Thank The Gabagool Gods: Illumination CEO Says Chris Pratt’s Mario Won’t Offend Italians or Italian-Americans

As you all know, we here at Wicked Good Gaming represent some of the finest that Italian-American Video Game Journalism have to offer. It’s not lost on us how many fellow eye-talians rely on us to represent for the culture each and every time we stream, broadcast an episode of the number one gaming podcast on the internet, or post a blog. We take that responsibility seriously, and we thank you for trusting us.

Apparently, Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri also takes this mantle of responsibility incredibly seriously. As you can tell by his name, he’s a fellow man of culture – and has assured us and our fellow pasta eating ginzos of the world that we won’t be offended by Chris Pratt’s portrayal of the most iconic character in video game history.

When people hear Chris Pratt’s performance, the criticism will evaporate, maybe not entirely — people love to voice opinions, as they should. I’m not sure this is the smartest defense, but as a person who has Italian-American heritage, I feel I can make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian-Americans. … I think we’re going to be just fine.

Chris Meledandri, DEADLINE

Ayyyyyyy ohhhh ayyy!!!! Our fellow Italian Chrissy Mel from the east side tells us not to worry, so why should we worry?!

I gotta tell you, as someone who eats pasta far more than your average American, and as someone who has watched Goodfellas 425 times, my absolute number one concern with the Super Mario movie was that it would offend my Italian heritage. Who cares how many big budget flicks Chris Pratt is in or how many asses he’ll put in seats? Who cares that Charles Martinet is already in the movie but not playing the character he basically invented in the 3D era and beyond? Who cares that Captain Lou Albano (RIP) and Bob Hoskins (RIP) were already phenomenal in their roles as Mario and looked far closer to playing the part than Pratt has? Hell, who cares that Mario being Italian is like the least memorable thing about him as a character. Not me, I’ll tell ya who!

All that matters is that us WOPs won’t get triggered (is that even the right word) by a fictional Italian plumber who traverses through comically large and magical pipes to save a princess from a gigantic turtle every now and again. If that doesn’t scream “authentic Italian cinema experience”, then I don’t know what will.

I, for one, can’t wait to gather up my comically large pasta-eating family, buy a bucket of $35 popcorn only to dump it out and refill it with spaghetti and meatballs, and pinch my fingers and wave my hands at the screen for two and a half hours when the Super Mario movie finally releases.

Finally, a movie tailor-made for us, the Italian people. Thanks, Illumination! Now, cue the music!

Papa Dom

Co-founder, lead blogger, graphic designer, and manager of WGG's writing team - Dom has been writing about video games for over ten years. Dom's work has been featured on some of the world's biggest gaming news outlets - including Dexerto, GameInformer, and IGN.

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