It appears that Charles Martinet is stepping down as the voice of Mario. Voicing the plumber for 27 years, he will now be a brand ambassador.
A fixture of video games for 27 years, it appears actor Charles Martinet will no longer voice Nintendo's prime mascot, Mario. Announced by Nintendo today via social media, the actor and his well-known voice will pivot into being a "Mario Ambassador."
“Charles is now moving into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador. With this new transition, he will be stepping back from recording character voices for our games,” said Nintendo. “It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him.”
The announcement comes off the heels of two major Mario projects that failed to feature Charles Martinet as Mario. This includes the wildly success Super Mario Bros. feature film, and the upcoming Super Mario Wonder coming to the Nintendo Switch.
Charles Martinet, Mario, and you
Charles Martinet first starred as Mario with the plumber's first voiced game. Super Mario 64 released in 1996. However, his work with Nintendo actually dates back to as early as 1991, in which he voiced Mario for trade shows and conventions. As he tells the story, "he was told by his friend that there was going to be an audition at a trade show in which auditioneers "talk to people as a plumber".
Charles Martinet and Mario seems so natural, which is why the initial role spawned without a script. Going into a Seattle voiceover studio in 1995 for Super Mario 64, many of Mario's now-famous catch phrases all came without a script.
Martinet's work as Mario has continued since that time, becoming the de facto voice of the world's most famous plumber. However, he's not simply rested on his laurels and instead worked constantly throughout the last 27 years. This includes voice work in film, gaming, and even anime. Most recently, he was the voice of Magenta in the Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero feature film.
Nintendo also said in the announcement that a special video featuring Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles Martinet is to come. We'll keep you posted on more information regarding this major Mario shift as it becomes known.
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