Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 21-C: From Games to Toons Pt.3

Hey Piasanos,its The Cartoon Historian Super Show! LOL,well enough silliness for now.On with the Lesson. We are now gonna cover the Super Mario Bros. Super Show.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is based on the first 2 Super Mario Bros. games by Nintendo. It was originally broadcast via first-run syndication to mostly Fox television networks from September 4,1989 to December 1,1989.

Club Mario[made because of the fcc's educational value in cartoons ruling] aired re-edited verions the episodes until September 6,1991.

The Family Channel (know known as ABC Family) also aired the series. They did it from September 23,1991 to August 26,1994 as reruns. The show was produced by DiC Animation and was distributed by Viacom Enterprises.

Mina: This is when Viacom was good.

The first and last parts of each episode were sitcom segments that showed Mario (played by the late "Captain" Lou Albano) and Luigi (played by Danny Wells) living in Brooklyn, where they would often be visited by celebrity guest stars. It's interesting to note that the live-action segments were performed and filmed before a live studio audience.

Some of the celebrity guest stars were popular television stars, such as Nedra Volz, Norman Fell, Donna Douglas, Eve Plumb, Vanna White, Jim Lange, Danica McKellar, Nicole Eggert, Clare Carey and Brian Bonsall or professional athletes such as Lyle Alzado, Magic Johnson, Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, and even Ernie Hudson appeared as a Slimebuster, a parody of his Ghostbusters persona, using his own name rather than Winston Zeddemore.

On one occasion, they even received a visit from Inspector Gadget. In an interview for the first DVD release of the show, Lou Albano talked about filming these live action skits, which mainly involved he and Wells getting a central plot and mainly improvising the dialogue as they went along. Lou really liked playing as Mario and has expressed it many times.

Occasionally, Lou Albano and Danny Wells would portray themselves, forcing their regular characters to leave the scene in order for themselves to appear. One notable example is when pop star Cyndi Lauper states she's looking for Lou Albano because he's missing, due to the note she got from him (although there is an important part missing from the note).

Mario exclaims how much he wants to meet Lou, and later Lou appears as himself supposedly while Mario's out shopping for pizza. As a result, Luigi gets to meet Lou, but Mario does not.

Lou Albano and Danny Wells also regularly played female versions of themselves, Marianne and Luigeena (the Mario Brothers' cousins),and also two hillbilly cousins, named Mario Joe and Luigi Bob.

After a brief introduction of the sitcom segment of the show and a commercial break,the 13 minute cartoon would air. These cartoons were based on the NES games Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2. The cartoons even had several sound effects and musical cues from the two games.

The characters featured would be Mario,Luigi,Toad and Princess Toadstool defending the Mushroom Kingdom from the reptilian villain King Koopa,often in a movie or pop-culture parody.

Getting into the spirit of these parodies, Bowser Koopa often used alter egos fitting the current theme. Wart, the main antagonist of the second game, was never in any of the episodes, yet most of his minions appeared in the show, most notably Mouser and Tri-Clyde.

The cartoon series occurs after the events of the first game when Princess Toadstool was rescued. The theme song for the cartoon segments revealed that the Mario Brothers were accidentally warped into the Mushroom Kingdom while working on a bathtub drain in Brooklyn.

After traveling via the warp drain, the Mario Brothers defeated Bowser Koopa's Koopa Troopas, saved Princess Toadstool and stopped Bowser Koopa's plan to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom. At the beginning of every cartoon segment Mario recites an entry into his "Plumber's Log," a parody of the "Captain's Log" from Star Trek.

A very loose spin-off of the show was broadcast in the Southern California TV market in late 1989/early 1990 called King Koopa's Kool Kartoons.

Mina: Lame x Infinity.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! cartoon segment aired from Monday through Thursday. On Fridays,however,we'd get The Legend of Zelda. The series was loosely based on The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. We'll get into this series later.

Scenes from each Zelda episode were shown during the shows sitcom segments. The Zelda cartoons consisted of thirteen episodes, which ended when the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! ended its initial broadcast run.

Mina: The characters of Link and Zelda, along with their respective voice actors (Jonathan Potts and Cynthia Preston), were later featured as crossovers on episodes of Captain N: The Game Master, another animated series based on NES video games, and also produced by DiC Animation around the same period, airing on NBC as part of its Saturday morning cartoon schedule.

