Chris Pratt’s Mario accent explained

Chris Tilly
Chris Pratt as Mario in The Super Mario Bros MovieUniversal Pictures

Chris Pratt’s accent in The Super Mario Bros Movie has been criticized since the film’s first trailer dropped. Following the backlash, the Guardians of the Galaxy star has now explained his approach to the role.

Chris Pratt’s accent in the new Mario movie is very different to the one Charles Martinet used in the Mario video games. Dating back to 1990, Martinet has given Mario an Italian accent, with his high-pitched exclamations becoming one of the character’s signatures.

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For new film The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Pratt has gone with something that’s less Italian and more American. Something that’s similar to the voice Bob Hoskins used in the 1993 live-action movie, only less gruff.

Pratt has said that he was surprised by the backlash to that decision, but has also stated that he understands why fans weren’t happy.

Chris Pratt’s Mario accent explained

In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Mario – and Luigi – start out with thick Italian accents. But they are immediately revealed to be a performance for the sake of a TV advert. Meaning Mario’s real New York accent is soon revealed.

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The characters even reference the accent after watching the ad, with Mario asking if the Italian is too much, only to be told the accents are perfect.

“To develop the voice, I sampled various Italian and New York accents,” Pratt tells Variety via email. “As the directors and I developed the character, we came to land on a voice that is different than Charles Martinet’s version of Mario, but also different from my own voice.”

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Regarding the backlash, Pratt adds: “My hope is that people will come into the movie with an open mind and that once they see the film, any criticism around Mario’s accent will disappear.”

With The Super Mario Bros. Movie projected to gross a whopping $225 million worldwide over the weekend, it looks like fans have forgiven Pratt for the accent. Though with the movie opening today, it’ll be interesting to see how the internet reacts.

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The Super Mario Bros. Movie is in cinemas now. You can read more about the animated feature here, or check-out our Mario highlights below…

The Super Mario Bros. Movie review | All actors and characters | Mario’s accent explained | Seth Rogen wants Donkey Kong spinoff | Best Easter Eggs | Chris Pratt’s favorite Mario cheat | Post-credits scene explained | Lots of Mario movies planned | Wario and Waluigi voice speculation | How to watch the Mario movie | Jack Black wants Bowser movie | Will there be a Super Mario Bros. Movie 2?

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About The Author

Chris Tilly is the TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and over the last 20 years, he's worked for the likes of Time Out, IGN, and Fandom. Chris loves Star Wars, Marvel, DC, sci-fi, and especially horror, while he knows maybe too much about Alan Partridge. You can email him here: chris.tilly@dexerto.com.