Charles Martinet will no longer be voicing Mario

Lynn Minmay

The writing was on the wall with them moving to AI recordings for the Mario in Real time exhibits but it still feels so sudden.

I wasn't in love with his performance as Mario but it's undeniable Charles was a big part of the character's identity for the past 30-ish years. I wish him the best for whatever he is doing next.
I can't believe this is actually happening! I wish Charles the best in his life going forward and hope Nintendo finds a good replacement down the line. His voice as Mario was so distinct and iconic. And it also fit in with the rest of the Mario cast quite well. It wasn't brash like Lou Albano or Walker Boone, nor was it a Brooklyn accent like Bob Hoskins or Chris Pratt.

This probably means that Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and the Baby Bros. will have to be replaced as well, since they were also voiced by him. Luigi's voice is distinct, unlike Tony Rosato's, Danny Wells' and John Leguizamo's takes on him. Charlie Day did a decent Luigi voice, but Charles Martinet gave depth to the character by making him sound anxious and worried at times.

Wario and Waluigi's voices are unique as well, they sound tough and tricky, like they might be up to something. The Baby Bros sound very cute and adorable, so I hope they aren't butchered by whoever replaces Charles. (Please don't let their replacements be young kids, Nintendo. It won't work out in the long run if you do that.)
Wow, what a historical moment for the franchise. I'm heartbroken but I knew it had to happen one day. Martinet was an amazing VA across many amazing games and hopefully his replacement will be good.
I would be most interested in the voice actor of Waluigi, because with other characters (especially Mario, Luigi, and Wario), they have a history of more than one voice actor providing their voices so at least we know they can get replaced. With Waluigi? Since he's only got one single voice actor in his life, I wonder if there will be someone who would do his voice.

Thank you for reading.
Are they going to recast Papa Mario and Giuseppe in The Super Mario Bros. Movie 2? They could still keep Charles Martinet as Papa Mario's voice actor since it's close to his normal voice.
It's nice he'll still be around for other Mario events, but yeah what a run he's had in the games. Wonder would have been a nice sendoff game, but it's still possible that they'll reuse some of his voice clips from past games in future titles along with whoever will be voicing the characters.
I have to say that I'm actually a bit offended over the manner that Nintendo let Charles Martinet go, all of this to me just justifies my suspicions that Nintendo treats their voice actors as completely expendable (esp with how they go about hiring nonunion VAs to do the work). I don't like how this major news regarding a long term famous voice actor with an iconic voice was done suddenly via a random, shadow dropped jpg on an ailing social media site, long after fans rose a stink and speculation about that Nintendo Direct and the Super Mario Bros. Wonder trailer, while the current voice actor who replace Charles Martinet who did do the current voice remains uncredited, as if the human being who did the impressive imitation that had fooled many of us, myself included doesn't deserve to be credited with his name, not until a "sanctioned" date anyway. Plus not even long ago Martinet did state that he wanted to voice Mario until he died.

Like I get it, I understand that voice actors get old and lose their luster. I've heard performances get worse, and even with Martinet you can see in various recent games. It's inevitable that he'll get replaced. But to see such a passing of a torch done in such an...underhanded manner is just very gross to me and I think it's very a disrespectful gesture to someone who deserves more than a solmen jpg. Like we'll see what that future announcement entails but right now I'm just not very happy at this entire situation.

I'm looking forward to the new roles for the characters of course and I'll probably still love a new voice attempt for Baby Luigi but yeah overall not happy at how this thing was handled.
I disagree with the notion. This is very red carpet as far as announcing a voice actor recast goes. Video games are not movies or even TV shows. Vanishingly few people are going to buy a video game on the basis of who voice the characters and this stuff is rarely publicitized unless they got a big (always non-voice acting) star stunt-casted. Making a big show of thanking the previous actor for his role and making sure people aren't introduced to the new guy in a negative context is the opposite of treating them as expendable.

To draw a comparison with a similar situation, when Hideo Kojima could finally get a Big Hollywood Star to voice the protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 5 and discard his previous VA like an used cum rag, he... just did. There was no "passing of the torch". No video, tweet, blog post, etc. nothing thanking David Hayter for his loyal year of services and the excellent job he did imbuing life in Solid Snake and his family tree, etc. No obligatory voice cameo for Hayter in the new game. They didn't tackle the question at all: they just announced Kiefer Sutherland is the funny spy man now and fans twisted themselves into pretzels for months speculating what role David Hayter would play in Metal Gear Solid 5 by extrapolating podcast statements and "finding" apparent clues in the trailer's dialogue before the game finally came out and people had to admit, nah, he's just not in the game.
Sad to hear the news, but I hope he enjoys retirement or whatever he plans on doing next.
The end of an era. I knew this day would come eventually but I was truly not prepared for it to be now. I was firmly on the "that has to be Charles in Wonder, he just hasn't recorded new lines in a while" camp because it just seemed impossible that it's already the time for him to retire and a new voice for his characters to be found. So my jaw dropped when I saw the announcement.

He certainly poured in years and years of love and joy into his characters and has absolutely earned this rest. But man, it's so hard to wrap my head around not only all of his iconic voices being replaced, but the one we heard in Wonder is the new Mario. That said, the uncertainty of whether it was him or not is a great testament that they found the right person for the job. But they have big shoes to fill.

I'm forever grateful for the impact Charles Martinet had on my childhood and so many others, this man has been Mario as long as I've been alive. I'm also grateful that I had the opportunity to meet him in 2021, and he is one of the most wholesome, joyful people I've ever met. Godspeed king, thanks for all the memories 🥲

It's funny how Martinet's version of Mario is the most memorable because even if other versions of Mario exist like the 90's cartoons, Mario's current portrayal stuck. I first heard it from Mario's FUNdamentals (or Mario's Game Gallery depending on which version you're familiar with), where him saying "Congratulations!" stuck out to me a lot. It's a pleasant coincidence that this is the voicing of the character that gets used in the Nintendo games going forward.

