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Koopa Klaus

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Sean and Conor were kids in the 80s, a time when pop culture was still figuring out the whole “Super Mario” thing.

Was he a plumber who climbed ladders to fight an ape? Was he pro wrestler Captain Lou Albano? Was he Bob Hoskins going up against a spiky-haired Dennis Hopper in an industrial dystopia? And again, the plumbing, how much was that a part of his deal?

The animated Christmas adventure Koopa Klaus answers none of these questions, and raises several more. Koopa, who you may know better as Bowser, has a plan to freeze Santa’s workshop in the North Pole so he can’t deliver toys. Why would freezing the North Pole be a problem, when it’s pretty famously a cold place already? No clue. How long has Santa Claus existed in the Mushroom Kingdom, let alone the faith upon which Christmas is based? Hard to say. Does Mario use a plumber’s snake as a weapon at some point in the episode? Yes, yes he does.

Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad find themselves coincidentally in the North Pole as well, thanks to a “wrong turn” underground on the way to Hawai'iland. If you’re gonna steal, you might as well steal from Bugs Bunny! They face off against Koopa and his crew, made up entirely of bad guys from Super Mario Bros. 2, aka “Doki Doki Panic,” aka the one Mario game that had totally different monsters from all the other Mario games. Triclyde and the Flurries, this is your time to shine!

A Bah Humkoop* to all, and to all a good night. Blow the dust out of your original NES cartridge (or just download a ROM) and join Sean and Conor for the vaguely Mario, vaguely Christmasy magic of Koopa Klaus!

*Koopa actually says this in the short. A lot.

Written by Conor Lastowka and Sean Thomason

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Poster art by Jason Martian
Poster art by Jason Martian

RiffMeter rating

Average: 8.9 (35 votes)

Content Rating


Movie Decade

Release date

December 13, 2023


14 minutes
Captions (Streaming Video)