Not since trying to give real human teeth to Sonic has there been more worry over the representation of a classic video game figure jumping into the movie theater. Ever since Chris Pratt was cast of the voice of Mario for a new animated movie, the internet has been nervous about how he’ll do. The feeling is so palpable, that producer Chris Melandandri felt the need to defend Pratt’s vocal creation, saying that criticism would “evaporate” once people heard it. He also assured that, as an Italian-American, he had no issue with it.
To pile on, Pratt promised in a chat with Variety that his voice is “unlike anything you’ve ever heard.” This is, naturally, an odd thing to say when dealing with a fanbase that would presumably want something at least similar to what they’ve heard before. It’s not like anyone is expecting Pratt to sound like Charles Martinet or Peter Cullen or Lou Albano or even Mario-on-Thames Bob Hoskins. Pratt smartly points out that it’s also an animated project, adding that he’s “not gonna be wearing a plumber suit running all over.” In a way, that means the voice is the only element of the performance, so it’s really make or break. Plus, unlike Sonic, by the time we finally hear the voice in the trailer, it’ll be way too late to change anything. Imagine being brought in to redub every single line you had in a movie because it wasn’t Marioesque.