Geek Trivia

Nintendo Created Mario When They Failed To Get The Licensing Rights To?

The Flintstones
Mickey Mouse
The Pink Panther
Until The 1970s, X-Ray Machines Were Used For Which Of These Decidedly Non-Medical Uses?

Answer: Popeye

What’s the fundamental premise of the iconic mid-20th century animated shorts starring Popeye the Sailor Man? A scrappy little guy loves a demure lovely lady, Olive Oyl, who is perpetually in harms way from a giant brutish man named, naturally, Brutus.

What’s the fundamental premise of the game that Mario, originally called “Jumpman”, first appears in? In Donkey Kong, there’s a scrappy little guy bent on rescuing a lovely lady, Pauline, from a brutish giant gorilla.

Later, as “Jumpman” evolved into Mario, Pauline was replaced with Princess Peach, and Donkey Kong took a break from the video game screen for a while so that Bowser could become the new, massively sized villain, but the basic premise didn’t change: the little guy saves the lady from the brute.

The similarities between the basic structure of Popeye and the Mario franchise aren’t even remotely coincidental. Nintendo actively sought to secure the licensing rights to Popeye and, had they done so, the history of Nintendo might have been quite a different story. Instead, they reinvented the characters with their own spin and we ended up with a handful of enduring characters that have been with us for more than thirty years now.

Image courtesy of Dell Comics/Wikimedia.