News Article

Optimus Prime Talks About Being the First Voice of Mario

Posted by Damien McFerran

Peter Cullen reminisces about lending his vocal talents to the world's most famous plumber

Legendary voice actor Peter Cullen - who has recently lent his talents to Activision's upcoming Transformers title War for Cybertron (also known as the slightly less threatening Cybertron Adventures on Wii) was interviewed by the other day and revealed some interesting insights into providing Nintendo's most famous mascot with a voice.

Cullen - who is an incredible 65 years of age now - played Mario in the cartoon series Saturday Supercade, which aired in 1983. Based on several different video game properties from the era - including Pitfall, Frogger and Space Ace - the show also featured segments for Nintendo's Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.

Interestingly, the voice actor who played Donkey Kong Jr. is none other than Frank Welker, who is more famous for being Optimus Prime's arch nemesis Megatron in the original Generation One Transformers cartoon show and movie.

You can listen to the entire audio interview over at, but in the meantime here's a taster of Optimus Prime "being" Mario. Enjoy.

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User Comments (18)



TheBaconator said:

Strange, but I like it. It is more cartoony sounding, mainly because it's a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but it goes well with the style in which they drew Mario.



Philip_J_Reed said:

Frank Welker is also more famous for voicing every single animal in every single cartoon ever made in the history of man.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@3 Maybe back then, but isn't Dee Bradley Baker the current cartoon animal voice acting expert (when they don't speak like people)?



Philip_J_Reed said:

@5 I know Welker's still very active (or was, as of a year or so ago) doing work for The Simpsons, Futurama and other top-tier cartoons, but yeah, Dee Bradley Baker is a darned talented potential usurper to that throne.

Also, Dee Bradley Baker is an animal voice acting expect even when they DO speak like people, thanks to American Dad.



Tasuki said:

I remember Peter Cullen did the voice of the K.A.R.R. back in 80's version of Knight Rider as well.

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