Yeah, sure, we know that Super Mario Bros. just celebrated its 20th anniversary, but I’m not talking about that. I mean in-character. How old do you perceive Mario as being?
It seems typically, whenever Mario has seen some sort of mainstream presence in the past, he’s depicted as being middle-aged. From Captain Lou to Bob Hoskins to that Fred Flintstone voice in the ice show, it’s a safe bet to say that Mario is generally not perceived as a spring chicken.
But then, look at the roles he has in games. He’s either a naturally active individual, or having the midlife crisis to end them all. Tennis, baseball, soccer, golf, cart-racing, partying, fighting… he’s everywhere.
But then, he’s Mario. He’s Nintendo’s mascot. He sorta has to be.
Then, look at his love interest, Princess Peach. I don’t think anyone considers her to be pushing past 30.
And then of course, his voice. Granted, there are no doubt some middle-aged, even OLD people who sound somewhat similar to Mario’s pitch. But in all likelyhood, I bet Mario isn’t meant to be an exception to the rule.
So, what’s to say that Mario is middle-aged?
Is it his career?
Mario is known first and foremost as a plumber, though I’ve heard that has never been quite official official. As in, sure, Nintendo of America flaunts it everywhere, but it’s allegedly something that Japan tends to go with, but not really boast, save for maybe some recent exceptions.
When was the last time you saw Mario with a plunger in some piece from Nintendo of Japan, after all?(granted, I might have simply missed it somewhere, and I’m way off there) Or even if he is. Who’s to say that he’s not a young plumber?
Is it his mustache?
Well, you hardly have to be middle-aged for that. Hell, some people develop a mustache at a relatively young age.
I’m sure a number of us are still fairly young but hardly Governator-esque models of physical fitness, you know?
Overall, Mario is probably meant to be relatively ageless. Which works. Like Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse, no doubt.
And yet, despite all possible arguments, I bet most people here see him as a middle-aged Italian descent plumber from Brooklyn.
But am I wrong?
Also, have I changed anyone’s perception? Probably not. But I am curious to know.
As much as I like Captain Lou and Bob Hoskins’ portrayals of Mario(and I said portrayal, not saying the movie was good or anything, but I did like how Mario was written), I might start looking at Mario as being a younger character. Hell, even his actual age at this time may not be so bad, give or take a few years.