Chris Pratt continues to receive backlash from his voicing of the iconic Mario based solely on the soundbite we have heard from him on the trailer for Illumination’s upcoming The Super Mario Bros. the animated movie. While Pratt himself has yet to respond to the situation, the movie producer defended he ‘loved’ the actor’s performance behind the scenes, and now, a co-star from the same film speaks on behalf of Chris Pratt’s voice.
It is important to set a distinction between voice actors and performative actors. Not every performative actor can voice act, and not every voice actor can be performative actors. Fans have been left confused after hearing Pratt on the beloved character and even created a fan-made trailer with the voice over of Mario’s original voice actor in the video games, Charles Martinet.
The distinction could easily be recognized as Martinet’s voice appeared to be more in character and lively, qualities that people look for in animated voice actors, whereas Chris Pratt’s frankly lacked the much-anticipated energy people would expect from Mario. In fact, even prolific Loki star voice actor Tara Strong (Miss Minutes) joined the discourse herself by saying that Martinet should have been picked for the project.
Speaking with Insider regarding Chris Pratt’s voice receiving continuous backlash, co-star Khary Payton (who voices the King Penguin) speaks up on behalf of Pratt, saying that people have the tendency of ‘overreacting online.’ Read his full quote below:
“People always overreact online… I actually think that he’s doing kind of like this New York, Italian guy — like a cousin of ‘The Sopranos’ or something, which, I think, is kind of a fun take on it rather than being, ‘It’s a me, a Mario.’”
Granted, Chris Pratt was able to become a voice actor for Disney's Onward movie as Barley Lightfoot, but Mario had his own voice actor before Pratt was cast for the movie, so fans are hoping they cast Martinet, instead. It would be interesting to see how fans will react when The Super Mario Bros. movie still has Chris Pratt's 'Mario' voice-over by then. What do you think about Mario's voice-acting discourse? Stay tuned for more updates on this story.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is set to be released on April 7, 2023.