When Chris Pratt teased his upcoming role as gaming’s most iconic character, Mario, he called it “unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before.” Charles Martinet, who has voiced both Mario and Luigi since 1992, would evidently not be a source of inspiration.
Fans have puzzled for months over how Pratt—elevated from goofy Parks and Rec roles into superhero status with movies like Guardians of the Galaxy—would tackle the Italian-accented plumber. After Nintendo dropped the first trailer for the movie today, the answer is … as Chris Pratt.
“What is this place?” Pratt Mario—who could be referring to anything from a dinosaur park to the most godforsaken bathroom at a concert with his tone—wonders aloud as he examines a mushroom-filled field. Shortly after, we hear him declare “Mushroom Kingdom, here we come!” in what may be his actual Mario accent—kind of a parody of your local Brooklyninte yelling he’s walking he’e.
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Mario’s voice reveal was inarguably the raison d’être to tune into today’s trailer. Nintendo has hyped fans up since news that Pratt, alongside Jack Black as Boswer, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, would voice a character many people have known since childhood. “I worked really closely with the directors and trying out a few things and landed on something that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to see and hear,” Pratt told Variety. Again … it’s just Chris Pratt, regular guy, in a film where everyone else has at least a little bit of whimsy to their voices.
This week fans have already mourned the loss of Mario’s ass, but hear me out: The sheer absurdity, the absolute troll of this reveal, is the
funniest best outcome. Pratt’s Mario yelling “Mamma Mia” in an Italian accent cribbed from the early ’90s may not be as charming after an hour and a half in surround sound.
Good and bad news here: Black’s first lines as Bowser sound appropriately graveled and menacing for the Koopa king. But if Pratt’s any indication of how the Mario Bros. might sound, prepare yourself for the Charlie Day–voiced screamer of Luigi that’s still to come, as we saw at the trailer’s end.