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Charles Martinet, the Voice of Mario, Retires

Voice of Super Mario Character Charles Martinet. Credit: Charles Martinet’s twitter.

On August 21 of this year, Mario fans were met with anguish from the announcement of Charles Martinet’s retirement from voicing Super Mario. Furthermore, the voice actor now holds the position of Mario Ambassador, “[continuing] to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with [everyone]!” (“Nintendo of America”).

As someone who is an avid Mario fan, seeing the announcement made my heart drop. I vividly remember wasting hours on end playing New Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo DS, featuring Charles Martinet as the voice of the famous plumber. 

One of the main gimmicks in running the game are the sounds emitted whenever the Nintendo DS is opened and closed. Upon closing it, Mario would say “bye-bye!”. Upon opening it, Mario would then say “Hello!”. This is easily the most memorable characteristic of the game thanks to Charles Martinet.

However, this personal experience is not limited to one individual. People of all ages around the world share the same nostalgia for the plumber and his iconic voice. Patrick Henry, film teacher for Thunderbird High School, adds onto this notion by stating, “I think somewhere along the line, that signature Mario voice became associated with the character in such a way as to become inseparable from the character. And as a result, that voice is sort of the definitive quality for some people.” Charles’s rendition of the Mario voice defined the character wonderfully in that by hearing the voice alone, anyone can picture the red plumber and get an idea of his confident and adventurous personality. 

While it is certain Charles is taking a break from the voice definitively for future games, this does not mean there will no longer be a voice for the red plumber. Nintendo has explicitly stated for Super Mario Bros Wonder, new voice actors are taking on the roles of Mario and Luigi. In addition, Charles mentions in his ambassador announcement that he will continue performing the voice of Mario, along with other memorable characters in the Mario franchise at future events to come. 

With new voice actors along the way to re-imagine Charles’s iteration of Mario, fans can thank Charles Martinet for his work over the years as a warm send-off and anticipate how future voice actors will portray the red plumber’s iconic voice in newer games.

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