Nintendo Animate dshows have been things I’ve loved since I was a kid since it brought those characters I played with in video games to “life”; So to speak since video game stories were still very primitive any tpe of media giving me more info on them or just seeing what they were supposed to look like. For good or bad we haven’t gotten too many shows over the past few years but we’ve gotten enough to talk about and enjoy. Here we have an archive of all the Nintendo related cartoons we have taken a look back at as well as different theories or related Nintendo animated stuff. With Nintendo Pictures being a thing this can be seen as a history Nintendo animation, Past Present and Future as animated cartoon shows of Nintendo characters has gone through a lot of phases.
The first era of Nintendo cartoons was when they didn’t know what they had and just licensed their characters to get some money. This is how Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr with Mario got to be in Saturday Supercade. At this time it’s also when we got the first Mario centric cartoon with the anime Super Mario Bros movie.
The second era of Nintendo animation might’ve been the golden era in a way. Nintendo of America had free reign pretty much and they licesed out their characters to promote their games specifically. This is when we got the DIC Super Mario Cartoons adapting Super Mario Bros 1,2,3 and World. We also got the Legend of Zelda cartoon and my all time favorite Captain N that promoted many different Nintendo cartoons. In fact all of these cartoons formed the forgotten Nintendo Animated Universe.
After this era and the live action Super Mario Bros movie it seems Nintendo of Japan got a little stricter on who they let NOA license their characters for cartoons sadly.We didn’t get much of anything outside of a few obscure tidbits. However during the second half we did get a Donkey Kong Country CG Cartoon, unsure why this exception was made but I guess the popularity of Donkey Kong Country and CG cartoons being a new thing allowed it to happen. While low on Nintendo cartoons at least we did get other video games getting cartoons at least.
During the late 90s/early 2000s we got a second renaissance of animated Nintendo cartoons, mostly from Japan. The popularity of the Pokemon anime inspired Nintendo to try with others of their properties to ride the anime wave. Kirby Right Back at ya and F-Zero: GP Legend were part of this wave but they didn’t expand much more after we didn’t get huge hits.
During the 3DS era and Wii U era Satoru Iwata specifically said they wanted to diversify Nintendo and were exploring options and hinted at shows and movies based on Nintendo franchises. This is when we saw the Pikmin shorts being released, but it didn’t stop there Kid Icarus also got some shorts as did Kirb and Star Fox.
It seems it kind of stopped there but I think the lack of funds also meant that they were being strategizing, we did know of some projects that never came to be like the Zelda CG Movie by Imagi. But with Nintendo acquiring a production company and renaming it Nintendo Pictures and the computer animated Super Mario Bros Movie it seems they’re going all in on animations and we’re full into a new era.