You may not be aware but throughout the 1980s, Mario sported that wholesome mustache of his in more than just video games. The Italian plumber appeared on Japanese TV — and in American cinemas with this hilarious abomination — during a host of anime shows and instructional videos which have been very hard to come by since. However, various YouTube channels have ensured the survival of a few episodes at least and they're constantly on the hunt for more.
And now, thanks to a lineup for a retro animation screening held recently in Saitama, Japan, we can add 1989's Super Mario Traffic Safety to the list.
Watch (Some Of) Super Mario Traffic Safety, The Lost 1989 Anime
Super Mario Traffic Safety is — if you haven't guessed by the name — an instructional safety video produced by Toei. It was sent around to various Japanese schools during the '80s and was unavailable outside of this context until now. The clip that's surfaced shows off sections of the 10-minute film and the quality isn't the best seeing as it's a recording of another recording. However, the video does describe the whole plot and gives us the opportunity to bask in the bizarre glory of one of #Mario's first anime outings:
There's More Where That Came From
This is but one part of a greater puzzle — it seems Toei produced a whole host of these videos off the back of #Nintendo's success back in the '80s. One that's been available online for quite some time is Super Mario Fire Brigade, which has been forever preserved thanks to Everythingsupermario’s YouTube archive:
It's a pretty odd little anime for sure, but would have been pretty rewarding for Japanese kids back in the day! Not only would they have the invaluable knowledge of fire safety imparted on them by Mario and co., they'd have the opportunity to add a little stamp of approval to their collection.
The videos came with merchandise, keychains and little Mario trinkets which were awarded to youngsters who sat through the whole show. I'm sure they'd be worth a pretty penny today.
Would you be excited to see another video game franchise cartoonified like good old Castlevania here?