Usually I lose hope on voice acting in general because of the perception issues they face, like how easily divided people are when a voice actor changes (the Pokemon anime is one example), or the assumption that giving a character a voice is robbing the reader/watcher of their imagination of what they believe they should sound like, but Mario is always who I see as the biggest beacon of hope that voice acting is a huge net positive. Not only did it provide Mario with a suitable voice, but it also elevated his character and makes him unquestionably deserving of the status as a main character when Luigi and Wario are usually viewed as superior characters.

Martinet didn't just stop at doing vocal performances in games. He also talks to people in trade shows or even events as one of his characters, so he's going above and beyond with Mario! Bystanders get to talk to Mario and I imagine that it's an experience of a lifetime because to hear Mario have a personal chat with you sounds like a dream come true, given his happy-go-lucky character. This is the sort of thing that makes Martinet so special compared to his peers, even Peach and Bowser's voice actors.

There are certainly some missed opportunities like Martinet not getting the opportunity to voice him in a Mario cartoon, unlike Sonic where even Roger Craig Smith got that honour (Sonic Boom, notably). If there is one thing I wish there could have been, it's that Waluigi could have a similar sort of meet-and-greet (which Mario, Luigi, and Wario all have had) or casual videos (like the Vine Mario videos that Martinet previously did for Mario, Luigi, and even Wario).

The new guy who would be doing Mario sounds like he's got big shoes to fill, we don't even know if he (or she) have what it takes to do it. Whoever might replace Mario might not have the perfect confluence of qualities that made Martinet the perfect match for Mario like the sociability or the ability to do impromptu (which helps with meet-and-greets), but I am hoping for the best. More than that, I actually hope that Waluigi doesn't get stuck with one guy and then it's back to reusing old clips or using AI, because that would be a pity. Even newer characters like Toadette, Bowser Jr., and Rosalina have multiple voice actors!

At the very least, his likeness is immortalised in a game. no, I am not saying Mario saying Martinet's name in Mario vs. Donkey Kong, but this gem...
Charles Martinet, aka the Narrator as he's called in this game, in Runner3

Thank you for reading.
It's weird how people are sooo upset about this. I always thought that his voice was wrong for Mario. I still think that Captain Lou is the best Mario voice actor.
It's weird how people are sooo upset about this. I always thought that his voice was wrong for Mario. I still think that Captain Lou is the best Mario voice actor.

Well Captain Lou was good but too bad he's dead. Martinet has been voicing Mario for so long that it's naturally sad to see him go, unless you personally hate him for some reason?
It's weird how people are sooo upset about this. I always thought that his voice was wrong for Mario. I still think that Captain Lou is the best Mario voice actor.
How is weird that people are upset that the guy who voiced Mario for over 27 years is retiring from the role?

Edit: And no disrespect to Captain Lou's portrayal of Mario, but he voiced him in one cartoon (and the live-action segments of said cartoon) back in the late 1980s and that's it. I imagine for tons of Mario fans, both casual or not, Charles Martinet's portrayal of him is Mario.
I grew up with the Martinet Mario and found the Albano/Boone cartoon voice so offputtingly gruff and deep it was very hard for me to listen to without weirding out when I first heard it in the cartoons. I totally understand Martinet's initial reservation with that voice and how it would scare kids.
Charles Martinet is a huge contributing factor to why I love Baby Luigi so much. I love Baby Luigi sounding higher pitched and his quotes.
I imagine that the very vocal performances of the characters allow us to familiarise with them. Doubly so if the performance is tolerable. So like in many of the games since Super Mario 64, Mario vocalises a lot. Super Mario 64 has him always say something for many of his actions like falling from a great height or bumping a wall, and let's not forget Super Mario Advance making Mario (and friends) say a lot of things.

Thus far no other voice actor (for Mario) has this sort of involvement in the games, not even Hotel Mario because they were restricted to cutscenes. Even Mario's Game Gallery lets Mario talk a lot, and I find it to be great because it's in line with how Mario's always talked now. I think that is what makes the voices stick out very well.

Thank you for reading.
This entire situation is still very awkward to me with a smattering of vague and seemingly contradictary information and I highly distrust Nintendo's handling of it. The posts reassuring that's standard or not the case or saying the action is justified because Martinet is too old and chose to retire don't alleviate my fears.

I don't think the worst case scenario is happening but I don't think this is Good Vibes either. Especially with how apparently terrible the new Wario voice is, how shut mouth Nintendo is about who the new voice is, and this nothingburger video where Martinet isn't in the same room as Miyamoto and that Martinet knows just as well as us about "Mario Ambassador".
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Ngl I can't blame them for not revealing Mario's new VA yet just cuz you know asshole 'fans' would immediately try and start harassing them for the horrendous crime of not being Charles Martinet.
I can certainly see how keeping the identity of a new voice actor may be for safety reasons, long enough for it to be properly revealed. Voice actors are a very sensitive issue, it seems. Even back in September 2021 when the first thing the The Super Mario Bros. Movie was the voice cast, controversies arisen especially on Chris Pratt. I guess Chris Pratt is too big to have a reputation hit, but the new voice actor might not necessarily have that luxury.

I'm looking forward to the new roles for the characters of course and I'll probably still love a new voice attempt for Baby Luigi but yeah overall not happy at how this thing was handled.

I am sort of wondering: what would have been a satisfactory approach in communicating a retiring voice actor?

Thank you for reading.