Super Mario Bros Movie Review

 In 1981, a famous Italian plumber named Mario made his first appearance in the arcade game Donkey Kong. Originally, Mario was supposed to be a carpenter, but as he goes  As Donkey Kong became more popular, so did Mario. It was until two years later that Mario and his brother Luigi had an arcade game of their own. Mario was still the game’s star, but Luigi was always by his side. The goal for Mario was to save Princess Peach; as they became more popular, the world grew. Super Mario Bros became massive because Mario was always involved in every new game console or arcade game they made. He has starred in over 200 games for Nintendo and has become a staple in the video game world. Not only has he grown on everyone, but the beloved characters in his world have become popular too. 

When Illumination partnered up with Nintendo to make The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the first thing that came to mind was how incredible the animation would be. Even though Illumination is different and has paved its way with Despicable MeSing, and The Secret Life of Pets, it made complete sense for them to tackle a massive IP like this. This animated feature felt like the perfect blend of nostalgia for those who have been with Mario since they were kids. The animation is glorious, and it’s beautiful to look at. It’s as if you’ve been pulled into the world of Mario for a quick hour and a half. Apart from the animation, the voice cast does a great job developing their characters more than the games ever have. Mario and Luigi have a couple of phrases that they say, but their voices are never really defined. 

Video game adaptations have always been complicated because it’s hard to incorporate every aspect. However, Matthew Fogel pulled as much as he could from multiple Mario games to give Mario (Chris Pratt), Luigi (Charlie Day), Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) and Bowser (Jack Black) solid backstories. Even though the story was one-note, it stayed true to what one would play through in ‘Super Mario Galaxy’ or even ‘Luigi’s Mansion’ at times. Co-directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic utilized every world and every game in Mario quite well; the power-ups were spread across the Mushroom Kingdom, and visually they even added the side crawl of the 8-bit games while travelling through obstacles. Every detail that has made the world of Mario so wonderful over the years was presented in this movie.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is fun for the whole family, and children will appreciate this reintroduction to the Mario world. There hasn’t been an animated feature with any of these characters, so it’ll be nice for a new generation to grow with these beloved characters again. The animation and voice cast make this enjoyable, even if the story isn’t the strongest. It did drag in the middle as it lost its footing after they visit Kongo Bongo Island to recruit the Kong army. Some may find the humour bland and not funny, and others may find the little nods to the games amusing. Jack Black, Charlie Day and Seth Rogen were the standouts of this voice cast because they made these characters their own. In the end, it’s how close you are to Mario World. The love for these characters will make you connect with this adorable animated feature. 


Review by: Amanda Guarragi 

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