It’s-a Me, Mario

Classic Video Game Movie Hits Theaters

Kacey Miller

Since being released by Nintendo in 1985, the Super Mario franchise has reached millions of people across the world and, according to, has outsold every competitor in their industry. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” takes the Nintendo video game and bases a storyline off of it to create the animated film that came to theaters April 5.

Kacey Miller, Reporter

Since being released by Nintendo in 1985, the Super Mario franchise has reached millions of people across the world and, according to, has outsold every competitor in their industry. It seems that most families nowadays have at least one Super Mario game they remember playing for hours on end over the years, whether it be Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros or Mario Party. However, one of their games in particular was especially popular—so popular they made a movie about it: “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (named after the Super Mario Bros. game).

When I went to see “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” my mom made me take my two younger sisters with me to Alamo Drafthouse so we could eat there and she wouldn’t have to mess with making dinner. Over the years, we’ve clocked in literal days playing Super Mario Bros. on an old Nintendo and even more playing Mario Kart on the Wii, so we were excited to see the movie. I think we were also hoping the movie did our pals Mario and Luigi justice on their debut to the big screen.

Before the movie started, clips were shown of old commercials from the ‘90s advertising Mario toys and games, and it was surprising to see how the Italian brothers became household names soon after they came out. It was also cool and interesting to see how the commercials differed based on what country they were aired in. My sisters also really liked the YouTube videos of people doing Mario-themed pranks that were played before the movie, which started right at 5:40 p.m. for our showing.

The movie introduces Mario, played by Chris Pratt, and Luigi, played by Charlie Day, as two brothers who had quit their day jobs to start their own plumbing business in Brooklyn. Their plumbing business is a failure, though, and the boys’ dad thinks his sons are failures as well, which puts the audience on the brothers’ side right away. The plumbing job is just a touchback to the Super Mario franchise and it has no real weight on the storyline, but I was glad it was featured.

Speaking of the storyline, the plot is focused around Bowser, played by Jack Black, and his giant crush on Princess Peach, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. All Bowser wants is to marry Peach and take over her kingdom so they can rule the world together, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t rooting for Bowser in parts of the film. The short scenes where Bowser is seen practicing his marriage proposal to Peach and singing songs about her is something like a middle school romance, and I was all there for it. It’s sweet how much Bowser loves Peach, but he’s got a few minor (major) character flaws that just can’t be easily overlooked.

Without spoiling too much, the movie is pretty good. I really enjoyed the easter-eggs of other Nintendo franchises, and I liked the incorporation of Rainbow Road from Mario Kart. Also, the animation was so beautiful. I remember seeing the Mushroom Kingdom and being amazed at how creative and insane all the animations were. When I looked back over my notes from the film, I saw a whole page dedicated to a rave I had about the art in the movie.

The only thing I didn’t love about the movie was the quick pace it had in the beginning. By that, I mean that when Mario first is thrown into the Super Mario dimension, he is not nearly terrified enough to see a talking mushroom tell him his name is Toad. I know some people are really good at staying calm and collected under intense situations, but come on. A talking mushroom. Named Toad. A lot more questions should have been asked by Mario before he set out with his new friend.

The ending of the movie wasn’t as grand as I thought it would be, either. I was expecting the script to go big and really amaze everyone, but it didn’t really have a “wow” factor I was hoping for. Not a lot of information is shared about what happens to the brothers and other characters after the plot dies down, which was kind of disappointing.

Overall, the “Super Mario Bros. Movie” could have been really really good. I mean, the franchise is incredibly successful and there is so much to it, so the creators had a lot to work with. And they did a decent job; the movie is worth watching. The plot is not as generic as the video game lore, the characters are very developed and I’m definitely going to recommend this movie to a lot of my friends. It’s worth watching and will probably be even better if you don’t go into the movie theater with a notepad to write down all your film critiques in, even if you look really cool and like a sought-after movie critic when you do.


My rating: 4.1 out of 5 Mario Super Stars