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"The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3"

The complete animated series featuring video game's popular franchise in history: "Mario."

Damsel in distress, abducted by the evil reptile and his posse working to cause corruption and rule the kingdom with his cruel antics under his commands. The superhero(es) come to the rescue, fighting and fending off all the obstacles and enemies thrown his way, crushing them one after the other. He defeats all the reptiles from ruling the kingdom, saving the princess and restoring peace again in the land.

No it's not Rapunzel, it's the Super Mario Brothers—a ubiquitous series forever indebted in the annals of video game and Nintendo history. However, not many of us caught the animated series featuring these excellent characters whom we've grown up with (well, in my case, I wasn't able to). Believe it folks: you're reading a review on the classic 1990s series of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3—the complete DVD set, originally aired on NBC September 8, 1990 and ended on December 1, 1990 (ouch).

Judging by the packaged episodes, it was a rather short-lived series. At a mere 13 episodes, individually spliced into a two-part presentation, the series looked dreary as it progressed. However, that doesn't mean it isn't worth your time. This DVD set is sometimes packaged with the first season of another classic nineties cartoon Sonic The Hedgehog.

The first DVD features episodes with a strong start. You already get a complete feel for both the protagonists and antagonists and the voices in which they speak. The soundtracks and sound effects are THE EXACT ones used in the classic NES game itself, so if you've played SMB3 on NES or on the Super Nintendo, the familiarity of these, almost making you feel like you're playing the game, should make you feel very comfortable. The second DVD, oddly, sought a slight decrease in video quality. Whether it was the film itself that took a bit of work to remaster, or if the original master film/tapes themselves turned out that way, it was tough to watch. I say so because there are these distracting vertical lines that appear (maybe it's my copy). As for the episodes on the second disk, it felt rushed; the editing shows just that. It's as almost if producers thought, "we'll shucks, it's not rating as well as we would've hoped so let's just finish this and call it off." Nevertheless, the episodes on the second DVD were quite thoughtful and creative—the time I thought the show would peak, but unfortunately didn't see a light that shone for long. The third DVD contains special features such as the back story of the series itself, sketches and illustrations, map drawings and music.

What I learn(ed) about cartoons are the subliminal, yet sometimes thought-provokingly hidden, messages they convey. Many authorities think cartoons are "just for kids." Not to be. Check out these chilling/funny/beautifully-written quotes, some of which are still relative to our world to this day:

Quote Said by Episode
"How can we help America when we can't even help ourselves?" Luigi Reptiles in the Rose Garden
"Once the White House hits bottom, America is sunk!" Princess Toadstool Reptiles in the Rose Garden
"I hate it when people tell me what to do!" Kootie Pie Koopa Reptiles in the Rose Garden
"You can't rush genius." Kooky Von Koopa Reign Storm
"Everybody in your kingdom can't wait for you to rule them again!" Mario Reign Storm
"Someday, I hope I can make you feel as welcome in my world as you make me feel in yours." Princess Toadstool Reign Storm
"...never mess with history." Princess Toadstool Toddler Terrors Of Time Travel
"I've been kissed by a plumber!" Kootie Pie Koopa The Beauty Of Kootie
"Heh, brothers. You can't live with them, you can't live without them." Mario Oh, Brother!
M: "Everyone's learned that it's not a person's color that counts. It's the kind of person they are inside."
L: "Think they'll ever learn that lesson in the real world?"
M: "Heh! Yeah, when humans get as smart as mushrooms."
Mario & Luigi True Colors
"That King Koopa may have thought he was super, but when you're talkin' Super Mario Brothers, there's just no substitute for the real thing!" Toad Super Koopa

Considering it's 2013, at the time of this writing, it's amazing some of these quotes can still be applied today. From hidden messages ranging from sociology and love to racism and reality, and popular beliefs in aliens and Atlantis to politics and skepticism, you can find quite a chunk of messages being conveyed through each and every episode. Speaking of politics, the
Princess Toadstool For President
episode should provide you a slight view of the typical behavior and "promises" politicians always make (reminds me of the song "Sowing The Seeds Of Utopia" by Bad Religion). Crimes R Us was quite amusing actually. Having noted that some criminals deserve to stay behind bars, and admittedly so, feel happy remaining dormant away from the world, not wanting to deal with any more trouble than they've caused prior (an acute case of irony). Recycling Koopa is about trash and recycling, going as far as contacting the mayor on what to do with it, in an effort to preserve the planet (something to consider, if energy conservation isn't enough). Special 'appearances' include Laura Bush and hit music act Milli Vanilli. On Toddler Terrors Of Time Travel, a granny makes a cameo—the granny similar to the one featuring with Tweety and Sylvester. When the characters take a trip into the 'real world,' it usually takes place in the East Coast of the US, such as Washington DC and New York, while one took place in Venice, Italy and one in Paris, France. And finally, I can't imagine how anyone can miss the correlation between middle easterners, palaces and oil on the episode The Beauty Of Kootie.