Mina: During reruns that played during the summer of 1990, Club Mario replaced the Mario Brothers' sitcom segments. Why? Simple,at the time,The FCC added a new ruling stating thet most cartoons must have some form of educational value. So instead of facing the FCC's wrath,DiC replaced the uneducational Super Mario sitcom segments with the semi-educational Club Mario.

Mina: Each Club Mario segment gave us some educational value,mostly about environmental awareness. Anyway,these segments also featured "extreme" Mario-obsessed teenagers (Chris Coombs, Michael Rawlins, and Victoria Delany) goofing around, and in at least one episode, running around the DiC studios and harassing Andy Heyward. Mr. Coombs and Miss Delany played siblings Tommy and Tammy Treehugger, respectively.

Mina: Michael Rawlins plays Cool MC and his evil twin brother Eric, who time and again attempts to take over the show, usually uttering the phrase "dis'a MAH show!". An additional added segment was a one-to-two-minute viewing of Space Scout Theater/Spaced Out Theater, hosted by Princess Centauri, a green alien woman. Space Scout/Space Out Theater was made up of source footage from a science fiction childrens show called,Photon.

Mina: All and all these segments were a bad idea.

In 1994, The Family Channel aired the show in a package named Super Mario All-Stars, consisting of time compressed versions of the SMBSS cartoon segments & the Super Mario World cartoons.

It ran for 39 episodes in double episode format. Strangely enough, although clips from Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 were used in promos for the show, it was never aired. All-Stars was later played on USA Network from January-June 1997, where it was replaced by Sonic the Hedgehog reruns.

The cartoon segments contained a song of the day. These songs were edited versions of famous 80's songs. When the program was either re-aired or re-released on VHS or DVD,the songs weren't included.

Mina: Well that was informative. Next up,The Legend of Zelda Cartoon.

The Legend of Zelda was based loosely on the first and second The Legend of Zelda games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It aired from September 8 to December 1,1989. The show was produced by DIC Entertainment and distributed by Viacom Enterprises.

Each episode of Zelda followed the adventures of the hero Link and Princess Zelda as they defended the kingdom of Hyrule from an evil wizard named Ganon. Most episodes consisted of Ganon (or his minions) either attempting to capture the Triforce of Wisdom,kidnap Zelda,or use another method to conquer Hyrule. Sometimes,Link and Zelda are assisted and accompanied by a fairy-princess called Spryte.

Mina: A common running joke of the series was Link's repeated failure to convince Zelda that he deserved a kiss for his heroic deeds. Whenever it seemed they were going to kiss,something bad would happen.

Zelda also had more of a protagonist role in the show than in the games. In most of the games,Zelda was a Damsel in Destress. While Link saves Zelda in a few episodes, she mostly battles along side Link,often using a bow and arrow.

Mina: Link usually met Zelda's obstinate rejection with his sarcastic catchphrase, "Well! Excuuuuuse me, Princess!". The series was to be continued for a 2nd season,but was canceled due to low ratings.

While direct referencing of the game is loose, the series featured some recognizable monsters,items and locations from the game. The seemingly impossible numbers of items that Link and Zelda are able to carry is not directly explained in the series but instead in the episodes the items they carry are magically shrunk when the items are placed in pouches or pockets.

The TV series is based heavily on The Legend of Zelda, but a few references are made to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (for example, Ganon is often seen riding a Lowder, an insect-like beetle seen in Zelda II, but not The Legend of Zelda).

The series used sound effects and renditions of background tunes from the games, as well as some enemy monsters including Moblins, Octoroks, Gohma, Aquamentus, Gleeok, Keese and Ropes. Rupees appear, but are called Rubies.

Rather than arrows,the bows in the cartoon shoot beam-like projectiles, as does Link's sword (this happens in a few Zelda games when Link's hearts are full). Link's beams can destroy most monsters, but not people, as shown in the episode Sing for the Unicorn.

Mina: Now its time to tell you the reason why link acts like he does. Apparently,in the games Link lacks his own personality and that his personality was supposed to be that of the players. Well in the US,a majority of NES players were teenage boys. So Link was given the personality of an American Teenage Boy.

Alright. The next Cartoon to cover Would be Captain N. However,I've already covered that show. So I'm just gonna post a link to it: Part 1 and Part 2

Mina: Captain N will be re-aired on Nicktoons later next year. So If you missed it the first time around,you'll get another chance next year.

That's awesome news. Anyway,we ain't done yet. In fact,the fun has just begun.

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