During the Nintendo Direct on Sept. 23, Nintendo announced that Chris Pratt would star as Mario in the upcoming animated Super Mario Bros. film. The casting choice has raised plenty of questions from fans of Nintendo’s famous Italian plumber hero, as many felt Pratt was not a good match for the role. However, it’s worth noting that Pratt has experience in voicing a few video game characters for both games and films, which might have contributed to the decision. Here’s where fans can hear Pratt in animated form.
Chris Pratt’s casting as Mario in the ‘Super Mario Bros.’ movie left many fans scratching their heads
The Super Mario Bros. cast, which also includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, and Charlie Day, created plenty of buzz on social media. Some people shared memes and cracked jokes about Pratt’s role, while others expressed frustration that Pratt was chosen over Mario video game voice actor Charles Martinet or an Italian actor.
“I hate how people are defending the choice of Chris Pratt as Mario. ‘but would you really wanna listen to Charles Martinet’s Mario for 2 hours straight?’ yes. Yes, I do. I genuinely would love to hear this the whole time,” one person wrote on Twitter.
On the other hand, some fans offered support for Pratt. In the comments of Pratt’s announcement video on Instagram, many users expressed excitement for the role.
“Y’know what, Chris is such a champ that I’m happy for him, I do find the casting choice a little odd, but we’ve seen this before, Heath Ledger, Alfred Molina… And look how they proved us wrong, I’m here for it,” one person wrote.
Chris Pratt has voiced ‘Lego’ and ‘Ben 10’ characters
In the past, Pratt has voiced a handful of animated film characters, some of which later received video game adaptations. According to IMDb, the Guardians of the Galaxy star voiced Cooper in the 2010 video game Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction, based on the animated television series. Between 2010 and 2011, Pratt also guest-starred as Cooper in the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien TV series.
Pratt joined the Lego franchise in 2014 with The Lego Movie, in which he voiced Emmett Brickowski. In 2019, he reprised his role for The Lego Movie 2 and simultaneously voiced Rex Dangervest. The first film also inspired a video game, Lego Dimensions, in 2015, in which Pratt voiced Emmett again. He voiced Owen in the game Lego Jurassic World that same year.
Interestingly, Pratt and his Super Mario Bros. co-star, Charlie Day, both appeared in The Lego Movie. The movie’s director, Chris Miller, responded to Nintendo and Illumination’s 2022 film with an image of Pratt’s and Day’s Lego characters wearing Mario and Luigi hats.
The actor said he ‘dreamed’ of playing Mario games as a child
In his Instagram video, Pratt revealed what the Super Mario Bros. casting meant to him. He explained that his first experience with Nintendo’s franchise was a Super Mario Bros. arcade game at a coin-operated laundromat in his hometown.
“Oh, I loved that game. I never had a quarter [to play.] I’d steal them from the wishing well,” he explained, later adding, “I’m really excited to announce that I’m gonna be the voice of that video game that I dreamed about playing as a kid. Dreams come true.”
Pratt also tested out Mario’s iconic phrase, “It’s-a-me, Mario,” but he didn’t say it in a Mario voice. Fans will have to wait to hear his Mario impression during Super Mario Bros.’ theatrical release on Dec. 21, 2022.
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