What I liked least about the episodes was the inconsistency of the animation. The characters don't realistically express the exact emotions/reactions in response to a situation and/or to other characters. (I understand the tedious efforts in animation, especially considering technology back in the nineties, compared to today.) Another one that was unusual was the random voice changes in the characters. A perfect example is Bully Koopa. Listen to his voice on the first episode, then check out the episode Misadventures In Babysitting where the Koopas abduct the kid and hang around Desert Land. Lastly, on the special features DVD, in the music section, there was one song missing. It's the song used near the end of the episode of 7 Continents For 7 Koopas, where our fellow heroes stop the Koopas from ruling each continent in the 'real world.' (I never found the song title, but that song wasn't listed. Strange because that was actually my favorite song.) As for the pictures on the third DVD, under "The Worlds," the three pictures shown for the episode Dadzilla looked the same as the pictures shown for the episode Misadventure of Mighty Plumber. On those slideshows, Up, Up, And A Koopa features the least amount of drawings—only one picture—while drawings shown for the episode Super Koopa features the most with eight pictures. There are option(s) for audio commentaries, no bonus footage(s), no deleted scenes, no unaired episodes and no video interviews with the animators and the producers.

Also, being our heroes' names are the same, the villains' names changed a bit. Though Bowser is referred as "King Koopa" and "King Dad," with the exception of one episode where he introduces himself as "Bowser," the 'Koopalings' underwent name changes. If you're heavily familiar with the hit classic Super Mario World for Super Nintendo, the names should ring a bell: Roy Koopa (Bully Koopa), Morton Koopa Jr. (Bigmouth Koopa Jr.), Ludwig Von Koopa (Kooky Von Koopa), Larry Koopa (Cheatsy Koopa), Wendy O. Koopa (Kootie Pie Koopa) and Lemmy & Iggy Koopa (Hip & Hop).

All in all, despite its shortcomings, I still strongly recommend this series. Whether you're a huge fan of the Mario series, since he first appeared on the hit video game Donkey Kong, and/or want a blast from the past, I couldn't recommend this classic any more. Plus, the included third DVD with all the goodies and music, despite one missing track and no other bonus footage(s) previously mentioned, isn't a bad investment to go along with the episodes. Not only your kids will enjoy it, but you will adore the beloved characters who've become the faces for Nintendo, coming to life with action and amusement. This is a highly recommended set.





  • A rare attempt to create an animated series based off of a popular video game franchise.
  • Great voice acting.
  • Some episodes bring out hidden messages about social issues, such as racism.
  • Potentially could be a series that can be remade today.
  • Some episodes were poorly remastered.
  • One scene displayed Luigi's outfit as red, instead of green.
80% (B-)
Fan Rating
Title The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
Description All 26 Cartoons In One Koopa-Packed Set!

When it premiered as part of NBC's Saturday morning lineup in the Fall of 1990, The Adventures Of Super Mario Bros. 3 helped catapult the record-breaking game it was based on into video game history.

After sending the infamous King Koopa into the Banishment Zone, the heroic plumbers, Mario and Luigi, finally make it home to Brooklyn. But just when the Mushroom People think they're safe, Koopa escapes and brings with him seven of the most vile creatures the world has ever known, the Koopa Kids!

Now only the Super Mario Bros. can rid the Mushroom Kingdom of Koopa and his deviant minions... or can they?
ISBN / Bar Code number 1-7389-3776-2
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) / Full screen
Audio Format Stereo
Disc Count Three (3)
Language(s) English
Genre Animation / Children's
Subtitles None
Rated G - General Audiences
Region Region 1 - NTSC
Specification Color
Features [DISC ONE] Play all, Scene Selection. [DISC TWO] Play all, Scene Selection. [DISC THREE] Writer's Bible: Table of Contents - 1. The Back Story, 2. The Series, 3. The Characters: The Heroes, The Villains, 4. The Worlds, 5. The Music
Production DIC Entertainment
Company Shout! Factory (shoutfactory.com)
Item / Product Number #826663-10455
Closed Captioning --
DVD Release June 26, 2007
Run Time Approx. 5 hours. (Disc 1 - 2:42:50, Disc 2 - 2:21:04, Disc 3 - 0:26:13. Actual DVD time: 5:30:07)
Copyright © 1990 Nintendo. Based on the Nintendo video game. Marketed by Shout! Factory LLC.
Other Formats ????
Quoted Reviews --
Other --
"Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas"
"Reptiles in the Rose Garden" written by

