Friday, October 7, 2022



Over a year ago, Japanese videogame giant Nintendo announced a cinematic project based on one of their most celebrated electronic franchises. “Super Mario Bros.” has seen its fair share of adaptations in past decades, from an animated series in the late 1980s to a lackluster 1993 live-action movie. The new project would be an animated film, which put fans who remember the previous outing at ease, at least until they learned of the voice cast. Chris Pratt has built up a good voiceover resume since “The LEGO Movie”, but to voice Mario? The apprehension last until this week when Nintendo and Universal Pictures finally released its first “Super Mario” trailer.

Indeed, the first good peek into the visuals of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”, co-produced by Nintendo and Illumination for Universal Pictures. The trailer was simulcast Thursday, October 6, from a Nintendo event along with the 2022 New York Comic Con (NYCC). It gave fans waiting for more than a year their first experience of the animated treatment of the “Super Mario” universe, as well as how the cast of primarily live-action stars sound as their characters. Thus far, the reaction has been very good, and the reception also positive.

The “Super Mario” movie trailer begins with a cold open action sequence, depicting franchise bad guy King Bowser of the Koopas attacking a castle in a snowy field from his fire-spewing floating fortress. With his army and fire-breathing abilities, Bowser defeats the castle’s penguin denizens and claims a Star of Power, gloating how there is nobody who can stop him. Jack Black also got some derision when announced as the voice of Bowser back in 2021, but now his menacing growl has gotten franchise fans excited. And of course, the hero of the story will be popping up soon enough.

Enter Mario (Chris Pratt), a plumber who somehow gets transported to the Mushroom King via a telltale green sewer pipe. He meets a mushroom retainer named Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) who bids him go to the castle to help the kingdom defend itself against Bowser and his Koopa Army. Key’s Toad voice also go nods, but Pratt’s reception as the main character remains iffy in social media reactions, due to his more subdued accent compared to the game-version Mario’s prominent Italian tone provided by Charles Martinet. Martinet himself is part of the cast, although his role has yet to be revealed.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” also stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Mushroom Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Mario’s brother Luigi, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. Produced by Nintendo bigwig Shigeru Miyamoto and Illumination’s Chris Meledandri, and co-directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel, the film is expected to premiere next year on April 7.

Image from The Hollywood Reporter


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