Movies and Shows

Every Actor Who Played Mario In Movies & TV Shows

Chris Pratt is set to voice Mario in a Super Mario Bros. movie, and here’s everyone else who’s played the Italian plumber so far. The news that Pratt – star of such franchises as Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World – is going to play Mario has led to lots of reactions, but mostly disbelief. It wasn’t just Chris Pratt’s casting that raised eyebrows, though, as choices such as Seth Rogen playing Donkey Kong are also earning confused responses.

This animated effort will be only the second Super Mario Bros. adaptation to get a theatrical release, and after 1993’s infamously strange live-action version, it’s safe to say most feel animation is the right call. Some might argue that the voice actors who bring life to Mario and his supporting cast in Nintendo’s Mario video games should’ve been given a chance to shine in this bigger project, but alas, that’s not to be.

Studios tend to cast animated movies with recognizable stars now, and long gone are the days where voice acting was its own little community. Still, Chris Pratt is a beloved figure to many, and he may well be a great choice to play Mario, even without an Italian accent. Before it’s Pratt’s time to stomp on goombas and throw fireballs though, here’s a look at everyone who’s played Mario before in movies or on TV.

Bob Hoskins – Super Mario Bros. (1993)

British actor Bob Hoskins should need little introduction for those who lived through the 1980s and 1990s, having amassed several iconic roles, such as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mr. Smee in Hook. Less acclaimed was his appearance as Mario Mario in the aforementioned 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. movie, alongside John Leguizamo’s Luigi. To be fair, his performance was hardly the problem. The movie bore little resemblance to the source material, sported an oddly dark tone at times, and turned Bowser into a sneering Dennis Hopper villain called King Koopa.

Chris Pratt – Super Mario Bros. (2022)

Chris Pratt, who of course first gained fame as lovable lunkhead Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation, before playing Star-Lord shot him into the A-list, will voice Mario in 2022’s Super Mario Bros. animated movie. It’s hard to imagine Pratt’s voice coming out of Mario’s mouth, but then again, Ryan Reynolds did voice Pikachu in Detective Pikachu. Pratt previously voiced Emmett Brickowski in The Lego Movie franchise, so he does have experienced leading an animated blockbuster.

Seth Green – Robot Chicken

Since 2005, Adult Swim animated series Robot Chicken has been making fun of just about everything to be found in pop culture. Naturally, this means Mario and his video game franchise have appeared, with Mario showing up in multiple sketches over the years. On the show, Mario was voiced by co-creator Seth Green. Some sketches included Mario and Luigi blasting foes with machine guns in Grand Theft Auto‘s Vice City, and even Mario having a threesome with Princess Peach and extremely tall villain Waluigi after becoming filthy rich thanks to an infinite coin block.

Charles Martinet – Got Milk? Commercials

In the 1990s, the Got Milk? advertising campaign was everywhere, from print ads to TV commercials. Many pop culture figures took part, and that included video game legend Mario himself. In the commercials, Mario is voiced by Charles Martinet, who’s voiced Mario in every major video game – and most minor ones – starring the character since the 1990s. He’s now played Mario for nearly 30 years, an astounding achievement.

Peter Cullen – Donkey Kong (1983)

Peter Cullen is of course a voice acting legend, most well-known for his portrayal of Autobot leader Optimus Prime in many Transformers projects. Cullen has also voiced Winnie the Pooh’s depressed friend Eeyore, and even did the noises of the Yautja in the original Predator movie. In 1983, Cullen voiced Mario in Donkey Kong, a short-lived cartoon capitalizing off the popularity of the titular arcade game. Soupy Sales voiced Kong in the show, which saw the ape be manipulated by a villain, before teaming up with Mario to get them in the end.

Lou Albano – The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! (1989)

In addition to being a legendary heel wrestler and manager in WWE, the late “Captain” Lou Albano made fans of a different kind as Mario on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! in 1989. The show featured both live-action and animated segments, with WWE wrestler Albano playing Mario in the flesh and also voicing him. Despite its short life, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! remains a largely fondly remembered piece of late 1980s pop culture, and those who grew up with it still tend to associate Mario with Captain Lou.

Walker Boone (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 & Super Mario World)

Despite appearing in lots of movies and TV shows over the course of a 30-plus year career, Walker Boone never really had that breakout role. His best known work is probably voicing Mario in two short-lived early 1990s cartoons, 1990’s (awkwardly named) The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and 1991’s Super Mario World, obviously designed to capitalize on the popularity of their titular video game releases. Boone also appeared – in live-action – on shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Psi Factor, and Warehouse 13.

Toro Furuya (Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! & Super Mario Amada)

While this article focuses on the performers to give Mario a voice in English-language productions, Mario has also of course been dubbed into other languages, and one project that never got translated into English is worth mentioning here. Prolific Japanese voice actor Toru Furuya (Gundam, Sailor Moon) voiced Mario in Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach!, a Japan-only anime film released in 1986, as well as in Super Mario Amada, a series of three anime OVAs that went direct to video in 1989. Interestingly, that 1986 anime is technically the first Super Mario Bros. movie adaptation ever, meaning it’s well worth addressing the importance of Furuya’s work as the beloved Italian plumber.

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