Nintendo Officially Retires ‘Super Mario’

in Entertainment

Grimacing Mario in The Super Mario Bros Movie

Credit: Universal Pictures

Nintendo has announced that it is retiring Mario, the Italian-American plumber who has been synonymous with the company since he first appeared in Donkey King (1981) decades ago.

Mario screaming during Mario Kart in The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Credit: Universal Studios / Nintendo / Illumination

Mario Mario (as his full name has sometimes been officially stated to be) has been an integral part of the Japanese video game company since he was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and has appeared in over 200 games since Donkey Kong.

Mario (often with his color-swapped brother Luigi) has also appeared in numerous cartoon shows, as well as a poorly received live-action movie starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo in 1993. However, Nintendo has decided that it is time for the main person to make Mario into an icon to step away.

john leguizamo bob hoskins super mario movie 1990s
Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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Nintendo, Mario, and Charles Martinet

The official Nintendo Twitter account announced that Charles Martinet, the official voice of Mario since 1991, was officially retiring from the position.

The Tweet read, “Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64,” Nintendo wrote. “Charles is now moving into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador. With this transition, he will be stepping back from recording character voices for our games, but he’ll continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all! It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him. Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a future date.”

Super Mario Bros voice actor Charles Martinet
Charles Martinet
Credit: Wikimedia

While Charles Martinet might not be a household name or face, his longtime voice acting in the Super Mario franchise makes him one of the more significant figures in video game history.

At the very least, a game of Mario Kart or Mario Party would not be the same without Martinet’s distinctive “woohoo!” to punctuate it.

Chris Pratt and ‘Super Mario’

It is difficult not to think that the casting of Marvel actor Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario in the recent blockbuster animated film The Super Mario Bros Movie has something to do with Charles Martinet being retired from the role.

'Super Mario Bros. Movie' moments of Super Mario and Dragon
Credit: Inside the Magic

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Alongside Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, and Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Pratt helped launch what will likely be a huge new film franchise with The Super Mario Bros Movie. It grossed over $1.3 billion at the box office and has been the highest-performing movie of 2023 to date, as well as one of the highest-grossing animated movies of all time.

While the casting of Chris Pratt as Mario was controversial and ignited a backlash in which Nintendo fans demanded that Charles Martinet replace him. Martinet ended up having two cameos in the movie, and it is safe to say that Nintendo and Universal Pictures are happy with how a Pratt-led movie performed.

Giuseppe (voiced by Charles Martinet) in The Super Mario Bros Movie
Credit: Universal Pictures

Whatever the role of Nintendo Ambassador entails, hopefully, it will suit Charles Martinet in the future.

Should Nintendo have retired Charles Martinet as Mario? Let us know in the comments below!


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