Flash animation is something many can get impressed with, as the medium offers very fluid movement for characters and sprites. This can lead to flash animation using really impressive sprite work, to create fantastic looking animation and effects. In the mid-2000’s a show called ‘Super Mario Brothers Z’ was created by Alvin Earthworm (Mark) and he made a number of episodes in this series.
They still are iconic to many gamers as they blended the Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Brothers IP’s in such a fun & creative way; offering intense action, humor and fun. Today, I want to spend some time honoring a series I fondly remember from my earliest days using the internet and I hope you all enjoy!
Finding New Grounds to Call Home
The series started life on Newgrounds with it’s creator Alvin Earthworm being the main force behind the project.
The Flash-based animation series by Alvin-Earthworm first debuted on the popular flash animators’ community Newgrounds on April 22nd, 2006. The original series consists of eight episodes in total, many of which were released in varying intervals that range from two months to 16 months.
It has a lot of episodes with thrilling moments and great sections that many people fondly remember today. The Mario Brothers having a kart race with the Wario & Waluigi before Bowser dukes it out with Mario, Sonic turning into ‘Fire Sonic’ and taking out waves of foes, looking at Sonic’s backstory before warping to the Mushroom Kingdom with Shadow……the entire series is filled with great moments I think about today.
Super Mario Brothers Z continues to inspire animators all around the world, with a number of spin-off series for SMBZ releasing after it’s hiatus after the Eighth Episode.
- Mega Sonic Bros. AF
- Super Mario Bros. Kai Z
- Super Mario Bros. Z: Reign of Darkness
- Super Mario Bros. Z: resRXion
- Super Mario Bros. Z: Mecha Sonic’s Defeat
- Super Mario Bros. GT: The Grand Adventure
- Super Mario Bros: Heroes of the Stars
- Mario and Sonic: Worlds in Danger
- Mario and Sonic: Dawn of the True Power
- Mario and Sonic: Super Rival Saga
- New Super Mario Bros. Z
- Mario, Sonic and Megaman: Heroes United
Many thought that after the series original run, it would not continue…….however, January 2016 had the announcement of future plans for SMBZ. A new episode was to release!
The series got rebooted with a new logo and an expanded re-telling of the very first episode. The animation is just as great compared to the original series (if not even better) and the new changes to this episode are clever. Instead of a kart race, it is a Smash Brothers fight between Mario & Wario before Bowser shows up. It is a great re-introduction to the series and plans for the future of the series is bright.
My Introduction to the Series
In 2006-2007, I got my iPod Classic (one of the 32GB models) and wanted some video content to watch on it. I bought a few movies and TV shows but I was just starting to use the internet…..and I came across something called ‘Super Mario Bros. Z’. I watched it….and I fell in love with it. My teenage mind was blown seeing Mario and Sonic duke it out in Dragon Ball Z-styled fashion and I quickly downloaded all the released episodes on the iPod.
I remember watching it all the time, enjoying the fights and appreciating the writing that went into the show. But I heard it was put on hiatus for a while and didn’t follow Mark’s projects…..but then word came out that in early 2017, that the show came back.
Remembering my fond memories of the series, I rushed to YouTube to watch the show, being impressed with a lot of things. The animation improving and more made me love the episode.
It also pushed me into watching other sprite-animations and other Flash-Productions. T.O.M.E, a number of projects within the Sonic Community and more come to mind when thinking of the shows SMBZ helped create.
Super Mario Brothers Z is a very enjoyable flash series that I highly recommend you see if you haven’t already. It has some charming humor, amazing action scenes and quality animation work that will impress. Mark, if you are reading this, thank you. You and your team made an amazing series and I am so happy you came back to it early this year for one more fantastic episode.