Chris Pratt’s Mario voice for The Super Mario Bros. Movie has been controversial since its reveal, as it is quite far from the voice Mario has had for decades.
Pratt explained why it wouldn’t work for a full-length film and even did a fairly accurate emulation of Charles Martinet’s voice during a recent interview.
Pratt and Charlie Day, who voices Luigi in the film, went on The One Show to speak about the change.
“There are only a handful of things we’ve ever really heard Mario say, like ‘Wahoo!’ and those types of things,” said Pratt. “‘It’s-a-me! Let’s go!’ So we were trying to find a way to put that into the movie but in away that would be congruent with a storyline of these working class American guys from Brooklyn.”
Pratt said “It’s-a-me! Let’s go!” in a way more congruent with Mario’s traditional speech pattern, showing that he can do the voice some people were expecting. Day also chimed in, noting that Pratt “can’t say ‘It’s-a-me!’ for 90 minutes” because “10 minutes in, we know it’s you.”
Director Aaron Horvath also defended the choice in a recent interview, saying that it “made total sense” and that Pratt is “good at playing a blue-collar hero with a ton of heart.”
The Super Mario Bros. Movie was directed by Horvath and Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!) from a screenplay written by Minions: The Rise of Gru scribe Matthew Fogel. It is being produced by Chris Meledandri for Illumination and Shigeru Miyamoto for Nintendo.
The film features the voices of its all-star cast including Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.