The Mario media franchise extends out of video games into non-game media. Mario and themes related to the franchise have appeared in television shows, anime, films, comics and manga, merchandise, and musical performance.

Television[edit | edit source]

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 title card

Saturday Supercade was an animated television series produced for Saturday mornings by Ruby-Spears Productions. It ran for two seasons on CBS, beginning in 1983. Each episode comprised several shorter segments featuring video game characters from the Golden Age of Arcade Games. Donkey Kong, Mario and Pauline (from the Donkey Kong arcade game) were featured in the show.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is the first American TV series based on the Mario NES games. It was broadcast in syndication from September 4 to December 1, 1989. The show was produced by DIC Entertainment and was distributed for syndicated television by Viacom Enterprises (full rights have since reverted to DiC through Nintendo).

King Koopa's Kool Kartoons was a live action children's television show broadcast in Southern California during the holiday season of 1989/1990. The show starred King Koopa (also known as Bowser), the main antagonist of the Mario series. The 30-minute program was originally broadcast during the after-school afternoon time-slots on Los Angeles-based KTTV Fox 11.

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 is the second TV series based on the Mario NES games. It aired on NBC from September 8 to December 1, 1990. Based on the Super Mario Bros. 3 video game, the cartoon shows Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad fighting against Bowser and his Koopalings, who went by different names on the show. Like the previous Mario cartoon series, the animation was done by Sei Young Animation Co. Ltd, however this show was co-produced by Reteitalia S.P.A., hence the slight differences in character design.

Super Mario Challenge was a show which aired on The Children's Channel. It ran from 1990 to 1991 and aired at 4:30 p.m. every weekday. The presenter, John Lenahan, was a lookalike of Mario, and dressed in his clothes. Two guest players had to do tasks, all of which involved playing the Mario video games Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2 and, after its release in 1991, Super Mario Bros. 3. Rounds included challenges to see which player could complete a level in the fastest time and who could collect the most gold coins on a certain level.

Super Mario World is an animated television series based on the SNES video game of the same name. It is the third and currently last Saturday morning cartoon based on the Mario series. The show was originally aired on Saturday mornings on NBC in the 1991–92 season. It was featured in a half-hour time slot with a shortened version of Captain N: The Game Master. Episodes of Super Mario World were later shown as part of the syndication package Captain N and the Video Game Masters. Afterwards, the series was split from Captain N altogether and shown in time-compressed reruns on Mario All-Stars.

Mario Ice Capades was a television special featuring a Mario-themed Ice Capades skating show, broadcast on ABC on December 28, 1989.[1] It starred Christopher Hewett as Bowser.[2][3][4] Jason Bateman and Alyssa Milano also appeared in the special.[2]

Films[edit | edit source]

Bowser and the Super Mushroom had a cameo in the 2012 3D Disney computer-animated film Wreck-It Ralph. Mario was mentioned but not seen in the film.

Upcoming animated film[edit | edit source]

In December 2014, an information leaked that Sony Pictures had made a deal with Nintendo to create an animated film based on the Mario franchise.[5]

In November 2017, it was reported that Nintendo would be teaming up with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment to make an animated Mario film.[6][7][8] However in January 2018, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated that a deal has not been finalized, but that an announcement will come soon. Kimishima hopes that if the deal is successful, a 2020 release date would be possible.[9] By the end of January 2018, Nintendo announced that the movie will be made with Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri co-producing.[10] According to Miyamoto, he knew that the process of making a film was far different from that of making a video game, and wanted a film expert to lead the effort. In Nintendo's work with Universal Parks & Resorts to create Mario-based attractions, Miyamoto had met Meledandri, and they had several discussions. Miyamoto found Meledandri's creative process similar to his own, and felt he would be the proper lead for a Mario film. They had started more earnest discussions of the film as early as 2016, knowing that if they felt it wasn't working that they could easily walk away. However, by the time of the official announcement, Miyamoto said that they have good discussions over the screenplay and feels good progress to a proper film.[11]

Anime film[edit | edit source]

Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! (Japanese: スーパーマリオブラザーズ ピーチ姫救出大作戦!, Hepburn: Sūpā Mario Burazāzu: Pīchi-hime Kyūshutsu Dai Sakusen!) is a 1986 anime film based on the Super Mario Bros. video game. Directed by Masami Hata and produced by Masakatsu Suzuki and Tsunemasa Hatano, the plot centers on Mario and Luigi, who go on a quest to save Princess Peach from Bowser. It is notable for being the first movie based on a video game, predating the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie by seven years.

