Mario impresses in cartoon form
Super Mario Bros. Super Show Vol. 1
When you’re able to have a live-action show and you’re a household name throughout the world, you can afford to do whatever you want and take whatever licenses you want with your own source material. The Super Mario Bros. Super Show did just that over the course of a year with the live-action adventures of Brooklyn-based Mario and Luigi and the animated capers of the Mario Bros., Princess Peach and Toad.
It seems odd to say a year is enough time to explain the happenings of the Mushroom Kingdom, but the weekly show lasted 52 episodes and fully explored the world that Mario and Luigi found themselves in after getting sucked down a warp pipe. The show captures the essence of Super Mario Bros. and even throws in quite a few references and ideas from Super Mario Bros. 2 Japan and USA. The level of detail is a bit haphazard from time to time (there are some anachronistic things in the animated portion of the show — such as Bowser being in charge of Wart’s minions), but overall the show is extremely well done and entertaining. And, as a Mario fan, you get a glimpse into the early days of Mario mania, the time before Mario was as recognizable as Mickey Mouse.
Like the games?: 8.5
Acting/Voice acting: 7.5
Overall: 24 out of 30 or 8
Super Mario Bros. 3 animation soars
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
Of the three Mario-based cartoons produced, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 has the distinction of being the best and most accurate. Sure, some of the Koopa Kids’ names are changed, but you still know it’s Mario and that it’s unmistakably Super Mario Bros. 3, one of the most popular games of all time.
The story is closer to the games this time with Mario and crew taking on Bowser and the Koopalings’ various plots to enslave the Mushroom World and — unsurprisingly — humanity. The animation is slightly rough in the beginning episodes but by the end of the series, it picks up and looks more like the game in terms of quality. The voice acting is top-notch from start to finish, even if our favorite captain, Lou Albano, no longer provided the voice of Mario.
If you like Super Mario Bros. 3 as much as we adore the game, you probably already own the series on DVD, which doesn’t have extras, sadly. The best reason to own this, however, is for the novelty and Mario collection completion sake.
Like the games: 9
Voice acting: 9.5
Overall: 26.5 out of 30 or 8.8
HOW WE GRADE
We score the properties in three categories: Casting (or voice acting in cases of animated), plot and similarities to its source material. Each category receives points out of the maximum of 10 per category and 30 overall. The percentage is the final score.