Mario’s Voice Has Never Made Any Damn Sense
Unless you’ve been living under a Thwomp, you’ve probably heard all about the new trailer for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie – this time, set in a kid-friendly, candy-colored wonderland, and not a dank, urine-soaked cyberpunk hellscape.
Of course, the moment everyone was waiting for was the debut of Chris Pratt’s Mario voice; ever since the Jurassic World star was cast as pop-culture’s favorite Italian-American plumber, some fans have been anticipating that the very un-Italian Pratt would go full Chef Boyardee with his voice, thus ruining the franchise and offending a not-insubstantial percentage of the moviegoing public.
But judging from the trailer, Mario just sounds like … Chris Pratt? With a slight New York accent, maybe? Which still pissed people off, inspiring headlines in legit film industry outlets such as this one:
Look, we’re all for criticizing Chris Pratt – Passengers alone should be classified as some kind of crime – but it’s not like there’s ever been any consistency to this character’s voice. The first ever Super Mario animated movie from 1986 (in which Mario is a video-obsessed grocery clerk for some reason) was entirely voiced by a cast of Japanese actors who sidestepped the Italian accent altogether.
But then there was The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! In which Mario was played by “Captain” Lou Albano, who was born in Italy and raised in New York, hence why he pretty much just used his own voice.
In the live action movie, Brit Bob Hoskins did his best Brooklyn accent; and video game Mario finally received a voice thanks to the legendary Charles Martinet, who have the character a thick Italian accent, with a helium-esque falsetto pitch – which was perfect for the video games, but was certainly a far cry from the macho gruffness of earlier incarnations.
Pratt might end up being a bad Mario (a lot of people have likened his take to Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers) but let’s not pretend that there is any standardized Mario template for him to live up to, the voice has been as all over the place as Mario’s career choices – the man went from being a plumber, to a doctor, to a professional Go-Karter? Really?
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