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Nintendo confirms Mario voice actor retiring from role after 25 years

 August 23, 2023

The iconic voice behind Nintendo's Mario, Charles Martinet, is retiring after 25 years.

In a significant shift for the gaming world, Martinet, the voice actor who brought the beloved character Mario to life, is stepping down from his role. This revelation was shared by Nintendo in an official statement, as reported by the Daily Wire.

Martinet's legacy with Mario

Martinet's association with Mario spans over a quarter of a century. His voice has been a staple in popular Mario titles such as Super Mario 64, Super Mario Odyssey, and Super Mario Galaxy.

Additionally, he has lent his voice to numerous spinoffs since the 1990s. These games have been instrumental in shaping the childhoods of many and have solidified Mario's place in pop culture.

Nintendo has expressed immense gratitude for Martinet's contributions. In their statement, the company mentioned:

It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him.

Transition to a new role

While Martinet is stepping back from voicing Mario, he is not severing ties with the brand.

Nintendo announced that he would be transitioning to the role of "Mario Ambassador."

This new position implies that while he won't be recording character voices for games, he will still be involved in some capacity, perhaps in promotional events or as a consultant.

Fans of the franchise had already picked up on some changes. They noticed a distinct difference in Mario's voice in the new Super Mario Bros. Wonder game.

Nintendo later confirmed that Martinet did not voice Mario in this new project. They emphasized their excitement to honor his legacy and contributions, especially as he takes on his new role as a Mario Ambassador.

Super Mario Bros. Movie and Martinet's absence

Interestingly, Martinet did not voice Mario in the "Super Mario Bros. Movie" either.

This responsibility was handed over to Chris Pratt. Many fans speculated Pratt as a potential successor to Martinet, given his prominence in the entertainment industry.

Pratt, in a conversation with Variety in 2022, shared his experience of voicing the iconic character. He said:

I worked really closely with the directors to create the perfect Mario voice.

He further added:

It’s an animated voiceover narrative. It’s not a live-action movie. I’m providing a voice for an animated character, and it is updated and unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before.

Super Mario Bros. Movie's record-breaking success

The Super Mario Bros. Movie surpassed all expectations. It achieved a monumental feat by registering the most successful opening weekend for an animated film.

This record was previously held by Disney's Frozen 2 released in 2019. The success of the movie underscores the enduring popularity of the Mario franchise and its ability to captivate audiences of all ages.

The movie garnered a whopping $377 million in global box office sales. In the domestic market alone, it raked in $204.6 million during its opening weekend.

Conclusion

  • Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, is retiring after 25 years.
  • Martinet's voice has been iconic in games like Super Mario 64, Super Mario Odyssey, and many spinoffs.
  • Nintendo has introduced Martinet's new role as the "Mario Ambassador."
  • Fans noticed a change in Mario's voice in the new Super Mario Bros Wonder game.
  • Chris Pratt voiced Mario in the Super Mario Bros. Movie.
  • The movie set a new record for the highest-grossing opening weekend for an animated film.