of Nintendo's other cartoon tie-ins, even if it is hard to shake the fact that the planet Corneria now looks like a furry paradise world. And while you're watching, consider how strange it is that Star Fox's main character is called Fox McCloud. That's like someone calling their kid "Human."