The Super Mario Bros Movie Review

Surprisingly, the Mario Movie was a fantastic time at the theatre. There has always been a certain air around video game adaptations. Famously, Nintendo resented the last adaptation of Mario so much, they prevented any further adaptations of their IP. The difference this time around, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto is a co-producer on this film. He has always been very strict with the character and has a firm hand in any collaboration involving the character. His opinions defined the recent collaborations around the character. The recently released Lego sets happened because they are games children can enjoy. The latest theme park attraction involving Mario works because it acts as a video game you can explore in real life. With this latest movie, it’s very clear he wanted the aura of the games to translate, and it did so really well. The Super Mario Bros Movie is a fantastic adaptation that anyone can enjoy, from references to the entire franchise to beautifully realized worlds.

If you are a long-time fan of the character, there is a lot to enjoy here. It features easter eggs in almost every scene. As someone that has played these games for decades it’s crazy to see the Mushroom Kingdom realized so beautifully in CG. Illumination did a fantastic job creating the animation for this film. From expressive characters to gorgeous colors, you’re always looking at something beautiful.

The performances are mixed bags. Chris Pratt is serviceable to the story and does a decent job, Charlie Day and Keegan Michael Key are both fantastic, and Jack Black is the standout as Bowser. In some ways, they adapted the characters to serve the voice actors like Jack Black, in the case of Keegan and Charlie they fall right into their characters. The performances did not take me out of the movie and surprisingly engaged me in the story.

Overall, I would say the Mario Movie is a great time at the theatre, there are some plot issues and pacing issues, but I did not purchase a ticket for the story. I wanted Mario to be realized in an animated movie with a cast of cute characters, which is exactly what I got.

Photo Courtesy of Universal Illumination

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