When Nintendo announced the voice actors behind the upcoming Super Mario animated movie, the internet lost its collective mind. The reveals led to numerous reaction videos from people who burst out into laughter, anger, and more. Those strong reactions are still very much alive, and Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri knows it.
Meledandri addressed those criticisms head-on, and very much stands by the pick of Pratt as Mario. Meledandri also talked a bit more about why he feels choosing Pratt to voice an Italian-American character is acceptable. You can see Meledandri’s full comments below.
“When people hear Chris Pratt’s performance, the criticism will evaporate, maybe not entirely — people love to voice opinions, as they should. I’m not sure this is the smartest defense, 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.”
There’s no doubt Pratt is a serviceable actor and has done great in other animated roles, but the question is whether or not Pratt is the right pick for Mario. He’s such an iconic character, and people have connected a specific voice with Mario for decades now. Hopefully Pratt can somehow bridge the gap for gamers who are feeling disillusioned right now.
Well of course the Illumination CEO will stand by their decision, it would be a real story if he hadn't. I know this decision was made purely for business reasons instead of a creative one, Ever sense Aladdin, studios like to attach big names to voice casts in order to attract a larger audience. The resulting impact has created massive damage to the voice acting community as stardom will now be a large condition for casting instead of the old fashion, (and better), way of doing things.