Latino Voice Actor Does His Version of “Super Mario” Without Chris Pratt and It’s So Much Better
Sometime in the last few decades, producers who made animated movies became less interested in hiring trained voice actors than they did in casting as many A-list celebrities as they could fit on a poster. The latest, and maybe most egregious, example has been Chris Pratt’s debut as Mario in the new “Super Mario Bros Movie” trailer.
Although it’s not hitting theaters until April, “Super Mario Bros” is already one of 2023’s most highly-anticipated films. As the first attempt to bring Mario and Luigi to the big screen since 1993’s disastrous live-action adaptation, there’s a lot of pressure on “Super Mario Bros” to perform well with audiences and critics alike.
But Illumination — the studio behind “Super Mario Bros” as well as the “Minions” and “Sing” movies — has not gotten off to a very good start, mostly because of star Chris Pratt’s take on Mario’s iconic voice. His performance bears little to no resemblance to longtime voice actor Charles Martinet, who’s been doing Mario since the early 90s.
Instead, the voice just sounds like Chris Pratt, despite his assertion that his take was “unlike anything” people had ever heard in the Mario-verse. Obviously, many people were not happy with what they got. Some were so infuriated by Pratt’s unimaginative approach to the character that they started editing him out entirely in favor of something more reflective of the actual character.
One of those people is aspiring Latino voice actor Carlos Morillo, who has absolutely knocked it out of the park. In a Reddit post titled, “I’m a voice actor, I edited the Super Mario Bros. Movie trailer to see how it would sound without Chris Pratt,” Morillo shows how easy it would’ve been to do Mario the right way, even if the studio ended up not hiring original voice actor Charles Martinet.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a snippet of the original trailer with Chris Pratt‘s voice:
And then here’s the version Morillo uploaded last week:
Following the original trailer’s release, audiences immediately started calling for Illumination to replace Pratt and find a voice actor who could do Mario the right way. One user on Twitter even explained how Illumination not only could do that but has done that in the past.
However, many people are going crazy over Morillo’s take, which has already racked up nearly 500,000 views on YouTube and 22,000 upvotes on Reddit. Commenters have praised Morillo’s ability to retain the spirit of Mario’s voice without being quite as over-the-top as Martinet is in the video games.
“This is the version we all deserve,” wrote one commenter. Another mentioned how they were now convinced the original Mario voice could work for an entire movie. “Wow I was giving them the benefit of the doubt, that maybe Mario’s high-pitched voice wouldn’t work for a full movie,” they wrote, “but it’s actually way better like this. I now wish they weren’t using Chris Pratt.”
Another comment on the YouTube video focused on how studios settle for A-list actors to sell their animated movies instead of casting real vocal performers. “A bajillion times better than the crap they just released,” they wrote. “I’m sick of celebs getting cast because studios know it drives more sales… so much underrated talent that exists out there that is untapped. Really great work here man.”
As an article on Upworthy notes, most people aren’t complaining about Jack Black’s take on Bowser and are going so far as to praise him for putting some effort into the cadence of the character. That might be because Bowser’s voice isn’t quite as iconic as Mario’s, to begin with, but it seems like it’s more about the thought put into embodying the spirit of the character they’re voicing.
There are many different schools of thought on why Chris Pratt was the wrong person for the role and it often feels like the hottest take is that what he’s doing is right for a 90-minute movie where Mario’s original, high-pitched squeal may very well become grating and unbearable.
Regardless, Illumination only has a few months to convince people across the country to accept Chris Pratt as this iconic character. If not, they might be better off scrapping his performance entirely and getting someone who knows what they’re doing.
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