Mario has a pretty decent wardrobe for a plumber. In addition to his trademark overalls, he also has a complete doctor’s outft, various assorted hats, a diving suit and a giant boot. He also has a Tanooki skin – “tanooki” is the Japanese word for a racoon dog. Apparently, out of all of Mario’s costumes and clothes, PETA has taken objection to the fuzzy one with the tail.
According to a press release:
…by wearing the skin of an animal, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur. We created our game to help inform people that in real life, Mario would be wearing the skin of an animal who was beaten, strangled or electrocuted, and it wouldn’t give him any special powers other than the power of self-deception.
PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman explains why the game is set in a surreal fur farm:
Tanukis are real-life raccoon dogs who are beaten and, as PETA’s undercover exposés show, often skinned alive for their fur. This winter, everyone can give raccoon dogs and other fabulous animals a 1-UP by keeping our wardrobes fur-free.
The game isn’t just a simple, Flash-based side-scroller. It also includes undercover video footage of raccoon dogs being killed for their fur in giant fur farms in China. It’s confronting stuff.
Super Tanooki Skin 2D launched on the same day (surprise!) as Super Mario Land 3D from Nintendo – another game including a tanooki skin as a powerup. Also unsurprisingly, Nintendo has released a polite, well-mannered statement addressing the accusations that the company – and the game – is pro-fur.
Mario often takes the appearance of certain animals and objects in his games. These have included a frog, a penguin, a balloon and even a metallic version of himself. These lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play.
The different forms that Mario takes make no statement beyond the games themselves.
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