Thanks to the miraculous electronic garage sale known as eBay, we now know more about the production of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show than we did 24 hours ago. An estate sale from a former executive at animation studio DiC has yielded rare pitch art from the early days of the Mario cartoon.
Based on the below images, we assume the pitch was for the show to be on for a full hour and contain multiple segments based on different games, but since this series was meant for syndication, not many affiliates wanted to give an hour of real estate to one kids’ show. The “Super Mario Bros. Power Hour,” as it was originally pitched, might have contained segments like THIS! Try not to laugh too hard:
It’s never been so obvious that DiC never played one second of the games they were trying to adapt. Had this version gone forward, Nintendo might have corrected them on Samus’ gender. Other companies were more lax, as we saw with Konami and Capcom once Captain N premiered.
So it’s fully possible Konami would have let THIS version of Castlevania through.
I should explain California Games was more popular as a PC title. DiC would be the type to not know that.
We eventually DID get a Double Dragon cartoon, which wasn’t great, but it could’ve been worse.
Some other items in the auction shed light on the development of Captain N, or “Captain Nintendo” as it was originally called. Supposedly the name was changed because having “Nintendo” directly in the title made it TOO much of an ad.
This image was in the form of a film negative, hidden at the bottom of one picture. I had to pull a lot of Photoshop trickery to get it to this state. Unless whoever wins the auction knows how to process the negative, this may be the best look we ever get at the original pitch drawing.
One name change later, and one hideous makeover later for Simon.
When Captain N was renewed for a second season, DiC tried the Power Hour concept again. They proposed Kevin Keene should be joined by both a Mario 3 and an Adventure of Link cartoon. DiC got its hour that time, but only the Mario season was approved; Link would have to live through Captain N guest spots.
The eBay seller has much more, including backgrounds, animation cels, and production material from other shows. Quite the treasure trove.