1. Their names aren’t Mario and Luigi Mario
According to the authoritative guide to all things Mario – MushroomKingdom.net – the script called for the Mario Bros. to have a last name. The characters were never given names in the game series and the producers decided that because they were the Mario Bros., their last name must be Mario. According to the site, creator Shigeru Miyamoto was quoted in Game Informer as having “laughed rather loudly” when he heard this info.
2. Princess Daisy is not the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom
Princess Daisy, first introduced in the Game Boy’s Mario Land, does not rule the Mushroom Kingdom; she’s the leader of Sarasaland. Luigi isn’t even present in the game, though he later develops a relationship with her as Mario and Peach’s counterparts.
3. The Mario Bros. naturally jumped high, without the need for special boots
The weird jump boots in the movie really had nothing to do with Mario games. Also, Big Bertha is a fish in the game, not an actual woman.
4. Goombas are not reptiles of any kind
We’re not sure why the goombas were made to be tall reptilian-like creatures when they’re literally living mushrooms gone bad.
5. Bowser isn’t a lizard creature; he’s a turtle
While Dennis Hopper made a believable Bowser, King of the Koopas, sadly, he isn’t a lizard. Bowser has been confirmed to be an evil turtle with a spiked shell.
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 Story: 8
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 Story: 8
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.
Cartoons, to me, fall in the same sphere as anime and comic books. If you tell a good story, I don’t care what medium you choose to tell it in. If it happens to be about something I love, chances are I’m even more for it. So it goes with Mario. I have loved the portly plumber since 1988, the first time I played Super Mario Bros. and died on the first goomba on the first level.
With that love of Mario cemented, I started looking for other avenues in which to pursue my affection. I found them in the only animated Mario show out at the time: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
Super Show was fantastic in the fact that Captain Lou Albano and Danny Wells really were Mario and Luigi for the live-action segments, and the animated portion of the show was really well done. Super Show got a lot of things Mario right, despite the combination of the then-unheard of Japanese version of Mario 2, Mario 2 USA and the first game. But, while I loved Super Show, the fever pitch in America for Super Mario Bros. 3 began and it was then that I truly fell in love with animated Mario.
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of my favorite Nintendo-themed properties.
First of all, it was based on Super Mario Bros. 3, one of the greatest games ever made and one of the few games that lived up to the hype that preceded it. Second, the animation was great and really made you think about things from the perspective of the world Mario was in. Sure, I didn’t like the references to the real world because I associate Mario with fantasy and the Mushroom Kingdom, but I could kind of look past all of that so long as it didn’t happen that often. What Adventures did was take the concept of Mario the game to Mario the cash cow, meaning Mario was everywhere at this point. It didn’t hurt that McDonald’s had toys based on the game and TV show in their Happy Meals at this point, either.
After the hype of Adventures died down, though, there wasn’t much animated that I really cared for. Super Mario World’s cartoon didn’t do it for me and it didn’t seem to have the same magic that the previous cartoons captured from the games.
The brief cornucopia of Mario animated brilliance came to an end, and there haven’t been any replacements since. At least the game was fun while it lasted.