As Variety(opens new tab) reported in a recent interview with the actor, he said his voice for Mario will be “unlike anything you have ever heard.” It’s not apparent what that means.
Only a few words and phrases were ever spoken by Mario in Nintendo games, which spanned several decades. Among the various whoo-hoos and the legendary “It’s a me, Mario” uttered by the mustachioed plumber in a fake Italian accent, we may recollect “choose your playa” from Mario Kart 64.
Sadly, it does not appear that Pratt will be doing his best impression of that accent. I think that’s probably a good thing, given that it may have come dangerously near to bumping up against certain negative prejudices about the Italian accent.
It’s a song that Pratt describes as “something that I’m really excited for people to see and hear” after working closely with the film’s directors. As a voice-over story, it is animated.” Unlike a live-action film, it is not. I’m not going to be traipsing around in a plumber’s outfit. For the first time, I’m voicing an animated character, and it’s a completely new take on a character you’ve heard before.”
However, because Pratt has yet to reveal what Mario’s voice would sound like, the floodgates of speculation are wide open.
“Ohh Luigi, where’s the Gabagool for the Party?” could be Mario’s Italian-American dialect, like in The Sopranos. Somewhat more comedic: “Y’all saw that Bowser, he gawn got Princes Peach,” in Southern U.S. twang. There is a South Wales accent Pratt may be interested in: “Oh Mario, what is going on down those pipes?” What if Pratt gives Mario a mock-Cockney accent: “Watch awt, Towad!” Derry and Toms are in serious danger from the Goombah.
In any case, we hope that whatever Pratt decides to do with the Mario voice, he avoids the pseudo-Brooklyn accent of Bob Hoskins’ take on Mario in the 1993 film Super Mario Bros.
Overall, the public’s reaction to the casting of Pratt as Mario was embroiled in misunderstanding and controversy. Pratt, a native of Minnesota, was not the natural option to play an Italian plumber because he is not of Italian origin. Even if he’s only doing voice acting, it’s hard to see Chris Pratt as Mario after his appearances in Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy.
We don’t think it’s a good idea to try to give Mario a new accent. What about the question of whether a Mario movie is really a good idea in the first place? In the case of Uncharted, a recent high-profile example, big-screen adaptations of video games don’t always come out well. To a large extent, we’d like a new Mario video game, such as one that takes place after Mario Odyssey.
For now, we’ll simply have to wait until 2023 to see how the legendary video game character is brought to the silver screen, and what path Pratt will go with the voice of Mario.