When the news hit that Chris Pratt was going to voice Mario, many were a bit surprised by the choice. The cast generally led to quite a few reactions with a stacked cast including Jack Black as Bowser and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. It didn’t help matters that Pratt was cast for an upcoming animated Garfield film, which added to the jokes that any animated character could be voiced by the Guardians of the Galaxy actor.
In an interview with Animation Magazine, Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri had a lot of praise for his performance, as he went on to highlight that many of the criticism will be mute once they get to see his performance in action.
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.Chris Pratt
It definitely is still a curious casting, especially when the character of Mario has such an iconic voice. Charles Martinet voiced the character since 1992 and is confirmed to appear in the upcoming animated film. Yet, it simply seems odd not to use the man who defined the character all those years ago if they’re going for an animated project, to begin with. We’ll have to wait and see what the project has to offer once the first trailer arrives.
Source: Animation Magazine