A wise man once said that cartoons from when we were kids generally don’t hold up. Despite that axiom, I decided to revisit The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, a cartoon based on my favorite video game. You see, I’m a sucker for all things Mario 3, and can’t recognize a lazy title when I see one. As it turned out, the cartoon was not so good 20 years later; the main appeal was noting the characters, music, and power ups from a video game I like and going “HEY, THAT’S FROM THAT VIDEO GAME I LIKE!”
One thing I did notice was that some of the plots and scenes were kinda absurd. Some random examples:
So, since I’m not getting that time back, I may as well go through three of these ridiculous plots from the show’s run.
Just a few notes for those vaguely familiar with Mario stuff.
Bowser Looks Kinda Different
Oh, King Koopa? Yeah, there was a Mario cartoon before this one that made everything a hybrid of Super Mario Bros. and its (American) sequel, and I guess that included the antagonist (Bowser and Mario 2’s Wart). That was deemed necessary to carry over to this iteration because reasons. For those same reasons, Princess Toadstool (she wasn’t called Peach at the time) has red hair.
Warp Pipes Go Anywhere Now
Not only do they go throughout the Mushroom Kingdom, but the warp pipes can even access “The Real World,” leaving Koopa open to take over Europe, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., and Milli Vanilli concerts (more on those last two in a bit).
We’re Not Gonna Bring Up How King Koopa Suddenly Has Seven Kids?
Nope. No need to investigate that further. Nope nope nope.
On to the plots…
“Reptiles In The Rose Garden” – The One Where The White House Gets Koopnapped
It’s Kootie Pie Koopa’s 16th birthday, and there’s only one gift that will satisfy her: America!
But they gotta stop those pesky plumbers from interfering.
That’ll do it.
Now the Koopas can warp to The Real World, take the White House to the bottom of the Mushroom Sea, and rule America.
Lucky for us, our heroes escape…
…take over the Doomship
and get The White House back where it belongs… eventually.
In this episode, we find out that the Princess is a big Milli Vanilli fan, because the Mushroom Kingdom gets Real World radio, why not? As the gang preps to head off to a show, Cheatsy Koopa happened to be spying and tells Kootie Pie, who’s also a big on the MV as apparently everyone was in the early 90s. Just like with the White House before, whatever Kootie Pie wants, King Dad koopnaps from the Real World to get.
Since the group refused to perform, Kootie Pie had no choice but to turn them into *gasp* accountants.
Turns out the guys can’t perform without their band (heh), so guess who just happens to have a band disguise?
In the end, the gang gets Milli Vanlli back to the show unharmed, much to the Princess’ approval.
NOTE: This episode originally aired two weeks before the group’s infamous lip-syncing ordeal. Most re-airings of the show have since replaced Milli Vanilli songs with generic fodder. However, if you need to hear “Girl You Know It’s True” and “Blame It On The Rain” in a cartoon, YouTube’s gotcha covered.
“True Colors” – The One Where Paint Almost Started A Race Riot
In this very special episode, the Mushroom People learned to deal with their fellow fungi’s different colored skin. Now, there was the small complication of said Mushroom People all having the same color skin. It’s nothing a little paint couldn’t solve.
So yeah, the Koopas big plan here was to divide and conquer the Mushroom People by painting half of them red and the other half blue, then instigating the fellow Mushroomers to fight over their differences. At first none of the Mushroom People cared because, y’know, it’s paint. But sure enough, Cheatsy and Kooky Koopa managed to rile up red and blue, not unlike a talking head with strong political takes.
Then things escalated quickly.
So in one day of being different, things went from hunky-dory to scheduled race rumble. Tensions were running so high that even Mario and Luigi were beefing.
The brothers soon figured out the Koopas’ plot, and managed to look past their colors. At the last minute, Mario figured a way to stop the rumble. He told everyone the Princess was stuck in a
well warp drain and needed everyone’s help. The Princess was fine, but everyone came together to try to help, so racism was over.
CUE THE MESSAGE
So, two things:
1. The Mushroom People settled racism in, like, two days. That’s way quicker than we’d ever hope to stop it in The Real World.
2. Who would we even fake kidnap to end racism? The world at large is so cynical that even if Beyoncé were to go missing everyone would assume it’s for some album promotion. Maybe we aren’t smarter than those Mushrooms.