Mario has the distinguished honor of being more recognizable than Mickey Mouse to children all across the globe, thanks to Nintendo’s enormous dedication to creating a character that would last through technological advances. Mario’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto has been responsible for the cultivation of the character over the past 30 years and thanks to his oversight, Mario has become more than just a cultural icon.
Despite all this, there are some things you might not have known about the little red plumber with the big nose.
Mario was originally known as Jumpman in Japan, but Miyamoto himself called him Mr. Video.
Shigeru Miyamoto has talked a lot about the origins of Mario in various interviews, with several explanations for why Mario’s appearance evolved the way it did. Mario’s early appearance in games like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. was determined by the limitations of the platform at the time.
Miyamoto wanted to create a character that would have lasting appeal, similarly to the way Disney evolved Mickey Mouse over several decades to remain relevant.
Miyamoto’s focus on creating a character that could become an icon meant that occasionally, as technology moved forward, the appearance of Mario and his cast of supporting characters could become more detailed. Mario donned his first pair of white gloves in the Super Nintendo title Super Mario World and the iconic 3D look that we know and love today originated in the Nintendo 64 title, Super Mario 64.
Originally Mr. Miyamoto wanted to get a well-known manga artist to illustrate Mario for their first release, but due to time constraints, the original box art in Japan was drawn by Miyamoto himself.
Nintendo’s early days can truly be attributed to the genius of Shigeru Miyamoto and his team that worked on early titles like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. Mario’s dimensions and shapes have changed over the years. Originally his overalls were red instead of blue. He didn’t gain the iconic M on his hat until 1985, which was featured on the original Super Mario Bros. packaging.
Miyamoto modeled Mario’s flexibility on old cartoons like Popeye, where characters often fulfilled diffrent roles based on what the story called on.
Over the years, Mario has been more than just an overall-clad plumber with a taller brother who regularly rescues Princess Peach. Dr. Mario is perhaps one of the most well-known spin-offs, but he’s had a host of other jobs in less well-known games, too. Check it out.
Special thanks to Halloween Costumes for providing the infographic.
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