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The Tanooki Mario is a suit Mario and Luigi can use in Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In the game, once he gets a raccoon suit, he will turn into Raccoon Mario. Once this happens, he will be able to fly in the air to reach places that you couldn't before. The flight has a limited of time and you have to run to reach flight which happens by flicking the tail. The tail can be used to defeat enemies. In the two anime Mario cartoons, Super Leaves did the same thing in the game and was more used than the Fire Flower but sometimes it was just used to get to destinations and was later cancelled out as seen in several episodes.
A Tanooki Suit Luigi wears can be seen as a statue in Super Mario 3D Land.
"In Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Leafs caused Mario to grow raccoon ears and a tail. By sprinting and rapidly wagging the tail, Mario gained the ability to fly for short periods. Like the Cape in Super Mario World, the tail also reduced the speed at which he fell, making midair moves easier. Needless to say, real raccoons were jealous."