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Episode 8: "Mario and the Beanstalk"

CARTOON SUMMARY

In order to pay their electricity bills and to cover the rising income tax, Mario and co desperately need a hundred gold coins. Trouble is, they've tried absolutely everything, from robbing old ladies (who easily outsmarted them) to selling their organs to science (who bluntly rejected them) and even printing false money (which was immediately discovered). In face of all those solutions failing miserably, the only option left is to "sell the royal cow". Alas, nobody's interested in buying Princess Toadstool. So Mario and Luigi try to sell their pet armadillo-camel hybrid (who wears a crown) to a certain Dealin' Delbert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Delbert, who gave him the first name "Dealin'" because they were both complete nutters. Dealin' Delbert has a nose shaped like a rhubarb and a body shaped like a pumpkin. He makes Mario look like an irresistible Adonis. That evening, Mario and Luigi reveal that they've sold the animal for something much better than cash. They traded it for three XTC pills. The Princess is furious and sneezes at the pills. Terrified, the pills hurl themselves through a nearby window.

The next morning, Toad leaves the house to attempt to get a halfway fair deal from Delbert Dealin' (such as some fine heroin. He is a dealer after all). However, he bumps into an enormous plant that has just appeared overnight. Shock! The XTC pills have landed in the garden soil where they were ingurgitated by some unsuspecting plants, and these plants have, quite literally, gotten really high! Well, that's the most plausible explanation I can come up with. Everyone then starts to climb the huge plant to pick it's forbidden fruits "from the top on down". However, they soon bump into a layer of armored concrete with a trap door in it. They go through the trap door (and Toad peeks up the Princess' dress) and find themselves in a house with particularly large furniture. This house is owned by none other than Koopa, who has somehow grown exceptionally huge. Our heroes make vain attempts at escaping, but they find that Koopa is more than they can handle now that he's no longer bite-sized. Mario and Luigi manage to create a diversion by blowing ashes in Koopa's face (he's violently allergic to dust and hates the idea of his make-up getting ruined), and the four run off into a room filled with gold coins. However, they'll be less eager to grab all the cash once they hear where it comes from: the coins are all produced by an imprisoned goose who poos them out (thus taking the concept of dirty money to the extreme). It is Koopa who reveals this to them as he locks them up in this coin-room, menacing that they will eventually be crushed by the ever-growing pile of coins. What he doesn't tell them is that he had also gotten an insider tip from the stock market and has sold all his shares at the right moment, which is the real source for all this dough.

The goose then begs to be freed from her cage. Since said cage is made out of licorice bars, Mario can easily get the goose out. She then reveals a hidden crack in the floor, through which everyone can escape (it's a hidden crack in the floor, not crack hidden in the floor. Pay attention). While they're making their way down the giant plant, they're attacked by a horde of Hoopsters. A few well-aimed green bowling balls soon take care of that and everyone gets back to the ground safely. Luigi then chops down the beanstalk and Koopa's sky castle crashes into a nearby lake. Koopa, who has somehow regained his normal size (he does state "it shrunk me!" but it's not too clear what he's referring to. Either way, I don't want to know), is not too happy and legs it full speed while our heroes go to invest their capital in the stock market. They lived happily ever after and had lots of little shares.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • Animation quality is quite all right
  • Some brave attempts at doing lightning effect is certain scenes.
  • The plots is remarkably free of ultra-dumbness.
WHAT'S BAD?
  • The Princess sounds as if she has a ton of cotton stuffed down her throat
  • Dealin' Delbert is the stuff that nightmares are made of
  • Koopa's size-swapping is a bit unclear.
OVERALL
This episode isn't too bad, but nothing overly spectacular happens. It's just "nice". Could have been worse, could have been better. Nothing hideously bad, and nothing really outstanding. It does raise a few interesting social issues, such as "is it appropriate to use softdrugs as fertilizer in your garden?". I phoned the European Union hotline about it the other day, but I somehow got disconnected....Oh well, I have no garden as it is.

EPISODE RATING: 2.0/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
The Marios receive a suspicious parcel from Transylvania (again?), which contains a vampire (shades of The Young Ones here). After an eternity, the Marios finally figure it out, and they're not too happy about it. Luckily, the vampire hates their place so much that he willingly leaves. Dead on it's own feet, as usual, but the vampire does have one mildly amusing line: "You must be Maario.....You must be Luiigi....You must be kidding! What kind of a dump is this?!". Worth a chuckle.