Chris Pratt says that his voice for the titular plumber in the upcoming animated Super Mario Bros. film is unlike anything fans have heard before.
Chris Pratt claimed that his take on Mario’s voice for Nintendo and Illumination’s untitled Super Mario Bros. movie is unlike anything Mario fans have heard before.
In an interview with Variety, Pratt gave some insight into what audiences can expect for Mario’s voice in the animated film. “I worked really closely with the directors and trying out a few things and landed on something that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to see and hear,” Pratt said. “It’s an animated voiceover narrative. It’s not a live-action movie. I’m not gonna be wearing a plumber suit running all over. I’m providing a voice for an animated character, and it is updated and unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before.”
The casting of Pratt as the famous videogame icon was initially met with skepticism from Super Mario fans, particularly since the actor is not of Italian heritage. In a previous interview, Illumination producer and founder Chris Meledandri stated that Pratt’s voice in the movie will be a departure from Nintendo’s classic video game depiction, hinting that Pratt’s Mario might not even have an Italian accent. Pratt will be joined by actor Charlie Day, who will provide the voice for Mario’s twin brother, Luigi.
Shortly after Pratt’s casting was announced in September 2021, the actor shared a video of his first attempt at the iconic “It’s a-me, Mario!” line, before promising a much different final product. “That’s not the voice, you’ll have to wait to hear the voice but we’ve been working hard at it and I’m really excited to announce that I’m gonna be the voice of that video game I dreamed about playing as a kid,” Pratt said at the time. “Dreams come true!”
Super Mario was first introduced as the playable character in the classic 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong and has been revamped and remade several times since. Mario’s current and iconic whimsical Italian-American voice was first introduced in the early 1990s, bought to life by Charles Martinet and the famous line, “It’s-a me, Mario!” Nintendo has been using Martinet ever since, most recently in 2017’s Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch.
Prior to Martinet’s energetic and high-pitched performance, Mario had been depicted with a more gruff and rugged Italian accent. Aside from arcade and Nintendo games, Mario also appeared in both live-action and animated television programs, such as the 1993 feature film, Super Mario Bros. starring Bob Hoskins as the world-hopping plumber. The live-action film was a box-office flop, failing to bring in money and connect with audiences.
Mario’s storyline has varied through the years, but most often depicts a fish-out-of-water scenario where the powered-up plumber, and sometimes twin brother, Luigi, must traverse a strange new world in order to rescue a captured princess. The storyline for the Super Mario Bros. film seems to pay homage to prior games and storylines while taking it into a new direction.
Super Mario Bros. is set to jump into theaters in North America on April 7, 2023, and in Japan on April 28, 2023.