Whether Mario is portrayed as Italian American or not in the upcoming animated movie he won’t be doing a thick ‘Mamma mia’ style accent.
Anyone upset about Chris Pratt being cast as Mario in Nintendo’s new animated movie is about to get even more angry, because it’s been confirmed he won’t be doing a thick Italian accent.
Mario never speaks very much in the games but when he does it’s always been with an exaggerated Italian American accent, since in the early days Mario was always characterised as an Italian plumber from Brooklyn, New York City.
Even though his modern games are all set in the Mushroom Kingdom the Italian accent has remained, but movie producer Chris Meledandri has admitted that there’ll only be a ‘nod’ to the Italian heritage in the new film.
It’s easy to imagine that Nintendo and film studio Illumination (makers of Minions) would be worried that the accent would be too much for a whole movie, as well as being potentially insensitive given how over-the-top it is in the games.
‘All I can tell you is the voice that he’s doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal,’ said Meledandri, when cornered by website toofab at Los Angeles International Airport. ‘I can’t wait for people to hear it.’
‘As an Italian American myself, I understand,’ added Meledandri. ‘You know, I understand the comments.’
‘We cover it in the movie,’ he said but indicated that the ‘It’s a me, Mario!’ style dialogue from the games was ‘not the tenor of the performance throughout the film’.
What accent Pratt will adopt remains a mystery, but it seems more likely he’ll go for a more homogenised Brooklyn accent.
Meledandri has hinted that Luigi will have more of an Italian style accent though, pointing out that voice actor Charlie Day has ‘Italian heritage’.
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