‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Review: For The Fans


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Near the beginning of the new Super Mario Bros movie, Mario stumbles upon the beautiful, full of wonder, Mushroom kingdom.

‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’: 92 minutes – Directed by Aaron Horvath & Michael Jelenic – animation, comedy, adventure, family, fantasy, romance, sci-fi – PG

Made for the fans, by the fans, this movie is a wonderful adaptation of the world Mario players fell in love with.

The Super Mario Bros franchise, with its unique gameplay and intriguing storyline, has been booming since 1985, when the first game of Super Mario came out. In a world of giant mushrooms, glowing star power ups, and turtle-warriors called Koopa Troopas, Mario is the protagonist, on a mission to save the Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom: Princess Peach.

Super Mario as a whole is the fifth best selling game worldwide. So it only makes sense that Nintendo, the platform on which the game was released, would make a movie about their iconic plumber.

Nintendo’s ‘first’ and second attempt at creating a movie brilliant enough to portray their world on the big screen was rather unsuccessful. Their ‘first’ movie, a Japanese 61 minute long animated film called ‘Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission To Rescue Princess Peach!’ is about Mario and his brother Luigi going on a mission to rescue the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach.

The movie was popular in Japan, as the country already liked Super Mario. But for the rest of the world, it was not a huge craze at the time of its release.

The second attempt Nintendo made was a 104 minute long, live action movie called ‘Super Mario Bros.’ The movie followed the protagonists, Mario Mario and Luigi Mario, who worked as plumbers in Brooklyn, and were close to being driven out of business. In the movie, Luigi met a character called Daisy (another princess in the Mario universe), who ends up being kidnapped by Iggy and Spike (two Koopalings) and brought to an alternate dimension called Dinohattan. The plot then goes on to include revelations about Daisy’s past, and lots of fighting and plot development.

Overall, the movie was a failure. It grossed $38.9 million worldwide, which would’ve been great, but the budget for the movie was $42-48 million. The movie even appeared on some lists titled ‘The Worst Films Ever Made.’

But, recently on April 5, 2023, Nintendo came out with its third attempt at a Super Mario Bros. Movie. Running 92 minutes, this animated version of the game, called ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ was widely successful at the box office. Grossing $692.9 million, against a $100 million budget.

The movie follows brothers Mario and Luigi as they venture through the struggles of starting their own plumbing business in Brooklyn, and eventually find themselves in an entirely new world of power ups, mushroom people, evil kings and legendary princesses.

With voice actors like Jack Black as Bowser, Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, and Charlie Day as Luigi, the movie has some wonderful lines, and perfect comedic moments.

The movie in itself is brilliant. It is loaded with Easter eggs and hidden jokes for longtime fans. It references the spin off game Mario Kart, and it shows plenty of the wonderful characters and settings shown in the video games, and it brings them to life.

On top of that, the movie fixes some of the minor problems the game may have had. For instance: in the video game, Princess Peach was stereotypical ‘damsel in distress,’ always being kidnapped and forced into marriage by Bowser, the evil Koopa King. But in the movie, Princess Peach was transformed into a butt-kicking warrior who would do anything to protect her mushroom kingdom. Along with that, Bowser was portrayed as an evil king, with a little soft spot in his heart for songs about peaches and princesses in pink.

Another great thing the movie includes is the romance between Mario and Peach. Their relationship comes second to the plot, which is always how an adventure movie should be. They are nothing more than friends in the movie, which makes sense, because they only know each other for a short amount of time. The attention to this part of the movie is awesome, because if the romance was front and center, the movie would not be as good as it is.

The level of detail in the movie was incredible. The vibrant colors, the action-packed scenes, and the whole plot was an amazing transfer from game to movie. Even the references to Donkey Kong, the levels in the Mario games, the characters and the Easter eggs were just super cute, and made the movie feel more like Nintendo had given it life.

The movie, though sometimes reviewed as ‘unfunny, predictable, and under-explained,’ is nothing less than a masterpiece. Created by Mario fans, for Mario fans, the movie has inside jokes for the fandom, and a world portrayed all too well. Though the plot may have some minor holes, and may be predictable, isn’t that the point?

The main draw of the movie isn’t how well put together and structured the plot is. It’s the fandom. The people who dress up as Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, and the Mushroom guards, and go to see the movie on opening night in a theater with all of their friends. The appeal of the movie is that it’s out, and it’s another form of content Mario fans can enjoy and love for years to come.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is altogether a spectacular representation of the games and universe all in one. Though it may not be the greatest movie ever made in history, it’s fun, funny, and an incredibly wonderful experience in and out of the theater.