You know, I distinctly remember this cartoon being so wonderful when I was a kid. Guess we all gotta grow up sometime.
In this animated version of the hit video game that debuted in the fall of 1990, the Super Mario Bros. have successfully vanquished King Bowser into a banishment zone and have earned a long deserved rest. But before they can really get back into their daily lives back in Brooklyn, Bowser escapes and not only does he now have his own evil deeds to do… he has brought seven little Koopa kids with him! The team must now fight off this new wave of terror and evil as the evil Koopa and his kids try to take over not only the Mushroom Kingdom but also their attempts to cross over to Earth and take over there as well!
The Good And The Bad
When I was seven years old, I heard about this cartoon starting and I knew right away that I had to get up early each and every Saturday so that I could watch it and I did just that. Every Saturday like clock work I would be up in the morning to watch this cartoon and cheer on the Mario bros. as they attempted to defeat the latest evil scheme.
Upon putting the first DVD into my player, I had extremely high expectations and expected to be instantly transported back to my youth and have a great nostalgia trip to see a great feature that I loved. What I found was disappointment.
From an adult perspective, I can’t imagine how anyone outside of the target audience would be entertained by this. The animation is absolutely dreadful and shows desperate signs of being in need of a remastering. Perhaps if this series had been given a remastering, the colors would be brighter and the characters would have a much clearer and crisper look to them.
After this came the absolutely terrible writing which made me wonder what I was possibly so entertained by as a child and the absolutely ridiculous plots that one might expect from a Saturday morning cartoon. Still, I pressed on and kept watching with some kind of hope that the series still had some kind of magic left in it and would take me back but the more I watched, the more bored I became and soon realized that this was not the series that would take me back.
Refusing to write a review that said absolutely nothing good about this series however was not something that I was interested in doing though and so today I sat down and put the DVDs into the player once again, this time with a couple of additional viewing members with me. Most notably in that viewing audience however was my friend’s 5 year old son and within one episode all of my suspicions were confirmed.
Eric absolutely loved this cartoon and was completely wrapped up in it from start to finish. He didn’t really laugh at the jokes too much but the silly jokes and slapstick humor did get to him enough that he enjoyed it and was soon asking his mother and I if he could watch all of the episodes.
Sadly this was one part of the cartoon that I didn’t remember at all from growing up and watching it now I knew why. Almost all of the music in this cartoon is completely recycled from the video game itself with the only original music being occasional episode specific tunes that were used during action breaks. These episode themes didn’t actually further the plot along at all, they were just there to kill time much like the old chase and dance scenes in other Saturday morning cartoons such as “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo”.
The other very annoying thing that I found was that the creators of this cartoon went absolutely ballistic when it came to using sound effects. Watching this cartoon, it felt like every single tiny action that the characters did was accompanied by a sound effect of some kind which was annoying on so many different levels.
The box that this cartoon comes in boasts some pretty mighty extras including a writer’s diary and much more. The writer’s diary really just turned out to be some very short and dry narrated clips which introduce the characters and what the basic story of the cartoon is without going into any real behinds the scenes details. There was always one question that bothered me about the cartoon even as a child which was why they changed the names of the Koopa Kids from what they were in the video game to what they were in the cartoon and when I saw the extras listed I was really hoping that this question would be answered but I guess it’s just another one of those mysteries that will die with the ages.
Also included on the third disc of extras are concept art and background art galleries.
As I’ve stated many times throughout this review, I was just really disappointed with what I saw with this box set but then again, I’m only half of the audience that this box set was aimed for. This box set was obviously aimed towards two audiences, adults like myself who wanted to have a nostalgia trip and a new breed of kids who missed the cartoon the first time around. Unfortunately for the creators and Shout Factory, only one half of the audience is going to be entertained. While Eric thought that this cartoon was brilliant on many levels and was quite entertained for at least awhile, I found myself yawning and the only time I was entertained by it was when my friend and I were able to make snide jokes while watching it with her kid. If you’re a parent with a budding little gamer in your clan and you want to expose them to something from the past, this isn’t a bad option. It’s a fun and harmless cartoon that will entertain them but if you’re looking for something from your childhood that will entertain you just as much now as it did then, you’ll want to move along because this is not the title that will do that for you.