True to his word, Chris Pratt will not be “offending Italians” in his leading role in the Super Mario Bros. movie. In fact, his voiced performance in the official trailer was so lackluster that I can’t help but wonder: What if Mario had been more Italian? It turns out, I didn’t have to wonder for very long. There’s an official Italian dub, and Mario certainly sounds very Italian while he’s speaking…actual Italian. Take a look:
Damn, now that’s an Italian Mario. He’s rolling some letters like he actually knows what to do with them. And I really like the actor’s more playful take on Mario’s personality compared to Pratt’s performance, which just sounds like some dude. I can believe that Italian Mario is actually excited to be here, which is the most important metric for any Super Mario Bros. voice actor who has been asked to play such an iconic role.
You know who else has got a killer Mario? French moviegoers. Look at this!
This is such a wonderful take on Mario—a guy who isn’t just excited, but breathlessly so. These small touches are really crucial in helping us imagine the Mushroom Kingdom as a dynamic, living place (as opposed to carefully designed challenge levels).
Brazil also has a great dub, but it mostly makes me sad that Americans got Pratt instead of an actual voice actor who wants to put emotions into their performance.
At this point, just give me one of the dubs with English subtitles. I’m not expecting a movie star to have played the original title from 1985 on the NES. I’d just like the actor to sound like he’s not phoning in the biggest role in such an important video game movie.
The Super Mario Bros. movie will be released on April 7, 2023.