It has a certain nostalgic charm, yeah, but lets face it, the American Super Mario Bros. cartoons were pretty terrible. Poorly animated, poorly written, poorly voiced.
Next to the Japanese Mario cartoon, though, the American version looks like it was made by Disney.
Premièring around the same time as America’s The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, in 1989, Japan’s own Super Mario series (never shown or released outside Japan) consisted of only three “episodes”. Rather than coming up with new adventures for the stars of the video game series, the show’s producers instead opted to adapt three popular fairy tales and replace their characters with Mario, Peach, Bowser, etc.
Great idea in theory, but in practice, boy are these awful. For a nation that in many ways was and still is a children’s animation powerhouse (the 1980’s saw Japan give us Transformers and Robotech among other properties), these were barely animated at all.
You can see all three episodes in the gallery above. Note that we’re only looking at the televised anime series today; the Japanese animated film, from 1986, will get its own dedicated feature in the near future.
This is part 2 of Super Mario Shirayuki-hime.