Property review: Super Mario Bros. Super Show & The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3

SMBSS cartoon

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show

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
Story: 8

Over­all: 24 out of 30 or 8


The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3

The Adven­tures of Super Mario Bros. 3

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


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.

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