Mario On Paper

Obsessions, everyone knows, can be a nasty thing and Mario sure has one with his darling Princess Peach. He’ll stop at nothing to rescue her and though Nintendo’s had us fooled for years, making us believe he is somewhat of an heroic/stoic plumber, this adorable animated short shows us a different side to the whole story.

The video is the work of self-taught film-maker Eric Power and it features well-known characters and sceneries from the Mario series, which have been recreated two-dimensionally in paper and brought to life with the stop motion technique. Mario is of course the protagonist and he goes about his business like he always does in the games: he collects Koopa Troopa shells, destroys brick walls, travels down pipes – A day in the life. However, the video portrays certain attitudes and consequences of his actions that the games never do, which makes Mario come across as terribly rude (to put it diplomatically).

We see a teary-eyed Koopa who’s devastated after Mario sweeps in, bereaves it of its shell and announces, with a thick Italian accent, that he’s “got it”. The moment when he steps on a Goomba is recreated in gorey slow-motion and it looks like a massacre has just gone down. He also lets Yoshi fall and die in the sea when he no longer needs the dinosaur’s services and he throws up all over himself very unceremoniously after a trip down the pipes. A particularly cool scene involves a distressed bricklayer whose work Mario completely ruins. Finally, when Mario reaches the end and receives the iconic news that Princess Peach is actually in a different castle, he simply solves matters by eating Toad.

I really dig the style and humor of the short and though I would’ve liked for all the scenes to be truly connected to one another and have more of a narrative coherence, I think Eric has done a lovely job with this.

Fans of Mario might also be interested in A Creepy Look At Mario’s Enemies, Mario Bros In The Real Plumbing World and What If Mario Owned A Portal Gun?