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Episode 3: "Butch Mario and the Luigi Kid"

CARTOON SUMMARY

Before the episode has even started, the Princess has managed to get herself kidnapped by Koopa, and Mario, Luigi and Toad must travel through the wild west to set her free. Trouble is, Koopa has put a bounty on their heads, and every money-hungry nasty will be after them, including a Pokey cactus who is rapidly immobilized by a well-flung plunger. After a scene where Koopa puts the Princess on a diet of Slim-Fast multivitamin pills, Mario and co run into Mouser and his group of Snifits. Que chase scene, which ends in the Marios shaking their enemies of with a bit of quick log hopping. Naturally, Koopa's not too pleased (he takes out his aggression on Mouser), so he triples the bounty on Mario and Luigi's heads, which is soon noticed by an attentive bird.

Mario and co, meanwhile, have somehow gotten hold of ostriches and western outfits, and they've located the mine where the Princess is imprisoned, thanks to some very obvious smoke signals (question: how can she send smoke signals from a prison where there is apparently no flammable material? Maybe she burned her Slim-Fast pills, but that still doesn't explain how she managed to shape the clouds like letters and her own silhouette...). They immediately head for the mine, but just as they are about to go in, Mouser, who was alerted by the attentive bird from a few seconds ago (I knew news travels fast, but this...) pops up and halts them. While nobody is watching, the three heroes dart off with a bunch of ostriches, but Mouser sends a rolling boulder and a dodgy song after them. They escape from the boulder (and the song), and run sito presto into a restaurant that promises "free Italian food". This, obviously was an elaborate set-up from Koopa to trap them and throw them into prison.

By suckering Mouser, Toad manages to smuggle himself out of the prison, hidden underneath Mouser's hat. In a nearby pub, Toad finds a bag of Bob-ombs which he uses, not only to blow the pub sky-high, but also to bomb the wall of the prison so that Mario and Luigi can escape. They head back to the mine, take a wrong turn and find themselves at a dead end. Using nearby Bob-omb plants, they attempt to bomb the wall blocking their path, hoping to find the Princess behind the wall. However, slow-poke Luigi stands too close to the Bob-omb and is hit by the blast, so he has to be taken out of the mine for some fresh air. They immediately run into an ambush from Koopa who shoots fireballs at them. Mario shoots back with his revolver (where did that come from?), they head back into the mine, take the right direction this time and tumble down the mine shaft where the Princess was imprisoned. Only now, they're stuck at the bottom of the shaft and Koopa's about to lob Bob-ombs at them, but a display of speedy plumbing from Mario and Luigi saves the day. Mario only has food on his mind, though.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • Animation quality is back up a notch (allright, that's not saying much....)
  • Lots of familiar elements from the SMB2 game can be found here, such as the great log-jumping scene.
  • The first display of Koopa's killer dress sense (he has a wardrobe the size of Australia, apparently), with a very fitting cowboy outfit
  • Another plot full of quick twists and turns
WHAT'S BAD?
  • Toad still has his warped red-and-white color scheme
  • The bit about the smoke signals is really taking the joke too far.
  • The only thing it really lacks is a transformation.
OVERALL
A good, solid episode. It's better than average episodes thanks to it's rapidly shifting storyline, and doesn't have too many hopelessly dumb bits in it. One of the better ones, then.

EPISODE RATING: 3.0/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
Mario and Luigi are working on a "Steam-o-matic" which belongs to a certain Sergeant Slaughter (eh?). Just so happens, Slaughty himself pops by and subjects Luigi to inhuman torture while Mario has managed to get himself trapped inside the steam machine, which eventually shrinks him down to the size of a child. Lots of pointless shouting, nothing interesting whatsoever and a final gag that is both lame and predictable.