Game Music, Television

I’ll get those plumbers! The Music of the Super Mario Bros. 3 Cartoon

April 20, 2015 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook I’ll get those plumbers! The Music of the Super Mario Bros. 3 Cartoonon Twitter

After writing about both the music from The Legend of Zelda and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! it only made sense that I continue to examine the music of the cartoons that followed.

The next installment in the series of Super Mario cartoons was the 13 two part episode series of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon.  Michael Tavera acted as composer for the music and brought an updated symphonic synth sound. Michael Tavera also wrote the music for the Sonic the Hedgehog SatAM cartoon series with the catchy theme song (“He’s the fastest thing alive!”).  Here’s your chance to read about the music of this animated series.

The music of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon was a combination of new original score  and music inspired by the music of the Super Mario Bros. 3 NES game, and according to 25 different vocal songs.

The Opening

The opening for the series really stood out because it approached the story behind Super Mario Bros. 3 as a legend.  The game has since achieved legendary status.  The music of the opening begins with electronic sounds as the image comes into focus, and then shifts into a newer synth symphonic original score composed by Michael Tavera.  The opening outlines the story of the video game of how the Mario Bros. beat back the evil Koopa family including the seven Koopa kids.  You can watch the intro here which was uploaded by YouTube by RetrogamingAustralia’s channel.

Episode Title Cards

The title cards for each half episode was always revealed by the golden (yellow) curtain in the image at the top of the article.  The music played during these very brief scenes were arranged versions of the world themes taken right out of the video game.  And the episode began with the level entry sound effect.  As a serious fan of the game I found this particular technique immersive as a viewer!

The Background Music

The background music Michael Tavera wrote for the show was clearly inspired by the music in the video game.  I have scoured YouTube and five excerpts of the score that you can listen to.

The first clip  is an arrangement called the Starman theme and was uploaded to Youtube by user LittleBlue Train 67. The music is the invincibility theme used in the show.

The remaining four clips were put together by YouTube user SuperJAbros.  They include an extended example of the dark land theme (An Arrangement of the “World 8 Overworld Theme”),  The Fortress Theme (which is an arrangement of the mid-world fortresses where you always faced Boom Boom).

My favorite arrangement from the series is the Doomship Theme (which is a fantastic arrangement of the game’s Airship music).  The last clip is an extended instrumental version of a song called Megamove which MarioWiki indicates is from a Captain N: The GameMaster episode called “The Feud of Faxanadu”, which is an original Michael Tavera composition featured throughout the series.  There are several other pieces of background music in the series, I challenge you to find some (in recently watching the episode “Super Koopa” I heard an arrangement of Boom Boom’s theme).

The End Credits

The music of the end credits has a sound very close to an instrumental version of the opening theme without the narration.   There are some slight differences but it is very similar.  YouTube user RainbowYoshi88 has posted the credits here where you can listen to the ending theme.

The Songs

As for the 25 songs featured in the series, I’m sure you have your favorites.  My two personal favorites are “Do the Frog” from the episode  “Reptiles in the Rose Garden” and “My Karoobi” from the final episode in the series called “Super Koopa”.   Both are a bit corny but very catchy, and I can still remember them from my first viewings of the show so many years ago.  The fact that Michael Tavera composed a song for almost every episode in the series is an impressive feat.  If the soundtrack for the series is ever officially released I hope they are on the album.

I also remember the episode where Milli Vanilli performed for Princess Toadstool who was a huge fan, weren’t we all?  I think it was the first cassette tape I ever owned.  The full series is available on YouTube or for purchase on DVD at Amazon.  But a note about the DVD set, it’s missing the Milli Vanilli tunes but YouTube user mlsgiant has preserved that memory for us here.

Do you have a favorite song or theme from this series, or any fond memories of this show?

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