Mario is the main character of the eponymous franchise. He's also Nintendo's mascot, and Luigi's brother.
Tanooki Mario is a transformation of the hero using a specific object : the super leaf. It is first introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3 in 1988. It is subsequently found in other games such as Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8.
When he is in this form, Mario obtains specific abilities such as being able to fly or to hit enemies with his tail.