Nintendo just announced first big-budget Mario movie

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Daniel Marshall

The beloved Mario Franchise is finally making it to the big screens, but does the trailer live up to the expectations of lifelong fans?

Daniel Marshall, Multimedia Manager

It was the year 1985 when a small red plumber changed the video game industry forever. The plumber in question is none other than Mario, who can be found bouncing around the screens facing millions of people around the world.

Nintendo has long procured the Mario franchise, creating dozens of titles to be played by fans of all ages. When comparing the pixelated graphics of the original Super Mario Bros. to the breathtaking 3D environments in Super Mario Odyssey, it is evident that the series has come a long way. Although Nintendo’s success was plentiful in the field of video games, attempts to expand outside of that domain were not as common.

That all changed with Nintendo’s recent announcement of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” a massive undertaking directed by Nintendo themselves.

As the title implies, the star of the movie is Mario, who mysteriously finds himself transported into the magical world of the Mushroom Kingdom. The trailer shows that inner turmoil is slowly brewing behind the scenes from the wicked plot of the infamous Bowser, Mario’s archnemesis throughout the series. Although the movie may appear as another ordinary big budget release, fans are placing the weight of 37 years of expectations onto this title.

Even with such high expectations, the fairly positive initial reception shows that the movie appears promising. Senior and Mario enthusiast Jackson Brandstetter had his own thoughts about the trailer. “It looked good, and I loved the visuals. I think it will be very respectful of the Mario franchise,” he said. 

Visuals have been a topic of discussion among fans. The scenes from the trailer show expansive environments and lush forests, and the quality of the animation exceeds industry norms. Such factors have been made possible by the prestigious Illumination Studios, best known for animating the “Minions” franchise.

Although reactions to the trailer have been mostly positive, some were less than enthusiastic about certain aspects of the upcoming film. The cast of voice actors has been a hot topic of discussion recently; most notably, the criticism of Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario. Critics say Pratt has no resemblance to the familiar voice of these beloved games. Brandstetter also had criticisms about the cast of the movie. “I believe that from what we’ve heard it’s a good cast, except for Chris Pratt, who I believe doesn’t fit Mario at all,“ he continued. Other cast members include Jack Black voicing Bowser, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, and Charlie Day as Luigi.

Criticisms and expectations aside, the film is set to impress many fans. “The visuals carry the movie as well as Jack Black,” Brandstetter continued. There are many features to look forward to in Nintendo’s upcoming release. Based on the level of detail shown in the trailer, there seems to be great care put into giving proper homage to this legendary character.

The movie is expected to arrive in theaters on April 7, 2023. Since Mario has played a role in the childhood of both current and previous generations, fans from around the world are guaranteed to make this movie one of the largest releases of next year.