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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Adventure > Comedy > TV > Videogames > The Adventures Of Super Mario Bros. 3 – The Complete Series

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 – The Complete Series


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C+     Episodes: B



Continuing the SHOUT! Factory tradition of putting great, yet odd, animated classics on DVD The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3  - The Complete Series is now available on a nice 3 disc set.  Being the third Nintendo series and fourth Nintendo box set to be released on DVD by SHOUT! Factory (the others being The Super Mario Bros Super Show! Volume One and Two and The Legend of Zelda: The Complete Animated Series), The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 is an excellent addition to the SHOUT! library of classics.  Though the series was a blatant attempt to promote a new Nintendo game, the series remains fun and memorable of a time when 2-D side scrolling games ruled.  The series centers on the Mario Bros (Mario and Luigi) attempting to thwart King Koopa (Bowser) and his Koops Kids’ attempts at mischief, evil, and shear stupidity.  The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 used a plethora of elements from the Super Mario Bros 3 videogame for inspiration; in fact it seems that mostly everything about the series came from the video game.  All of the enemies, music, sound effects, main characters, and landscapes were torn right from the videogame manual.


Even with all the continuity that exists throughout The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 series, a few other simplistic elements are lacking.  The voice work on many of the characters is quite bad and is distracting; mainly Mario and Princess Toadstool being the worst.  As many fans of the series may notice all of the voice actors were replaced between The Super Mario Bros Super Show! and The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, making the two series a little different and a noticeable variation.  Also at times the color scheme has continuity issues with Luigi being red like Mario at times and the Koopa Kids often not being consistent in what exactly their colors are, to name a few color fopas. Also in a drastic change some characters are represented in a very weird manner, in a stark contrast as to how they were represented throughout the videogame series.  Finally, the names of Koopa Kids have all been altered from the original names, making the dialogue between characters a bit perplexing if you know the videogame series well.  For example:


Cheatsy Koopa vs. Larry

Bigmouth Koopa vs. Morton

Kootie Pie Koopa vs. Wendy

Hop Koopa vs. Iggy

Bully Koopa vs. Roy

Hip Koopa vs. Lemmy

Kooky Von Koopa vs. Ludwig von Koopa



The reason behind these continuity issues is easily uncovered, however.  The classic 1990 Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 series was commissioned by Nintendo and produced by DIC prior to the game’s release in America and much was still unknown about the now classic game to base the series on.  The writers and animators based the series purely on what Nintendo allowed them to know and what little they understood about the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 3.  Even the Koopa Kids did not have names until the American Version of Super Mario Bros 3 was created (in Japan they were just the Koopa Kids).  Nintendo did however grant them a character list, scenery sketches, music and sound clip catalog, and much more.


Overall, the technical features of this 3 disc set are not spectacular but nice nonetheless.  The picture is presented in its original, yet simple, 1.33 x 1 Full Screen format.  Surprisingly the animation and picture quality of this series has been extremely improved over The Super Mario Bros Super Show!  The animation is crisp and has more depth then seen in previous Nintendo series.  There are problems, however, with the animation becoming blurry at times especially in the more distant shots.  Debris is also found throughout the episodes, but is by no means a huge issue.  The sound is presented in a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that is unimpressive and often times seem distant and not fully expressed; demonstrating the compressed nature that many SHOUT! Factory releases possess.


The extras as on previous Nintendo releases are just lukewarm at best; though definitely better than previous releases.  Extras include an Interactive Series Writers Bible – Featuring the Back Story, Characters, Concept Art & Original Music.  The main problem with SHOUT! Factory releases is the picture quality, though improved it seems there has been little too no remastering of the series and it is quite possible that the original, master tapes may even be damaged; as has been suggested about this release and previous Nintendo/DIC releases by this reviewer and many others.  This reviewer says to screw the dolphins….Save the 1980s Cartoon series; there are plenty of dolphins, but only very few masters still in existence.


This is not the best animated series and it may not be in the best condition, but it is now available as one nice, cumulative set.  For all ‘old school’ Nintendo fans and people who just love 1980s nostalgia this is the set for you.  This set will surely sit in this reviewer’s collection for years to come, right next to The Super Mario Bros Super Show! and The Legend of Zelda.  These releases do need some remastering, but I am just happy they are here to have.  I love those Plumbers!



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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