Speaking of Mario, here are some more reviews of Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoons. You know, nostalgia really is an amazing power. Beth caught a little bit of one of the episodes, and said something along the lines of, "You know this is crap, right?" The thing is, I can't deny that, yet I enjoy it anyway. And it can't be that it reminds me of happier times, as the show first aired when I was in junior high, which isn't happy for anybody. Anyway, on with the reviews.
Mind Your Mummy Mommy, Mario - In the context of this series, the two youngest Koopalings are Hip and Hop (better known as Lemmy and Iggy, respectively), who are twins and frequently complete each other's sentences. It's kind of annoying, really. Anyway, in this episode, they steal the golden sarcophagus of Prince Mushroomkhamen. I believe that the Super Mario Bros. 3 strategy guide referred to one of the levels as the Pyramid of Mushroomkhamen, so there was presumably a certain amount of communication between the makers of the guide and the show. The mummy Queen Mushroomkhamen wakes up and rampages through Desert Land looking for her son, who turns out to look a lot like Mario. Therefore, when the actual Mario shows up to try to calm her down...well, I don't need to spell it out for you, do I? She takes Mario back to the pyramid, and the others fly to Castle Koopa in a steam-powered balloon that Luigi apparently whipped up on the spot. When it comes to using whatever objects are at hand to solve a problem, MacGyver and the Professor from Gilligan's Island have nothing on the Mario Brothers. A freak cyclone smashes the balloon on one of the castle towers, but it just so happens to be the tower where the Koopas were keeping the sarcophagus. Convenient, huh? Luigi uses parts from the balloon to make the mummy case into a sled, and he and his companions ride it down the stairs and out of the castle in a sequence with more animation errors than you can shake a Chain Chomp at. After they've returned the Prince, the Queen realizes she'd made a mistake in taking Mario, but she thinks Luigi looks just like her husband. There's really no way to win in a Saturday morning cartoon, is there?
The Beauty of Kootie - This oddly titled episode introduces us to the Sultan of Desert Land, who calls Mario and company in when his jacuzzi fills with oil. It turns out that the Koopas are stealing the Sultan's oil through his water pipes, and when the Marios go down to the basement to check it out, Kootie Pie stalls them by taking the form of Mario's dream girl, Lady Fettucine Alfredo. (Figures that he'd fall for a girl named after food, doesn't it? Come to think of it, Princess Toadstool's first name is Peach.) Once Mario finds out the deception, he plays the exact same trick on Kootie Pie, using a wand that was lying around to turn Luigi into Casanova Koopa. Funny how, in the world of cheap cartoons, everyone always falls for schemes that they themselves devised. The Mario team then uses the gushing oil to drive off the Doomship, destroying the palace (and probably a lot of the local wildlife) in the process. They restore it with the wand, though, and Mario and Luigi fight over the jacuzzi.
A Toadally Magical Adventure - Hey, an episode focused on Toad! Granted, it shows him as incredibly irresponsible, but it also establishes his secret desire to be a wizard. And really, who doesn't share that desire? It begins with a buck-toothed messenger, who wears a red cap over his mushroom cap, picking up a magic wand for his ruler, the Wizard King of the West. So what does this Wizard King rule? Since his castle is in the clouds, I would assume Sky Land, but there's a later episode that specifically identifies someone else as the ruler of that kingdom. I guess the Wizard King isn't one of the kings from the game, then. Regardless, he learns that the Koopas are planning to steal his wand (he needs a crystal ball to do this, even though everyone watching this show probably realized that this would happen WITHOUT any magical tools), and sends a message into the bathwater in Toad's house. Toad leads his friends to the waterfall where the Koopas were planning their ambush (I guess it must have had some distinguishing feature to it, since he finds it really quickly), and they bring the messenger and the wand back to Toad's. When no one is looking, Toad uses the wand to make his dishes and furniture dance, and turn some pipes lying around in his yard into giant pipe creatures. One of the creatures steals the wand, and uses it to animate some blocks. The stampeding blocks are obviously based on the Pile Drive Micro-Goombas from the game, but it's not clear whether they contain Micro-Goombas or just move around on their own. Regardless, Mario and Luigi lead the blocks away from the house, but it's right around then that the Koopas show up for a second attempt to steal the wand. They succeed this time, and use it to make Toad's fence grow incredibly high and enlarge a Nipper Plant. On Mario's advice, Toad brings back the stampeding blocks, which scare off the Koopas. Toad uses the wand to stop all the magic, and the Wizard King shows up on his giant snail Lightning Bolt. (See, the name is funny, because he's actually really slow. Get it? :P) He magics the Koopas back to their castle, and reveals that he really wanted the wand because it was effective for roasting hot dogs. Don't you just love twist endings in cartoons? (Don't answer that.)
Misadventures in Babysitting - Mario and Luigi (Toad and the Princess aren't in this one, nor is Bowser) accidentally warp into a house in Brooklyn, where they get roped into babysitting a bratty kid named Junior (the writers couldn't come up with a better name than that?), who speaks in what the makers of this show must have thought was late eighties slang. ("Mondo bizarro, dude!") He discovers the warp pipe back to the Mushroom Kingdom (it's under his kitchen sink), and meets three Koopalings who just happened to be in the neighborhood. He joins them in playing tricks on the Mario Brothers, but once they have Mario and Luigi trapped in a cave, they throw him into the Pipe Maze. The maze contains Thwomps, Boos, and Boom-Boom, all of which Junior is able to escape surprisingly easily. I know I would have been crushed to death by the first Thwomp, and I'm not sure whether extra lives pertain to non-heroes. Mario uses a hammer and chisel from his toolbox (which appears out of nowhere) to escape from the cave, and he and Luigi use raccoon power to rescue Junior. They then take him back home, and put him into the bathtub with all his clothes still on. And that's it for this episode, which was rather slight even by this show's standards. Wait, I forgot to mention this twist ending, which is that Junior's mom asks the brothers to babysit again on Friday. I think you're supposed to laugh at that, even though it's not really funny.