Hollywood film[edit | edit source]

Super Mario Bros. is a 1993 American science-fiction comedy adventure fantasy film[12] based on the Japanese video game series of the same name by Nintendo and distributed by The Walt Disney Studios through Hollywood Pictures, thus becoming one of several rare occasions where Disney and Nintendo have collaborated. The film was directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, written by Parker Bennett, Terry Runté and Ed Solomon, and stars Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Samantha Mathis, Fisher Stevens, Fiona Shaw and Richard Edson. The story revolves around the titular Mario brothers, as they find a parallel universe, ruled by the ruthless dictator King Koopa, who seeks to merge the two dimensions together so that he can rule both worlds, leaving it up to Mario and Luigi to join forces with Princess Daisy, the daughter of the world's displaced King, to stop Koopa.

Super Mario Bros. was shot in both New York City and North Carolina on a budget of $48 million. The film was released on May 28, 1993, in the United States and was unsuccessful both critically and commercially, receiving criticism for its storyline, characters and dialogue. However, the film was nominated for two Saturn Awards (one for Best Costume, the other for Best Make-up).

Years later, however, commentators called it a cult film,[13] and has spawned a fan-made website,[14] a fan-made sequel comic,[15] and even a Blu-ray release in the United Kingdom.[16]

Anime[edit | edit source]

Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Momotarō cover.png
アマダアニメシリーズ スーパーマリオブラザーズ
(Amada Anime Shirīzu Sūpā Mario Burazāzu)
GenreAdventure, Comedy
Original video animation
Produced byShinichiro Ueda
Written byJuri Yagi
StudioStudio Junio
ReleasedAugust 3, 1989
Runtime15 minutes each
Episodes3 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and manga portal

Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros. (アマダアニメシリーズ スーパーマリオブラザーズ, Amada Anime Shirīzu: Sūpā Mario Burazāzu) is a series of three direct-to-video OVAs produced by Studio Junio, licensed by Nintendo, and released on VHS tapes on August 3, 1989 exclusively in Japan.[17] The plot of the episodes involve characters from the Mario franchise in the stories of three fairy tales: Momotarō, Issun-bōshi and Snow White. Its cast includes Miyako Endō (Princess Peach, Kinopio, Morton Koopa Jr., Wendy O. Koopa), Tōru Furuya (Mario), Masaharu Satō (Koopa, Larry Koopa, Iggy Koopa), Naoki Tatsuta (Luigi, Ludwig von Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa), and Toshiko Sawada (narration).[citation needed]

A review by Kotaku was very critical of the overall quality of the episodes.[18]

Mario Kirby Masterpiece Video (マリオ・カービィ 名作ビデオ, Mario Kirby Meisaku Video) is a 18-minute educational video released by HAL Laboratory in 1995 on VHS exclusively in Japan. The purpose of the video is to teach kanji to children by featuring two adventures starring Mario and Kirby separately, with still pictures narrated over by Mayumi Tanaka and kanji transcriptions.[19][20][21]

Super Mario's Fire Brigade (スーパーマリオの消防隊, Super Mario no Shōbōtai) is a short fire safety public safety announcement video animated by Toei, directed by Mamoru Kanbe and starring Toru Furuya as Mario and Yu Mizushima as Luigi.[22] There was also another video produced about traffic safety, titled Super Mario Traffic Safety (スーパー マリオ の 交通 安全, Super Mario no Koutsuuanzen)

Comics and manga[edit | edit source]

Super Mario-kun[edit | edit source]

Super Mario-kun
(Sūpā Mario-kun)
GenreAdventure, Comedy
Written byYukio Sawada
Published byShogakukan
MagazineCoroCoro Comic
Original runNovember 1990 – present
Portal icon Anime and manga portal

Super Mario-kun (スーパーマリオくん, Sūpā Mario-kun) is a Japanese kodomo manga series written and illustrated by Yukio Sawada (沢田 ユキオ Sawada Yukio) and serialized in the monthly manga anthology CoroCoro Comic. Individual chapters are collected into tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan, who released the first volume on July 27, 1991,[23] and have released 52 volumes.[24] The series has only been licensed in Japan and France, published by Soleil Manga.[25] It follows Mario and his friends through the plot lines of many Mario video games, starting in Super Mario World and reaching as far as Super Mario 3D World. Courses created by Sawada for Super Mario Maker were released on November 6, 2015, with a Super Mario-kun costume unlocked for players who clear them.[26]

There is another manga series which ran for five volumes with exactly the same title, written and drawn by Hiroshi Takase (嵩瀬ひろし), also published by Shogakukan but serialized in Pikkapika Comics. Because of the identical titles, Sawada's and Takase's series are easily confused.[27]

Nintendo Comics System[edit | edit source]

The Nintendo Comics System was a series of comic books published by Valiant Comics in 1990 and 1991.[28] It was part of a licensing deal with Nintendo, featuring characters from their video games and the cartoons based on them.

