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Super Mario On Ice

Super Mario On IceThis is as old as the hills in Internet terms, but it makes the rounds as a "new" discovery every few years.  I've never mentioned it here before, so let's spend a moment with an old recording of a 1988 Ice Capades show for children featuring the cast of the original Super Mario Bros.  When King Koopa (portrayed by Mr. Belvedere's Christopher Hewitt in plaid pants) invades the Mushroom Kingdom with his army of Koopa Troopas, Princess Toadstool calls out for a hero in the form of plumber brothers Mario and Luigi who appear to skate circles around Goombas and the Hammer Brothers before taking on the mad king himself.  Some of the kids in the audience are made part of the show thanks to modular skating carts decorated like traditional Mushroom Kingdom bricks.

The Internet loves to heap snark on this clip.  People absolutely love to tear it apart as stupid retro cheese.  Here's the truth though: for the time this was produced and considering that its target audience was small children infatuated with Nintendo, this is pretty good.  It's familiar, includes the familiar elements of the Mario world that had been set down at this point in the series, and the characters are recognizable.  Bringing the kids into the action really drives home the intent of the show and they seem to have fun.  The clip is a definite time capsule of the era, but I don't see how it's a failure, an embarassment, or a mistake.  Not all interpretations of Nintendo's characters are successful, but I'd say that Super Mario on Ice succeeded where it counts.