The Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3 was released to the masses as a 1 hour block of entertainment that was bundled in with “Captain N: The Game Master” from September 8th 1990 to December 1st, 1990 and ran for a total of 26 episodes. For the entire run, they held true to the source material with some creative differences even though the show was in production before the game was even released. They were working closely with Nintendo for the course of its run, and it seemed flawless. Then again I wouldn’t be writing about it if it was a 100% perfect show right?
First thing I noticed was that the names of the lead antagonist and his underlings were completely different names, and the names for the game was not yet finalized. So, instead of Bowser, Larry, Roy, Wendy, Morton, Ludwig, and Lemmy; you got King Koopa, Cheasty, Bully, Kootie-Pie, Big Mouth, Kooky, Hip and Hop.
In the very first episode we have Bowser, planning to kidnap the King of Giant World, shrink him down to a poodle, and take over his kingdom. As he sits in his throne, I noticed that he’s got wands behind him. Does this mean he’s already conquered lands and kingdoms? This is not mentioned at all in the entire episode on how he obtained them, which just means that there’s a possibility that it is never cleared up through the entire series.
Now at the beginning of the plotting phase for the Koopa Kids they get hit with a beam from the wand to grow into giants. If he’s already got the wand then why does he have to use it to take over the kingdom it came from? It seems VERY counter productive to me, as if you go in with a plan in mind, you could have easily used the wand to grow, then beat the living piss out of everything that moved. To continue my confusion they threw me for a hellacious loop when they used a “Ninja Wand” and instantly gave them head bands and black belts. Also in the following scene it was a random color swap with Luigi going from bright to dark green for reasons beyond my comprehension, but it was the 90’s. Tilt inducing? No. Nit Picking? Fuck yes.
With Mario, Luigi, and Toad locked inside of a bird-cage they use the same Giant and Ninja wands on Mario to help him save the day.
The episodes are short and sweet at around 11 minutes but it could have been better as Nintendo should have gotten the names finalized before they proceeded to give the kids names in the series. If they were placeholders, that was fine, but they should have changed them back.
Mario 3: The Animated Series is really good in short bursts, however, if you can easily point out the obvious flaws, I will recommend to stay away.