Super Mario Adventures[edit | edit source]

Super Mario Adventures[29] is an anthology of comics that ran in Nintendo Power throughout 1992, featuring the characters from Nintendo's Mario series and based loosely on Super Mario World. The series was also serialized in CoroCoro Comic in 1993. Charlie Nozawa, the artist who created the comics,[30] is also known by the pen name Tamakichi Sakura.[31] Kentaro Takekuma was responsible for the story, which follows Mario and Luigi as they attempt to rescue Princess Peach after she is abducted by Bowser with intent to marry her.

Gamebooks[edit | edit source]

Nintendo Gamebooks were gamebooks released in two series, Nintendo Adventure Books and You Decide on the Adventure, and based on video games created by Nintendo.

Merchandise[edit | edit source]

A Mario themed Nintendo DS Lite.

Mario has appeared on lunch boxes, T-shirts, magazines, commercials (notably, in a Got Milk? commercial),[32] in candy form, on shampoo bottles, cereal, badges, and as a plush toy.[33] Multiple Marie-themed versions of popular board and card games have been released by USAopoly, including Monopoly,[34] TacDex,[35] and Connect 4.[36] Nintendo has also released in 2017 a puzzle featuring Mario.[37]

Events[edit | edit source]

National Mario Day is an annual holiday to commemorate the Nintendo video game character Mario, on March 10.[38][39][40] This date is chosen because MAR 10 looks like the name MARIO.[41][42] Gamers can commemorate the occasion by playing games from the series, or with Mario-themed events, and coordinating on social media with the hashtag #NationalMarioDay.[43][44]

In 2014 the Christian Science Monitor advised parents that Mario Day was an opportunity to bond with their children, and listed Mario Day themed events parents could take their children to, to encourage that bonding.[45] In 2016, Nintendo created a video about the event, where Mario caused chaos in their American offices;[46][47] and "brought some joy to the monotonous workday in the ways only Mario could."[46] Chad Concelmo of Destructoid appears in the video.[48]

In March 2013, Nintendo began the Year of Luigi. This included a year of Luigi-themed games like Dr. Luigi, Mario & Luigi Dream Team, and New Super Luigi U. A Luigi's Mansion statue was released on Club Nintendo. On March 19, 2014, the Year of Luigi ended.[49]

Themed parks[edit | edit source]

Super Nintendo World is an upcoming themed area at various parks within Universal Parks & Resorts. It will be dedicated to characters and settings from Nintendo properties, including Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Pokémon, and others.

Music[edit | edit source]

The Super Mario series of video games has a large amount of music, much of it composed by Koji Kondo. The "Super Mario Bros. theme" is particularly well-known.

The Super Mario Bros. theme has been featured in many concerts, including "PLAY! Chicago",[50] the Columbus Symphony Orchestra,[51] the Mario & Zelda Big Band Live,[52] Play! A Video Game Symphony,[53] and others.

