Chris Pratt's voice in the Super Mario movie has upset hardcore fans
"It's literally his regular speaking voice."
The first official trailer for the Super Mario Bros. Movie has dropped, giving fans a hint at what they can expect from the Italian plumber next year and while the reception has been warm – someone has already come under fire.
That someone would be Chris Pratt – more specifically, his accent and voice.
The Jurassic World star steps into the animated shoes of Nintendo's emblematic digital hero and has already left many vocal fans disappointed that he hasn't tried to do anything with the role.
— The Super Mario Bros. Movie (@supermariomovie) October 6, 2022
don't listen to the haters Chris. I'm looking forward to this movie.
— Canadaguy (not a parody) 🎮🇨🇦🇺🇦 (@JamesTCanadian) October 6, 2022
You are not a hater if you point out Chris doesnt sound like he is trying too hard (especially compared to Jack Black), at least on this trailer...
— Jose Colella (@JoseColella84) October 6, 2022
Not haters, just critiquing the voice of the most popular gaming mascot of all time in his first theatrical animated portrayal. Just wasn't impressed and I hope these two lines aren't all he's got.
Tbf, I really like his VA work in Lego Movie, hope he brings more of that.
— BennyBoo62 (@BennyBoo62) October 6, 2022
Lmao it's literally his regular speaking voice. What's epic about that? 🙄
— Abbie (@thepiscesartist) October 6, 2022
One disgruntled fan wrote: "I am once again asking Hollywood why they have this love affair with Chris Pratt when he ultimately brings nothing but a name to his voice. I can understand not giving Mario a cutesy over-the-top accent but there is NOTHING in Pratt's voice. It's just a dude."
A second person echoed the sentiment, writing: "Dawg, this man didn't even try using a different voice." A third added: "Everyone else in the trailer is doing a voice but this motherf**ker. I'm not even a big Mario fan, I'm just tired of this man doing the bare minimum for a fat paycheque."
The tag #NotMyMario was added to posts.
But I am once again asking Hollywood why they have this love affair with Chris Pratt when he ultimately brings nothing but a name to his voices. I can understand not giving Mario a cutesy over-the-top accent but there is NOTHING in Pratt's voice. It's just a dude.
— I'm not giving my name to a machine (@MusingsMuses) October 6, 2022
Pratt came under fire in early 2021 when he was revealed as the voice of Mario and added fuel to the fire by posting a video on social media saying he was "working hard" at developing the right accent for the role.
The rest of the star-studded cast has been praised by fans. Comedian Charlie Day plays Mario's iconic brother Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy will portray Princess Peach, Keegan-Michael Key stars as Toad, Seth Rogen plays Donkey Kong and Jack Black takes on the character of Bowser.
Illumination Studios co-producer Chris Meledandri promised audiences that Pratt's portrayal of the beloved video game character would be "phenomenal".
He told Too Fab: "All I can tell you is the voice that he's doing for us, and Mario, is phenomenal. "Yeah, I can't wait for people to hear it."
As for the lack of Italian names in the cast in general, Meledandri said: "Charlie Day, who's playing Luigi, actually comes from Italian heritage. Yeah, so that's our nod."
When asked how much he planned for actors to "lean in" to the 'Italianness' of the characters, he also hinted that the accent problem might become something of a self-referential joke in the film.
"We cover it in the movie, so you'll see we definitely nod to that," he said.
Chris Pratt and Anya Taylor-Joy are set to voice Mario and Peach in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated film. pic.twitter.com/UH7EjsiNp3
— Pop Base (@PopBase) September 23, 2021
Speaking last night about the casting of Pratt and Day, given neither are Italian, Meledandri assured fans: "When people hear Chris Pratt’s performance, the criticism will evaporate. Maybe not entirely – people love to voice opinions, as they should."
He added: "I’m not sure this is the smartest defence, but as a person who has Italian-American heritage, I feel I can make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian-Americans… I think we’re going to be just fine."
Thursday. Official teaser trailer. Live on Nintendo Direct. pic.twitter.com/Ttrpn5TXJ5
— The Super Mario Bros. Movie (@supermariomovie) October 4, 2022
Also joining the cast are Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Kevin Michael Richardson (The Simpsons), comedian Sebastien Maniscalco, and Charles Martinet, who has voiced both Mario and Luigi in the Super Mario video game series since 1992.
Up until this point, not much was known about the film's actual plot. But as the trailer shows, Mario looks to be tasked with stopping Bowser from going on a rampage.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is due to hit cinemas on 31 March, 2023.