Reed & Bruce Shelley

"Reign Storm" written by
Ted Pederson
Steve Hayes

"Toddler Terrors of Time Travel" written by
Rowby Goren

"Mind Your Mummy Mommy, Mario" written by
Matt Uitz

"The Beauty of Kootie" written by
Doug Booth

"A Toadally Magical Adventure" written by
Doug Booth

"Misadventures in Babysitting" written by
Doug Booth

"Oh, Brother!" written by
Perry Martin

"Misadventure Of Mighty Plumber" written by
Michael Maurer

"Princess Toadstool For President" written by
Matt Uitz

"Never Koop A Koopa" written by
Martha Moran

"Dadzilla" written by
Martha Moran

"Tag Team Trouble" written by
Martha Moran

"Do The Koopa" written by
Phil Harnage

"Kootie Pie Rocks" written by
Phil Harnage
Martha Moran

"Crimes R Us" written by
Heidi & Rick Holicker

"Life's Ruff" written by
Martha Moran

"Up, Up And A Koopa" written by
Rowby Goren

"7 Continents For 7 Koopas" written by
Perry Martin

"Mush-Rumors" written by
Lee Schneider

"The Ugly Mermaid" written by
Sean Roche
Perry Martin

"True Colors" written by
Steve Fischer

"Recycled Koopa" written by
David Ehrman
Sean Roche

"The Venice Menace" written by
Matt Uitz

"Super Koopa" written by
Doug Booth

Executive Producer
Andy Heyward

Produced and Directed by
John Grusd

Coordinating Producer
Robby London

Executive In Charge Of Production
Winnie Chaffee

Production Supervisor
Brian A. Miller

Story Editors
Reed Shelley and Bruce Shelley

Developed For Television by
Reed Shelley and Bruce Shelley

Associate Producer
Jack Spillum

Production Coordinators
Jennifer Rea
Jonathan Dern

Production Assistant
Kristofor S. Brown

Voice Director
Greg Morton

Paul Quinn

Recording Assistants
Daniela Spiwak
Bob Schlichting

Voice Talents Of
Walker Boone
Tony Rosato
Tracey Moore
John Stocker
Harvey Atkin
Dan Hennessey
Gordon Masten
Michael Stark
James Rankin
Paulina Gillis
Stuart Stone
Tara Charendoff

Additional Voices
Bonnie Brooks
Rod Coneybeare
Diana Fabian
Catherine Gallant
Greg Morton
Jonathan Potts
Susan Roman
Linda Sorensen
Marlow Vella

Art Director
Frank Ridgeway

Art Coordinator

Animation Supervisor
Julian Fries

Characters Designed by
Paul Wee
Sandy Kopitopoulos
Fred Carillo
Phil Weinstein

Props Designed by
John Berman
Phil Weinstein

Backgrounds Designed by
Ellen Drucker
Fred Carillo
Ernie Guanlao
Romeo Francisco
Hugh Pettibone
Phil Ortiz

Color Key by
Allison Geffre

Color Backgrounds by
Joan Igawa
Tim Maloney
Dan Wong
Norly Paat

Storyboard Supervisor
Brian Chin

Assisted by
Phil Weinstein
Phil Stapleton

Storyboards by
K. Fukushima
Cullen Blane
Mike Swannigan
Greg Garcia
Jack White
Jim Duffy
David Thrasher
Brian Chin

Storyboard Slugging
Myrna Bushman

Sheet Timing
Lisa Wilson
Bill Ewing

Lip Assignment
Bill Ewing

Animation Co-Produced by
Reteitalia S.P.A.

Script Supervisor
Lori Crawford

Assisted by
William A. Ruiz
Eben F. Eldridge
Quentin Kniola

Minoru Terao
Noriko Norvell
Kazuko Yamamoto

Production Staff
Trace Ellis
Chris Hammond
Brian McGowan
Vickie Yeo

Executive In Charge of Post Production
Thierry P. Laurin

Assisted by
Kimberly R. Cronin

Supervising Editor
Richard S. Gannon

Film Editors
Gregory K. Bowron
Richard Bruce Elliot
Allan Gelbart

Dialogue Editors
Heather C. Elliot
Theresa M. Gilroy
Donald P. Zappala
Ron Fedele
Robert O'Brien
Peter Tomaszewicz

Supervising Music Editor
Stuart Goetz

Captain N Music Editors
Gregory K. Bowron
Daniel J. Johnson

Super Mario Bros. 3 Music Editor
John Mortarotti

Super Mario Bros. 3

Sound Effects
Johann Langlie

Re-Recording Engineer
Ray Leonard

Supervising Sound Engineer
Michael J. Cowan

Format Editors
Mark A. Mcnally
Susan Odjakjian
Warren Taylor

Assistant Editors
Trudy Alexander
Kris Gilpin

Videotape Supervisors
Mario Di Mambro
Dennis Graham

Post Production Coordinator
Fifun A. Amini

Music by
Michael Tavera

Music Supervisor
Joanne Miller

Assisted by
Judy Sampson-Brown
Melissa Gentry

Super Mario Bros. 3 Overseas Animation by
Sei Young Animation

© 1990 Nintendo of America, Inc.

This program utilizes characters created by Nintendo.

The trademark and all the rights therein are
the property of Nintendo. All rights reserved.


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