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Episode 6: "Rolling Down the River"

CARTOON SUMMARY

The Princess has once again managed to get herself imprisoned by Koopa (she must be doing it on purpose or something), and is being held captive on his steamship. But Mario and Luigi are already on board the ship, and keep a group of guards busy by playing cards with them and cheating shamelessly. The guards are dreadfully short-sighted and completely unable to see through Mario and Luigi's "disguises" (a hat and a jacket). While this is going on, Toad, disguised as a waiter, is trying to free the Princess by smuggling a cake with a nuclear warhead hidden inside it into her prison cell. Koopa, however, sees right through his disguise and his painfully phony accent and chucks him into prison as well. Toad then hits the Princess with a crap joke.

Things are also going pear-shaped for the Mario bros, as the dim guards have finally discovered Mario's blatant cheating and are no longer falling for the naff disguise either. Mario and Luigi leg it, with one Goomba and two Koopas on their tails. The suspense is inhuman. Without thinking for one moment about turning around and actually fighting, Mario and Luigi hop off the boat and into the river. That wasn't a very bright move, as the river's infested by hungry Trouters. However, the two plumbers are saved by a certain Mark Twang, captain of a second steam ship, who happens to be involved in a race against Koopa. The winner of the race gets to be the king of Riverland. Koopa and Mark Twang are the only ones taking part in the race, so Riverland must be a particularly un-interesting place to rule (population: 1, 5 inhabitants, ecosystem: rotten, climate: rotten, economy: non-existent, size: pitiful. Why is Koopa even bothering with this?). Trouble is, Koopa has sabotaged the engines of Twang's ship, so he has fallen behind hopelessly. The Marios rapidly fix the engine (time: 4 seconds, 7 milliseconds) and Twang's ship is gradually catching up with Koopa. But Koopa will have none of that and decides to use the dreaded black pit Bob-ombs (a Bob-omb with a hole in it?) . This Bob-Omb's blast radius is so large that it creates a bottomless pit in which all of the river's water is sucked down. The strong current is gradually pulling Twang's ship towards the pit and it looks like he and the Marios have had it, but Mario miraculously secures the ship with a plunger and a piece of rope. I have yet to hear of a plunger so sturdy that it can support a whole ship (supposedly in an extremely violent current as well), and it's a bit freaky that Mario didn't bother to tie the rope at the end of the plunger to the ship, but it still works. And besides, stranger things have happened. Only not often.

The Marios are now faced with a bit of a dilemma, as the huge pit seems like an insurmountable obstacle. So they go see a fat-lipped lady who runs a local call-center for advice. She tells them to redirect the river's path so that it goes around the pit. Oh, of course, why didn't I think of that? In 3 seconds, 4 milliseconds, Mario and Luigi have built a system of pipes and showers so enormous that it actually does redirect the river around the pit (they got the materials from a transdimensional storage chamber or something), and the race continues. Miss Fat-lips comes along as well and hands the Marios a pair of amulets. Besides being dead trendy accessories, these amulets also transform Mario and Luigi, and with their newly-acquired transformation they're strong enough to speed up the ship big time by jumping up and down on the external combustion rocket-engine with power-saving system and catalysator. Thus, they once again catch up with Koopa and board his ship. Koopa is terribly disgruntled at seeing the Marios sporting more eye-catching accessories to their outfits than him, so he swipes the amulets, they lose their transformation and he is about to make Mario walk the plank, when Twang and Lady Lips save them with a radish-firing cannon. The Princess then starts to mess with the steering wheel of Koopa's ship (and nearly kills Mario in the process) and eventually sends Koopa's ship crashing against the shore. Koopa is hurled into the sand and Toad laughs evilly. The episode ends with another display of gross food courtesy of the lip-woman.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • Animation quality is quite decent, if unspectacular
  • Both Mario and Luigi get to transform
  • Goombas in pirate dress. Kawaii ^^.
  • The new characters are actually not too difficult to stomach, even with their phony "Sutthewn" accents.
  • A short, but noteworthy appearance by the enemy Clawgrip (that crab boss from SMB2)
  • Koopa wears an admirals outfit. Not one of his best garments, but still not bad.
WHAT'S BAD?
  • There are quite few stupidities in the storyline (the bit about redirecting the river's path, for instance. It would take several years and a fortune in government funding to build such a huge waterworks).
  • Toad wearing a fake moustache is a horrendous sight.
  • Some miserably failed attempts at with here and there.
OVERALL
Even though the plot once again has it's fair share of moronity and some of the lines are quite lame, this is forgivable when you consider that overall, this episode is really quite good. Lots of different enemies make an appearance, the story is quite quick on it's feet and the new characters are okay for a change. The double transformation is the icing on the cake.

EPISODE RATING: 4.0/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
A certain doctor Frank N Stein becomes the new neighbor of the Marios. It takes them a whole 4 minutes to seize what is really going on, but by then all hell has already broken loose and Mario has had his brain swapped with that of Frankie's monster. Actually, that may be sort of an improvement, but they still decide to revert things to their original state with a display of lame special effects.