Super Freakin’ Mario! Everybody knows how iconic this guy is. He’s been Nintendo’s flagship mascot for over 35 years and has a global fanbase with an equally iconic voice actor; Charles Martinet. Like many other Mario fans we’ve gotten the chance to see the new teaser trailer for the new Super Mario Bros. movie by Nintendo and Illumination (the same guys behind the Minions franchise). Also, like many other Mario fans, we’ve noticed that Charles Martinet; the voice of Super Mario himself, is NOT the character his voice is known for. That’s right, Charles ain’t voicing Mario in the new movie, Chris Pratt is.
Once again, its one of those moments where Hollywood chose ‘faces’ over ‘voices’. We remember the uproar the Sonic fandom gave Paramount over giving Tail’s voice actor (Collen O’Shaughnessey) her credits in the movie, but in the end not only did they fix their mistake, she got acknowledged as a voice actress in a major live-action motion picture and reprised her role as Tails in both Sonic movies. That’s Sonic, but what about Mario? While Charles has done a lot of other stuff (including being the voice of Magenta in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero), 90’s kids know him as Mr. Mario himself; along with Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi. The movie may be going in a different direction than the video games, but at least have the original voice actor play the character that the fandom knows him for – is what we’ve heard from a lot of the Mario fandom on social media.
We are not saying that the movie will be bad because Charles is not Mario, in fact he’s in the movie…but his role is unknown at the moment. There’s not too much known about the plot, but it will have callbacks to everything from the games; like Power Stars, Bowser, Toads, and everything in between. When you have a franchise as big as Super Mario, you’re also going to have a fandom that is very fickle and critical about Hollywood’s involvement in doing CGI and live-action adaptations. What happens a lot of times when it comes to live adaptations to anime and video game franchises, is that they have to be marketable to the general audience (non-anime and gaming fans) outside of their respective fandoms. However if “Dragon Ball Evolution” and Netflix’s “Cowboy Bebop” have taught us anything…you’d best come correct, or DON’T come at all!
To wrap things up the Super Mario movie drops in theaters April 7, 2023, and Chris Pratt is the voice of Movie Mario; and Jack Black is the voice of Bowser. Jack Black as Bowser might be the only exception for a lot of fans because he has some voice actor experience (the Kung Fu Panda series), on the same token 2023 is also the year Movie Knuckles gets his own spin-off series on Paramount Plus. Nintendo’s trying to be slick and wait until the Sonic hype died down before announcing this movie, but with Sonic Movie 3 dropping December 20, 2024, SEGA understands the assignment. That’s another post for another day.
Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