The Video Games Live concert featured the theme performed by Koji Kondo.[54]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Update". Los Angeles Times. December 28, 1989. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Aziz, Hamza CTZ (June 21, 2008). "Weekend Destructainment: Mario at the Ice Capades" (in en). Destructoid. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  3. Reeves, Ben (December 29, 2011). "Fondly Remembering The Super Mario Bros. Ice Capades" (in en). Game Informer. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  4. Orland, Kyle (September 14, 2015). "30 years, 30 memorable facts about Super Mario Bros." (in en-us). Ars Technica. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  5. Vary, Adam (December 11, 2014). "Sony Pictures Lands "Mario Bros." Movie Rights From Nintendo, Leaked Emails Show". BuzzFeed. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  6. Pallotta, Frank (November 14, 2017). "'Super Mario Bros.' animated movie in the works at Illumination Entertainment". CNNMoney. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  7. "'Super Mario Bros.' Movie in the Works at Illumination Entertainment". Collider. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  8. "Super Mario Movie in the Works From Despicable Me Studio". Slashfilm. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  9. Medina, Joseph Jammer (January 9, 2018). "Super Mario Bros. Movie Deal Not Finalized, Movie Could Come In 2020". Screen Rant. Retrieved January 9, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Blair, Gavin J. (January 31, 2018). "'Mario' Movie to Be Produced by Nintendo and Illumination". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 31, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Minotti, Mike (9 January 2018). "Nintendo's Miyamoto explains how Illumination won Mario movie rights". VentureBeat. Retrieved 9 January 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Super Mario Bros". Allrovi. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2011. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Here's the Super Mario Bros. movie sequel someone wanted, in comic form · Great Job, Internet! · The A.V. Club
  14. Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive - News/Update Archive
  16. Super Mario Bros. Blu-ray,, retrieved June 30, 2016 
  17. "Super Mario Bros. (Amada series)". TheMushroomKingdom. Retrieved 10 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Luke Plunkett (30 August 2011). "There Were Worse Mario Cartoons Than the American One". Kotaku.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. マリオビデオ>マリオ・カービィ 名作ビデオ
  20. Mario Kirby Meisaku Video (Video 1995) - IMDb
  21. Mario Kirby Meisaku VHS Video | Rare Video Games Auctions, Sales & Pricing
  22. Super Mario 'Fire Brigade (スーパーマリオの消防隊)' VHS tape [JPN] (Ripped from my VHS Tape) - YouTube
  23. スーパーマリオくん 1 [Super Mario-kun 1] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved March 31, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. スーパーマリオくん 52 [Super Mario-kun 52] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved March 31, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Les aventures de Mario en manga ! < News < Puissance Nintendo
  26. Super Mario-kun Author Creates Levels in Super Mario Maker - Interest - Anime News Network
  27. 小学館:コミック
  28. Thompson, Michael (2008-11-25). "Drawn together: the love affair between comics and games". Retrieved 2011-03-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Super Mario Adventures Official Nintendo Comic Book (Paperback)." Retrieved on November 19, 2008.
  30. "Super Mario Adventures Official Nintendo Comic Book (Paperback)." Retrieved on November 19, 2008.
  31. "たまに読むならこんなゲーム漫画~桜玉吉のスーマリ編~." Mandarake. Retrieved on November 19, 2008. - "小学館「SUPER MARIO ADVENTURES マリオの大冒険」漫画・チャーリー野沢(桜玉吉)"
  32. Weiss, Jodi & Kahn, Russell (2004). In 145 Things to Be When You Grow Up. Princeton Review Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 0-375-76369-4. Google Book Search. Retrieved on November 6, 2009.
  33. "Nintendo's Shining Star: The History of Mario". GameCubicle. Retrieved 2008-08-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. USAopoly. "MONOPOLY®: Super Mario Bros.™ Collector's Edition". USAopoly.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. Schuyler J. Dievendorf (10 March 2014), 8 Best Ways To Celebrate National Mario Day, The Escapist,, retrieved 2017-03-09 
  39. Alice Wilczynski (10 March 2016) (in German), Nintendo: Video zum heutigen National Mario Day, 4Players,, retrieved 2017-03-09 
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  41. "Fun Holiday – Mario Day". Retrieved 2017-03-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. Dani Werner (7 March 2016), Jump-start your week with some items of interest, Star Tribune,, retrieved 2017-03-09 
  43. "NATIONAL MARIO DAY – March 10". National Day Calendar. Retrieved 2017-03-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  44. "Flying Dog Presents National Mario Day Mario Kart Challenge - Flying Dog BreweryFlying Dog Brewery". 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2017-03-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  45. Lisa Suhay (2014-03-14). "Mario Day: Ways to score big bonding points (+video)". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2017-03-10. "So far, the best celebration I’ve found was hosted by the DC Public Library in Washington last Saturday and involved kids from local art programs creating various projects and eating Mario-themed cakes." 
  46. 46.0 46.1 Jacob Whritenour (9 March 2016), Mario Wreaks Fun Mischief at Nintendo to Celebrate Mario Day, Hardcore Gamer,, retrieved 2017-03-09 
  47. "Celebrate Mar. 10 - Mario Day!". YouTube. 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2017-03-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  48. Chris Carter (2016-03-10). "Nintendo celebrates Mario Day today, March 10". Retrieved 2017-03-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  49. "Miyamoto puts an official end to the Year of Luigi". Retrieved 30 December 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  50. "Super Mario Bros. and Zelda composer Koji Kondo to attend PLAY! Chicago". Music 4 Games. 2006-04-14. Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-02-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  51. "Symphony piles up points with video-game concert". The Columbus Dispatch. 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2009-02-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
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See also[edit | edit source]

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