“He doesn’t do much plumbing, or talk about his heritage”
December 21, 2016 9:55 AM   Subscribe

The Economist: How Super Mario became a global cultural icon.

Children—and their parents—lost days of their lives inside Mr Miyamoto’s kingdom. “Super Mario Bros.” sold 40m copies and the Mario franchise never looked back; it went on to produce more than 200 games, several television shows and one memorably lousy movie. By 1990 American children were more familiar with Mario than with Mickey Mouse.
posted by porn in the woods (9 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
When I was a kid, Mario was an Italian-American from Brooklyn, and the article mentions this, but in the last 25 years he seems to have become a full-blooded Italian with the requisite accent ("It's-a me! Mario.").

Does this bother anyone else?

RIP Lou Albano
posted by mpbx at 10:04 AM on December 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

mpbx, it does me, also. When I was a kid, I thought he was a janitor, rather than a plumber. I had a weird sense about the cartoon character of Mario. I loved the games, and played them as much as any kid at the time, but the cartoon or live-action Mario scared me. That commercial with the giant Mario face on the globe freaked me right the heck out. I couldn't have told you why, then or now.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:30 AM on December 21, 2016

Maybe as he got older he decided to get more in touch with his heritage, spent a lot of time in Italy learning the culture and language, and picked up the accent.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:06 PM on December 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

Objection: The movie was pretty damn good.
posted by kafziel at 12:26 PM on December 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

I will forever sort of defend the movie. It's totally bonkers but pretty fun in a weird, wild /r/alternativeart kind of way.
posted by byanyothername at 12:38 PM on December 21, 2016 [6 favorites]

That is seriously one of my favorite movies. The theme song is by George Clinton, the art direction is amazing.

The entire thing feels like it's from a superior alternate reality, or like aliens created it after getting a rudimentary description of Mario.

I really wish that era, and a similar team, had given us a Zelda movie as well. Or a Metroid one. Or hell, even a Sonic movie.

There's no chance in hell anything that awesome would be made now.
posted by emptythought at 1:29 PM on December 21, 2016

I haven't seen the movie, but if anyone is interested, I noticed that it is on Youtube.

The cheerfulness of Mario's voice actor, Charles Martinet, probably helps with Mario's popularity in the US.
posted by eye of newt at 3:23 PM on December 21, 2016

I'm sorry, but the movie was a disaster. Even the actors knew it when they were making it. Granted, as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate some of its redeeming aspects, which it does have. Unfortunately, they very much stagger under the weight of rewrite after rewrite that continued all the way through shooting. (The original script was supposedly actually quite good)

So yeah, for a movie that essentially didn't have a script it came out great, but that is pretty much the definition of damning with faint praise.
posted by wierdo at 6:16 PM on December 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, the production was by all accounts a total nightmare, and the movie was a bomb at the box office, but that doesn't make the film itself not a triumph.
posted by kafziel at 7:52 PM on December 21, 2016

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