Nintendo Officially Retires Super Mario

in Entertainment, Video Games

Mario in 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie'

Credit: Universal Studios / Nintendo / Illumination

No one knew how massive the Super Mario Bros. Movie would be, but it became the #2 highest-grossing film in 2023. It also sits at #2 for the highest-grossing animated films in cinema history, beating out Disney’s Frozen (2013) and Incredibles 2 (2018). Though the movie has been a smash hit, Nintendo has officially announced that Mario is retiring. We covered the initial announcement on 08/21, but Nintendo has released a more formal video.

Princess Peach, Mario, and Toad in 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie'
Credit: Nintendo/ Illumination

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Nintendo first unleashed Super Mario Bros. in 1985, when the platforming plumber was unleashed onto the world. Though Mario appeared in Donkey Kong as a playable character, he would be moved over to star in his own adventure. The game would become a phenom, selling over 50 million units by 1996. It currently sits at 58 million units sold and is #7 among the best-selling video games ever.

The Mario franchise would only blossom from there, releasing 22 mainline titles since its first release. However, 200 titles involve Mario and his gang of cohorts. Though Mario was mainly just a 2D platformer for the first ten years of his creation, he would eventually be given a voice.

Mario Teaches Typing (1994) became a hit typing game on computers for the MS-DOS systems. This would be the first time Super Mario would speak, and the legendary Charles Martinet gave him a voice. Martinet would voice Mario 1995 in Mario Game Gallery (1995), further expanding his dialogue, and in the landmark title Super Mario 64 (1996)—which most fans know him.

Mario’s voice would become iconic and exist in almost every game released after. Martinet has voiced Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi for 30 years and is finally stepping away.

Nintendo Is Retiring Charles Martinet as Super Mario

Per @NintendoAmerica

Here’s a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles Martinet regarding the change of Mario’s voice actor, announced on 8/21.

Nintendo of America has made a formal announcement on social media today, with Charles Martinet coming in as graceful as ever to announce he is stepping away from voicing Super Mario. However, he will now be a “Mario Ambassador,” meaning fans can still catch him at events worldwide.

Martinet has worked with Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto for 30 years, who also appears in the video to thank Martinet for his many years of dedication to these characters. Miyamoto has also announced that a new voice actor will take over, though that person has not yet been revealed.

The newest game in the franchise is Super Mario Wonder, which is set to release on the Nintendo Switch On October 20. Miyamoto announces in the video that this will be the first title that contains the new voices of Mario and his friends.

It was confusing for many when it was announced that Chris Pratt would be voicing Mario in the Super Mario Bros. Movie. However, with Martinet’s retirement announcement, it all makes sense.

Though many were critical of the idea that Pratt would be voicing Super Mario, he did a fantastic job. It is more than likely that Illumination will make a sequel, bringing Pratt back as the character’s voice. Though Martinet’s appearance in the sequel is not expected to happen, we still hope he returns in a cameo like in the first film.

Martinet appeared in the film as the voice of Mario’s Dad and Giuseppe, who was a riff on the lesser-known and not “super” Mario brother. It appears that the film will act as his final send-off, and we thank him for his many years of dedication to arguably the biggest video game character ever.

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

Related: Disney CEO Thanks ‘Super Mario’ Movie For Saving Industry

It will be pretty odd knowing that Martinet will not be behind the plumber for future titles, but he will be appearing at events worldwide to meet fans. After 30 years of voicing the characters, we understand why he wants to step away. Enjoy your retirement, Mr. Marinet.

What do you think of Nintendo retiring Super Mario? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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