Why doesn't Mario look like he used to?

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Published 2022-12-14
Over the last 40 years, Mario's design has changed a lot! In Donkey Kong, Mario looked like some kind of strange, middle aged man who HATED gorillas; now he's much younger and friendly looking. So, why has his character design changed so much? Let's find out, as we answer the question: Why doesn't Mario looks like he used to?

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SOURCES
Donkey Kong Development
- www.nintendo.co.uk/Iwata-Asks/Iwata-Asks-New-Super…
- www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2015/09/10…
- edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/02/14/miyamoto.…
- content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/…
- twitter.com/forestillusion/status/1443284433268666… (scanned by The Gaming Historian)
Donkey Kong USA Art
- www.boxequalsart.com/donkeykongreviewpage.html
Mario Segale Image
- www.technologizer.com/2010/04/25/mario/
Super Mario Bros
- www.nintendo.co.uk/Iwata-Asks/Iwata-Asks-New-Super…
Yoichi Kotabe
- www.nintendo.co.uk/Iwata-Asks/Iwata-Asks-Nintendo-…
- twitter.com/toadforsmash/status/135546577480733082…
Mario 64
-    • Yoshiaki Koizumi @ Montreal Internati...  
- www.gamedeveloper.com/pc/migs-2007-nintendo-s-koiz… (write up of above video)

CREDITS
-    • Arcade Longplay [500] Mario Bros.   (Footage of Mario Bros)

All Comments (21)
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  • Mario's early design in the Donkey Kong arcade cabinet looks like the type of guy who would rather kidnapped someone and tied them on the train tracks. He's more of Waluigi before he even existed.
  • Mario eating a mushroom to get stronger is like Popeye eating spinach.
  • It amazed me how Mario used to looked like some scuffed up plumber and now looks like the embodiment of rainbows puppies and kittens.
  • @OoTZOMMMoO
    No one ever mentions that they swapped the overall and the sweater colors. That was always a significant change for me lol
  • Kotabe is really a genius. He refined Mario so well, it was a huge improvement.
  • Mario’s core design remains the same as when he was initially created, which makes the smaller details important as the years went on.
  • @darthgoku90
    Man, is Popeye the Sailorman really that unknown these days? I'm a 90s kid and I still knew him growing up thanks to Cartoon Network's re-runs of his classic shorts. He did for spinach what Bugs Bunny did for carrots, and even what Mario did for mushrooms. And he's got one of the most iconic theme songs. I wouldn't be surprised if Mario's mushroom power-up gimmick came from Popeye's power boost from eating his cans of spinach. Anyway, I'm sure grateful for his contributions to Mario's creation.
  • @CrazyUFOKid
    the evolution of characters like this is so interesting to me
  • @CacoQueen
    Hope this is gonna be a new series, the Princess Peach episode will be a trip
  • This man is putting so much effort into these videos and still uploading really frequently, I love it
  • @Dallas-T
    Its so cool that every aspect of mario had a purpose, like the overalls, hat, nose and moustache that make him iconic
  • @akleughuglouh
    Forgot to mention Kotabe Swapped Mario's overall color from red to blue. That's something that always stood out to me about early mario designs. Who the heck wears red overalls?
  • Miyamoto originally called Mario Ossan, Japanese for "middle aged guy", it was the American localizers that came up with Jump Man.
  • @Rayossan
    The original Mario artwork makes it look like he could be from the Popeye cartoon.
  • I've been a hardcore Mario fan for 13 years. I haven't heard of Donkey Kong originally being a Popeye game until now, wtf.
  • @lbon5479
    I really love character design, so it's so cool to learn about the history of one of the most iconic ones out there!
  • 0:05 yyooooo THATS the first Mario design??! I’ve always seen this design on a pizza box from a pizza restaurant. 😱
  • @RTD_Dev
    It's really crazy how much the red plumber's design has changed over the years, with the movie design being the most interesting one of them all...