So lately, I've had the honor of watching the animated adaptation of Super Mario Bros. 3, a platformer for the NES you may or may not have heard of. Serving as a follow-up to the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, the Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 was animated by DiC, began airing the same year SMB3 released, and lasted for just a little under 4 months. How bad could it be?!
First off, I should mention my experiences were with the N Circle Entertainment COMPLETE SERIES COLLECTOR'S EDITION dvd release, which removes any licensed tracks and some cutting here and there with an episode featuring Milli Vanilli (Who I found out was an actual band! ...I've honestly never heard of them until this.) So my experience varies from anyone who may have caught it back in the day.
This is my first real foray into the animated Mario universe, being born too late to catch any of it on TV when it originally aired but too young to remember it while it was syndicated (I was born August '93). There was a VHS we used to have with 2 episodes on it that even as a kid, I thought kinda sucked. And that was at a time I thought Sonic Underground was cool as shit. Yep. I thought that fucking show was cool as shit as a kid. Let that sink in for bit. (That's another blog for another time!)
With all of that out of the way, onward to adventure!
Honorable Kung Fu Mario could make a decent power up someday...
It's a weird episode that sets the weird tone for the rest of what's a weird series. Weird encounters around weird, and often not very Super Mario Bros. 3-esque, elements that are just...weird. (Did I mention it's weird yet?) These are stories not about SMB3, so much as whatever shit stuck to the wall with some SMB3 elements wrapped around it (With a few exceptions), if that makes sense.
There are episodes about capturing the President by transporting THE ENTIRE FUCKING WHITE HOUSE into the Mushroom Kingdom, kidnapping Milli Vanilli (They're an actual band!), tourists going through a tunnel just showing up in the kingdom because fuck it why not, a mummy awakening then confusing Mario with her son, an ugly mermaid princess who wants to marry Mario, and other such classic SMB3 elements we remember from the games. (That was sarcasm in the 0.01% chance you're not actually familiar with the game.)
Peach tries explaining to the brothers that, yes, Milli Vanilli is a real thing.
The most standout to me is the episode "True Colors." It's a racial episode where an entire village of Mushroom people are painted red and blue with the dickhead Koopa Kids inciting a color (i.e. race) war. The shock filled cherry on top is the ending when Luigi asks if we'll ever learn to set aside our differences in the real world too. Mario seemingly sarcastically says "Yeah, whenever people become as smart as mushrooms!" It seemed like a funny little end note...but then he turns to the camera making THIS FACE. AND IT ENDS WITH THAT FACE. YOU'RE A RACIST AND MARIO HATES YOU.
The final episode even ends the show on something of a high note with an awesome idea. The Brothers and King Koopa faceoff in Paris. For most of it King Koopa gives the brothers the business being able to use their powerups, and in the final few minutes they even duke it out on an equal playing field using everything they can. Alas, nothing's perfect, and out of all of the episodes to have problems in the release, of course it's this one. Through the episode there's a few times where it just cuts out completely, including the final showdown scene, which is disappointing.