Mama mia!

Those of you who were alive during the late '80s and early '90s may well have fond memories of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, a cartoon production which dominated kid's TV during the early days of the Sega and Nintendo console war.

Eurogamer has been speaking to people associated not only with this and the other Super Mario cartoon shows, but also the Sonic the Hedgehog ones - amazingly, both were produced by the same company, DiC.

Reed Shelly - a creator and writer on the Mario and Sonic shows alongside his father, Bruce - describes the process of working on the shows:

He put up with me more than I put up with him. We sat across desks facing one another working 13 hours a day, through holidays and weekends. We kind of look at one another and...I think we both miss it to be honest. It was a fun time.

Phil Harnage - a writer on The Adventures of Sonic as well as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World - explains that having a link with the subject matter wasn't always a given, but effort had to be made:

I have never been very good at video games, but I did play Mario because the in-house producer was a fanatic and had a Nintendo [console] in his office. Mostly, I would sit and watch him because he was so good, and he would say there's that creature and this other creature you've got to watch out for. He taught me about the world. It was going to be different [from the games] yet it had to have all the familiar touchstones, like the Goombas, the fire plants...if we ever excused something from the game we heard about it, but Nintendo reviewed the scripts and they made sure that everything was good.

Harnage adds that Nintendo gave the team a surprising amount of freedom - something which clashes with the company's reputation as a control freak:

They were also kind of liberal in letting us do things that had never been in the game and there was no pushback. I think they liked it when we put Mario in the wild west, in the future and underwater. We would take a familiar fairy tale, legend or something the kids already knew and we would build up an episode around that and make it as fun as possible.

Given that we're getting Sonic and Mario movies soon - and Sonic has already had a successful recent TV show in the form of Sonic Boom - is there any scope for Mario to return to our small screens, perhaps in the same format as the DiC shows?

Shelly isn't so sure:

It feels like a time capsule to me. It's such a different world now and so different for kids. The shows were made for a different era.

We always looked at this and said, if you make seven million kids laugh, that must count towards something. And when I was a little older and doing more pre-school shows, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I was a hero at my oldest daughter's pre-school.

Did you watch these shows as a child? Let us know your memories with a comment.