'Mario Elephant' is now a trend, why am I not surprised?

The oddball surrealism of Super Mario Bros. Wonder, the new 2D platform game for Nintendo Switch announced this week at the latest Nintendo Direct, already has fans in love with the game's world-bending, deforming approach to its design. In particular 'Mario Elephant' is trending.

At first some were bemused by Nintendo announcing a new 2D platform game when the world loves photo-real 3D and Unreal Engine 5 games, but then Super Mario Bros. Wonder began to move, and then some. Those famous Mario pipes wriggled and came alive, and Mario, well, he turned into an elephant. (See the latest Nintendo Switch deals.)

Artist Dave Rapoza (he created the Wolverine poster that got people talking from a few years ago) summed up the mood of Mario fans for his new tusky look, by creating the lovely sketch below and writing on Twitter: ""Hey Dave, are you playing Final Fantasy XVI?" No - I've got more important shit on my mind." 

Super Mario Bros Wonder; a mario elephant character

(Image credit: Dave Rapoza)

The celebrated concept artist Karla Ortiz summed up what everyone is thinking about Mario's new design, replying: "Dave I both love and hate you for this." (Read Karla's tips for concept art if you want to learn how to improve your work.)

Even Nintendo of America's senior vice president of creative and planning saw the fun side to Super Mario Bros. Wonder, writing on Twitter: "Happy I can finally talk about the elephant (Mario) in the room."

More fans took to Twitter to post their Mario Elephant fan art, and it seems to be catching on. Gamers are known to fall in love with a quirky character design, after all I vividly remember the Resident Evil Village Lady Dimitrescu furore from a couple of years ago (RE: Village is one of the best PSVR 2 games). This is the impact great character design, with a little weirdness, can have.

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While some bemoaned Nintendo's next big Mario release being a 2D platformer, it's worth remembering it's been around 11 years since we had a proper, new 2D platform game from the Switch publisher.

Super Mario Bros Wonder looks like incredible fun, and sees Nintendo revert back to its creative silliness for its flagship character. Everything about the game looks wild and imaginative, from the way the familiar colourful world comes alive and almost fights back against Mario.

If you want to play Super Mario Bros. Wonder you'll need to wait until 20 October when it releases for Nintendo Switch, and pre-orders are available now. If you still don't have one of these wonderful games consoles, read our Nintendo Switch review to see what the fuss is about. Also,  take a look at our Nintendo Switch versus Nintendo Switch Lite to see which is right for you. 

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & Design

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & Design at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.