Since 1985, Mario and his brother Luigi have captivated gamers’ hearts and imaginations as they played video games at home or in the arcades. And now the characters are getting another chance at the big screen. The Super Mario Bros. Movie isn’t a rehash of the 1993 movie, but instead, an animated adventure through the complete game franchise made just for friends.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie takes both Mario and Luigi from the streets of New York through the pipes and into the Mushroom Kingdom. After getting separated along the way, Mario is determined to find Luigi and meets Princess Peach along the way. The Princess is happy to help Mario find his brother as long as he helps her protect the Mushroom Kingdom from Bowser.
The Mario brothers have come a long way from the 8-bits they started as. And this movie is animated to the point of absolute art, much like every other Illumination release. It takes many of the much-loved characters and animates them in 3D with a beautiful world around them.
Peppered throughout the movie is an actually great soundtrack and mix of songs that older gamers and parents are going to love while watching the movie. The movie does tend to fall into the old trope that rock music is evil, which was a bit weird seeing that revisited after all of these years.
There’s no doubt that Chris Pratt and Charlie Day do a good job as Mario and Luigi respectively. But the casting of two characters was absolutely perfect – Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong and Jack Black as Bowser. The actor’s voices not only seamlessly fit the characters and the animation, but their personalities fit the characters as well. Having Donkey Kong laugh on-screen with Rogan’s iconic laugh fit the goofy character and the movie perfectly.
So who is The Super Mario Bros. Movie for? The movie is very obviously written for children and younger viewers. Super fans of the games and gamers who have grown up living and breathing the Mario Bros franchise may love the movie as well. Even with the kid audience in mind, the movie does mention dying and killing several times to the point it is almost too much. Yes, in the game your character will die can come back, but it’s never used as dialogue and continually hearing “I’m going to kill you” may not go well with some parents.
But everyone else is going to be a hard sell for the movie. Yes, it is absolutely stunning, but a movie can’t rely on that alone. Even the decent music score won’t save the fact that the whole movie just jumps from one different game clip and moment to another. It focuses so hard on putting every Easter Egg into the story for fans that they actually forgot the fact that there needed to be a decent one to be told to begin with.
The fact is the majority of the parents who will be taking their kids to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie most likely grew up playing the different games on their own consoles at home as well. And while kids may love the bright and fast-paced movie, older gamers may feel shorted with the cameos and Easter Eggs that are just there to try to keep them happy. Instead, they’ll be thankful that the movie is under 90 minutes.
About The Super Mario Bros. Movie
For the first time, the iconic global entertainment brands Illumination and Nintendo join forces to create The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a new, big-screen adventure starring one of pop culture’s most prominent plumbers of the past four decades.
Based on the world of Nintendo’s Mario games, the film invites audiences into a vibrant, thrilling new universe unlike any created before in an action-packed, exuberant cinematic comedy event.
While working underground to fix a water main, Brooklyn plumbers Mario (Chris Pratt; Jurassic World and The LEGO Movie franchises) and brother Luigi (Charlie Day; It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) are transported down a mysterious pipe and wander into a magical new world. But when the brothers are separated, Mario embarks on an epic quest to find Luigi.
With the assistance of a Mushroom Kingdom resident Toad (Keegan-Michael Key; The Lion King) and some training from the strong-willed ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy;The Queen’s Gambit), Mario taps into his own power.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie features an extraordinary comedic cast, including Jack Black (Jumanji films) as Bowser, Seth Rogen (Neighbors franchise) as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Saturday Night Live) as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson (American Dad!, Family Guy) as Kamek and Sebastian Maniscalco (Green Book) as Spike, plus a special voice appearance by Charles Martinet, who has voiced the characters of Mario and Luigi in the Super Mario games for more than 30 years.
The film is directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (collaborators on Teen Titans Go!, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies) from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel (Minions: The Rise of Gru, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part).
From Nintendo and Illumination—creator of the global blockbuster Despicable Me, Minions, Sing and The Secret Life of Pets franchises—The Super Mario Bros. Movie is produced by Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri p.g.a. and by Nintendo’s Representative Director and Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, after more than six years of close bond and discussions between the two. The film is co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo and will be released worldwide by Universal Pictures.