Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros Movie Review



A NEW WORLD: Mario gazes into the Mushroom Kingdom after he is transported into a new world through a portal underground. The Mushroom Kingdom, home of Peach and Toad, provides safety and comfort as Mario fights to defeat Bowser.

Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros has been a classic video game since it was released in 1985. Impacting generations of video games enthusiasts, it quickly developed into one of the most famous video games to date.

With its popularity, it extended into various other forms of games, including Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. However, they all have Super Mario Bros to credit for their rising success.

Like plenty of other popular video games, Super Mario Bros was made into a movie in 1993 by Hollywood Pictures, Allied Filmmakers and Cinergi Pictures. Unfortunately, this movie was a disaster when it lost $20 million in box office sales, according to With such high stakes from being one of the most popular video games at the time, this movie was a letdown not only financially but also for viewers.

In 2015, Universal partnered with Nintendo, and it was only a matter of time before Universal gave a second shot to a film out of Nintendo’s most popular game.

Directed by Aaron Horvath and Micheal Jelenic, The Super Mario Bros. Movie puts a cinematic twist on the classic story of the Super Mario characters. Focusing on the Mario brothers, voiced by Chris Pratt and Charlie Day, the movie goes through their adventures with other legendary characters Toad (Eric Bauza), Peach (Anna Taylor Joy) and Donkey Kong (Seth Rogan) as they fight against Bowser (Jack Black) and his reign.

The film’s runtime is one hour and 32 minutes, which is average for a children’s film by Universal. However, with a video game as developed and extensive as Super Mario Bros, this could be seen as a flaw.

The short movie gives enough time for the characters to undergo an exciting adventure but not much else. There is little time for extensive character exploration or plot complications, or other elements commonly in films. However, audience reactions have encouraged the simplicity of the film as it is a loyal recreation of the journey of the characters in the video game, as it keeps the basic concepts in tact.

This movie’s biggest strength is its loyalty to the original video game. The characters are animated to appear exactly how they look in the games. The various kingdoms that the characters come across are identical to those in the video games, down to the colors and the elements that are included. Each sound effect is on point, and even the classic catchphrases aren’t missed in the film. It’s faithful to the game, which adds an element of enjoyment to those who have known the game since it was released.

This movie excelled in its soundtrack and score. It took the classic Super Mario Bros theme song and sound effects and put a spin on it depending on when it was necessary in the scene. Composers Brian Tyler and Koji Kondo would rewrite the theme song to encourage the tone of the situation, whether it was a darker scene or a happier one. In addition, licensed songs such as “Take On Me”, “Thunderstruck”, “Mr Blue Sky”, “Holding Out For a Hero” and more boosted this movie as well.

However, as a negative to the short runtime of the film is that there’s little room left to explore other concepts that are involved within the Super Mario world. Due to Super Mario Bros’. success, Nintendo created various other video games as spinoffs. However, in such a short movie, there’s barely any references or time to expand on these concepts, and the movie is left with a very basic plot line that misses other concepts.

The Super Mario franchise is one of many that has extended beyond just the original. With all of the content, there are so many possibilities with plots or characters, yet this movie went with the bare minimum and included very few characters and a very basic storyline. Movies like this should take advantage of all the possibilities and use it to its capacity.

As a film for those who have recently been introduced to Super Mario Bros, and only want to watch a movie with a simple concept that is faithful to the game, this movie works perfectly. However, if you hope for a complex film that takes into consideration all of the extent of the Super Mario franchise, this movie lacks some depth that either can be criticized or praised in this carefree, fun movie.