Fan-favorite video game is produced into an animation


Asher Hagan

In a trend of successful video game movie adaptations, The Super Mario Bros movie has become the second highest grossing animated movie of all time, grossing 1.3 Billion worldwide.

Fiona Padalino, Dispatch Reporter

On April 5, 2023, Mario Movie, a new animated film distributed by Universal Studios, hit the theaters. The Super Mario Bros. movie was an animated adventure film that was based on Nintendo’s Mario Brothers video game. In this movie, we learn about the origin story of the Italian-American Mario brothers which turns into an action packed adventure into saving the Mushroom Kingdom, led by Princess Peach from Bowser’s control alongside the Koopas. 

This movie was ultimately a fan-made movie targeted towards the viewers who loved playing any Nintendo Mario game. 

Before this movie was released, there were mixed reviews from the critics, but after the release the response has been positive, and it rates a 4.7 stars out of 5. In my opinion, I loved the Mario Movie and I thought it was funny, creative, and reminded me of my childhood when I played Mario video games. 

The opening of the movie, I was giddy with excitement and there was never a predictable moment. I was wondering how they would incorporate the alternate world as the brothers in the movie were from New York. They found such a creative way to make them find their way into the alternate world but I also loved how they included the culture of Italian- Americans with their family

dinner scenes. We got to learn more about Mario and Luigi’s home life and their motives for being plumbers. 

The clear contrast in personality between the brothers is really well written, even though they obviously will be there for each other every time. I thought that the storyline was clear and not confusing and you could easily follow it. 

The sound effects in the show were really well thought out and targeted towards the fans. There would be moments where the music was altered in a way that would take the video game sound effects and turn those into a song. 

When I heard these moments happen I got really excited because it brought me back to the classic games such as Super Mario Bros, and Mario Kart. I really like how they brought in the classic catchphrases and had Chris Pratt say them before he went onto an adventure. 

They included all the best parts such as a traditional Mario course, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, the Rainbow Road, and power-ups. Each scene in the movie was carefully crafted towards the market audience. 

Because this is a kids movie, I would say that the message to take away is very important for them. It shows how teamwork and never giving up can show positive results. If Mario had stopped working hard to defeat Bowser, then he would have never saved his brother and would have never saved the Toad Kingdom. Even though times can be rough, the persistence of Mario can show kids to never give up and to always keep trying. 

Luigi’s character shows that even though you might be scared, to overcome that struggle you can find courage and be able to beat those battles. This shows that everyone has their struggles, but it is up to you to be able to overcome them. 

Princess Peach is a great representation of female strength and shows that just because she’s a princess, she is independent and is able to beat her battles. This movie doesn’t have the classic the guy saves the girl lore, which a young girl can be empowered by when watching. 

Before Mario is able to go on the adventure with Princess Peach, he has to complete an original Mario course. This includes power ups that increase his size and allows him to beat the course. At first his struggles show that he really is just a human trying to succeed in a mystical world. After numerous attempts to defeat the course, he ends up defeating the course, and so Princess Peach and Mario head off on their adventure. The comedic relief of Toad wanting to come on the journey allowed the audience to feel relaxed. 

If you are a super-fan of the Mario franchise, then every reference in this movie was a nod to each branch. There was a scene of Mario vs. Donkey Kong and they actually played Donkey Kong in the Monkey Kingdom. During the battle, the crowd was singing the Donkey Kong song. Promptly after the battle, there was a Mario Kart scene where Bowser’s army was coming after Princess Peach, so they had to escape by going on Rainbow Road. 

There were the classic power-ups such as the red shell, green shell, and being able to drift. The attention to detail was spot on which made the whole movie watching experience completely immersive. 

After this, there was just more of the movie that was made for the plot, but what I thought and what had to be my favorite part of the film was when they combined the mystical world and the human world. They had Bowswer come through the pipe which brought everyone through. Bowser’s motivation for world domination was originally to impress Princess Peach and make her marry him. Obviously she said no, and so his next option was to get the Superstar and just conquer all of the land. 

So, when they all came through the magic pipe and into the human world, the star gets thrown across the street. Then it is a battle between Mario and Bowser to get to the star. When a turn of events and character development occurs for Luigi, he gets to the star and then Mario and Luigi team up to defeat Bowser. 

The music and dramatic effects when Mario and Luigi power-up are comedic and accurate to when you get the star in the real games. They then defeat Bowser and use a small power-up to shrink him and capture him in a jar. To the towns surprise, they all come out of their house to congratulate Mario and Luigi which is a change in attitude from the beginning of the movie. They started from getting no business to getting loads of calls everyday to do plumbing. 

In the end I really enjoyed this movie and thought that even if you aren’t a fan of the Mario franchise, it still has a great plot, effects, and attention to detail. 

Obviously, if you are a fan of the franchise the movie is way more enjoyable. The casting for the characters was perfect, even though Mario didn’t have an Italian accent, I thought it was creative to make them from Brooklyn, New York because of the lack of the accent as a lot of Italian families live in Brooklyn. 

Furthermore, the casting of Jack Black for Bowser was spot-on and his performance of his song for Princess Peach should get a Grammy.

 Overall, I would consider this movie to be better than most animated movies that have come out recently and I would definitely recommend that you take the time to go and see it.