June 27, 2005

On August 3, 1989, (my 7th birthday, no less!), a three-part OVA series was released in Japan featuring characters from Super Mario Bros. 3 in classic fairy tales: Momotaro, Issunboshi, and Snow White. Each of the three tapes were only 15 minutes long. The animation of the OVA seems to be much better than the anime movie released years before as the characters are based on their official designs. I wonder if this animation studio also did the Japanese commercial for Super Mario Bros. 3. Here are the three stories:

Once apon a time, there was an old elderly couple (played by Hammer Bros.) who had a granddaughter (Peach). One day, the granddaughter is kidnapped by an evil ogre (Bowser) and his underlings (Koopalings). While the grandparents grieved for their abducted girl, a peach falls from the heavens. In it was a boy named Momotaro (Mario) who was taken in and raised by the grandparents. When Momotaro hears of the story of the kidnapped girl. he sets out to the Island of Ogres to rescue her. The grandmother gives Mario a gun [Yes, I kid you not] that has been handed down from generation to generation and a lunch comprising of mushrooms. On his way, he befriends allies (Parabeetle, Boomerang Bro, Spike) who have a grudge against the Ogre and offer to help Momotaro. Once there, Momotaro storms the castle and does battle with the Ogre, defeating him and tying him up at gunpoint [I can't believe I just typed that. @_@]. The girl is freed and the good guys are rewarded with the Ogre's treasure.
Another elderly couple find a small inch-high baby, who they named Issunboshi (Mario). However, as the boy grew, he remained the same size. One day, Mario sets out on his own, making a little boat and sailing off to the world unknown. When Mario reaches the city, he encounters a beautiful girl named Peach and becomes her companion. One day, they are confronted by Bowser, who decides to harass Peach. Mario defends Peach, but gets eaten by the Kuppa. What Bowser doesn't know is that Mario has a needle/sword and pokes at Bowser's stomach. The excruciating pain causes Bowser to spit out Mario. Bowser runs off as Peach and Mario laugh mercilessly. Suddenly, Peach obtains a Magic Mallet that Bowser has dropped, and wishes for Mario to grow to normal size.
Shirayukihime (Snow White)
Here's where things get a bit twisted. Everyone knows about Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs, Prince Charming and the Wicked Queen who poisons the princess. Now, since we have Peach, seven Toads, and Mario playing their respected parts, who would play the role of the Queen? I got it! Put Bowser in drag! Something no human is meant to see: Big Devil King Kuppa with a crown and lipstick. The story starts out normally, until Peach is poisoned and Mario cures Peach's poison with medicine. (No kiss? Ripoff!) Then all hell breaks loose. I don't know exactly what happens, but apparently Mario goes on a vengeful rampage and starts beating up random Koopalings in search of Wicked Queen Bowser. As the story nears its end, Queen Bowser somehow takes Peach hostage at knifepoint. (@_@ again!) When all hope seems lost, out of nowhere, Luigi finally appears and kicks the Queen in the chest! Lovely!

Finding info on these OVAs proved more difficult than the Mario anime movie from three years prior. Thankfully I was led to the Japanese retrogaming site 198X, that had a review of videogame-based anime that included the Mario animes. I've listed the sites that I've found very helpful while writing this commentary below.

Images: There are images that I found on various sites in the Internet. Unfortunately, I do not have the anime personally to give a first-hand review.
- Momotaro: Box Front
- Momotaro: Box Back
- Issunboshi: Box Front
- Issunboshi: Box Back
Links: Here's a list of sites where I found out more info about the movie. Some of these pages are in Japanese, so I had to use Google Japan and Babelfish to try to decipher all this information out.
- 198X: ゲームアニメ大行進

- The original source of the screenshots of the three OVAs

- Niji no Rainbow - Lajos' summary of the Momotaro OVA
- Otakara - Mario Listings - A Japanese store with two of the OVAs listed with boxart.
- The Story of Momotaro - The complete story of Momotaro and the Ogre.
- The Story of Issunboshi - The complete story of the little Issunboshi

Extra: SMB3 JP Commercial (from Majik's Video Game Ads site)