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Are Super Mario brothers Italian

Are the Super Mario Brothers Really Italian?

Imagine this: you're in the middle of a heated Mario Kart race, dodging shells and banana skins while someone pipes up, "But, are Mario and Luigi *actually* Italian?" Wait, what!? Focus, people! But hey, it’s an interesting question! Let’s dive deep into the mushroom-filled, koopa-stomped lands of the Mario universe and settle this once and for all.

So, let's break out the spaghetti and give it a go. We all know Mario and Luigi – the dynamic duo in their red and green hats, jumping from platform to platform, rescuing Princess Peach, and just being overall legends. *B-But* where did their claim to be Italian come from? And is it legit?

The Origins: Nintendo's Brainchild

First off, let's rewind to the early '80s. Video game giants, Nintendo, unleashed Mario on the world in Donkey Kong. At that time, he wasn’t the moustache-twirling plumber we know today. He was simply called ‘Jumpman’. Super catchy, right? Not really.

He was later named Mario after Mario Segale, an American property developer who rented a warehouse to Nintendo of America. Now, tie in the fact that the game’s designers were influenced by Italian-Americans, and we start seeing where the Italian flavour was sprinkled in.

Mamma Mia! The Voice Behind Mario

Charles Martinet, the iconic voice of Mario since 1990, certainly gave our hero that distinctive Italian-American accent. With “Mamma mia!” and “Let’s-a go!”, it’s easy to see why fans around the world can’t help but think Mario hails directly from Italy.

Martinet himself has stated in interviews that he based Mario’s voice on a stereotypical Italian-American accent. Think of it as a tribute, albeit with a bit of cheese and over-the-top seasoning. The funky part? No, he’s not Italian; Martinet is actually American with French roots. Plot twist!

But What About the Mario Family Tree?

In the vast labyrinths of the Mario games, tidbits and hints about Mario and Luigi's background are scattered like hidden 1-ups. Official sources claim they are from Brooklyn, New York. Just imagine them running around Little Italy, gobbling pizzas, and dodging fire hydrants while training to become plumbers.

In the 1993 live-action film Super Mario Bros., the brothers were even portrayed as Italian-Americans from Brooklyn. With more emphasis placed on their American upbringing, it only fed into this idea that Mario and Luigi are pretty much New Yorkers with a pinch of Italian seasoning.

The Culture Melting Pot in Mushroom Kingdom

Then there’s the whole Mushroom Kingdom shebang. It’s a place no atlas recognises, where mushrooms give you power-ups, and turtles have serious attitude issues. Mario’s Italian flair adds to the quirky cultural mix of the franchise. Yet, has Mario ever stopped for a gelato or a quick session of pasta making in any of the games? Nope. He’s always busy saving the world or, more accurately, the same princess over and over again.

The franchise's creators likely didn't intend to fully flesh out Mario and Luigi’s ethnicity, instead focusing on playful stereotyping to give characters unique and recognisable traits. It's like creating a universal Italian plumber image – a slice of pizza, but without the entire pizzeria.

Our Verdict: A Fun Italian Enigma

Whether Mario and Luigi are Italian or just heavily influenced by Italian culture (thank you, Charles Martinet!), it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of gaming. What counts is the joy and countless hours of fun these characters have brought to millions worldwide.

So, next time you’re at a party debating the true origins of the Mario brothers, just remember: they’re partly Italian, partly American, and 100% legends of the gaming world. It’s-a time to celebrate Mario and Luigi, regardless of their actual roots!

Now, Over to You

What do you think? Are Mario and Luigi the quintessential Italians? Or just some Brooklyn lads with a dash of Italian flair? Share your thoughts below. Let’s keep this fun and light-hearted, just like our favourite plumbers would want it!

Until next time, keep those pipes unclogged and your power-ups in check. It’s-a me, signing off!

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