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Introduction:
Welcome to the first installment of the extra in-depth Super Mario Bros episode guide, or TEIDSMBSSEG for short. With this, I hope to eventually give you thorough summaries and reviews of each SMB episode. Note that the Zelda episodes will not be included in this guide. See, they were hardly ever re-aired, therefore I didn't manage to record any, and my memories of them are too vague to cover them as extensively as I would want to. Now, for each episode, there will be a complete summary of the cartoon segment, my thoughts on how good it was (usually in the shape of an overview of the good points and bad points of that episode) and a rating from 1 to 5, with one point as a benchmark of super-lousiness and five points as a hallmark of absolute excellence. Plus, there will be short summaries of the live-action segments. Since said live-action bits are invariably boring, I won't bother to give them a separate rating. Also, the quality (or rather, lack of quality) of a live-action segment doesn't affect the rating I give to the cartoon segment (meaning: if the cartoon bit is ace, then I won't deduct points if it happens to be accompanied by a cack live-action bit). Finally, since there's a total of 52 SMB episodes, it'll take some time until each and every one is covered.

Now, in these cartoons, Bowser is referred to as "Koopa". To avoid confusion, I'll use the name Koopa in this guide as well, but we all know it's really Bowser (although Bowser without his red hair actually isn't really Bowser to me....).

Right, all clear? Well then, without further delay, let's take a look at episode 1.

Episode 1: "The Bird! The Bird!"

CARTOON SUMMARY

Mario, Luigi, Toad and the Princess are traveling through the snowy lands, when Toad is suddenly abducted by an absent-minded Birdo who takes him to the top of a tall mountain. This Birdo is a bit short-sighted and has mistaken Toad for her missing baby son. Obviously, she's overjoyed to have her darling "little Cheepy" back, and showers Toad with a barrage of unwanted maternal affection.

Deciding that Toad cannot be left to endure such horrors, Mario, Luigi and the Princess go to his rescue. While they do a bit of bottomless pit-jumping, they are spotted by two of Koopa's flurries, who immediately report this to their master. Koopa then subjects the flurries to perverse feet-fetishist practices and orders his Albatoss' to launch Bob-Ombs upon the unwitting Mario's. This order is executed sito presto, but Mario and co swiftly knock the Bob-Ombs away, so a trio of Albatoss' decide to go for a more tactical approach: they bomb a slope, thus triggering off a massive avalanche. Before this force of nature, the only course of action left to take for our heroes is to run away and quickly escape through a door in a nearby wall, leading to a secret room containing a fire flower. Mario nabs the flower, transforms and with his fireballs he burns a way through the barrage of snow that was blocking the door.

Toad meanwhile is subjected to his first flying lesson, after being thoroughly slobbered upon by mama Birdo. Try as he might, he just cannot convince the Birdo that he's not a bird and that therefore, it would be a bad idea to try making him fly.

Back on the mountain, Mario is complaining about how hungry he is, when they suddenly stumble upon the real missing baby Birdo, trapped in a block of ice. With Mario's fireballs, he is rapidly freed, and pronounces the wish to be re-united with his mother.

Speaking of his mother, she has just carried Toad to dizzying heights and then drops him. Funny sort of flying lesson, if you ask me. Toad, however, survives the long fall by improvising a parachute out of his hat. He lands safely...on top of Mario and Luigi. After some protesting, Toad agrees to take the real little Cheepy back to his mother, while Mario and co stay behind to fend off a massive attack from Koopa. Mario is hit by a rapidly-flung Bob-Omb and loses his transformation. Mario, Luigi and the Princess are now surrounded, and their outlook is bleak, when suddenly, deadly vegetables start to rain down from the sky upon Kola’s cronies. These veggies are being thrown from above by Toad and the Birdo, who improvised this air-raid as a token of her gratitude for bringing little Cheepy back. Koopa quickly retreats before the terror of this, and to celebrate their victory, Mario and co come to the Birdo's house for dinner, which consists of talking worms. Yuck.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • Animation quality is a little better than in most other episodes.
  • A fast-paced storyline makes a ten-minute cartoon seem quite a bit longer.
  • Mario gets to transform, and there's a big fight with lots of enemies attacking Mario and co.
  • All your fears and suspicions that Koopa is a secret foot-maniac are finally confirmed (is that really a good thing?)
  • Some hilarious scenes with Mama Birdo (the way she picks up the phone, and her bizarre alarm clock, for example).
WHAT'S BAD?
  • There really isn't much to complain about here, nothing stands out as being overly crap.
OVERALL
An excellent opening to the show, and an episode that remains entertaining to watch even today, this is SMBSS at it's best.

EPISODE RATING: 4.5/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
A bizarre girl pops up in Mario and Luigi's bathroom closet. Alright, she's supposed to be some kind of eighties celebrity, but I say that a girl who goes around taking strolls in perfect strangers' bathroom closets to check the expiry date on their toothpaste (no, really!) is a bizarre girl.

Anyway, she needs her plumbing fixed, and came to Mario and Luigi because those two have made front-page news with their amazing plumbing talents (I never knew Brooklyn could be so exciting...-_-;). From that moment on, a deluge of slapstick catastrophes start to rain down on the poor girl, leaving her looking very messy indeed. However, this turns out to be a blessing in disguise, as she was on her way to a fancy-dress party, and the idea was to come dressed as sloppily as possible. All is well that ends well, then, I suppose.....