Max at the movies: The Super Mario Bros. Movie


Ryan Quintal

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” made over $377 million dollars in its opening weekend, which breaks the record for highest opening weekend of any animated film.

Max Spiegel, Staff Writer

After the disaster that was the 1993 “Super Mario Bros.” live action adaptation of the video games, Mario returns to the big screen with Illumination’s highly anticipated animated film “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” The announcement of this movie had many wondering: Will this film live up to the video games, or will it be another dud for the world of Mario?

The film was directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic and stars Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong and Keegan Michael Key as Toad. The movie tells the story of Mario teaming up with Princess Peach to save his brother Luigi from the all powerful Bowser, and put a halt to his plans of conquering the world.

Right off the bat, this film is enjoyable to watch, honoring and respecting the lore of the games. From all of the Nintendo references to the animation design, this film wonderfully captures the world of Super Mario and the characters that populate it. 

Speaking of the characters, the movie features a ton of lively personas voiced by top tier actors. The standout was Jack Black as Bowser, who has a hilarious musical number titled “Peaches” featured in the film, written by Jack Black himself. 

The animation style of the film was some of the best that Illumination has ever done. The movie incorporates a plethora of vibrant colors with the designs being extremely accurate for the characters, as well as the design for the world itself. 

Although there are wonderful aspects of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” I had mixed feelings on the voice cast for the film. While all of them are great actors, it was a bit challenging trying to mix voices of well known A-listers vocalizing iconic Mario characters with very distinct voices. For example, while Donkey Kong was a great character in the film, Seth Rogen’s iconic laugh felt weird coming out of Donkey Kong’s mouth.  Chris Pratt as Mario was actually much better than expected, however, certain points in the film made it obvious that it was Chris Pratt voicing Mario. 

When it comes to criticisms for the film, the thing that struck out was the licensed songs chosen for the movie’s soundtrack. None of them are necessarily bad, but songs such as Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For a Hero” and Aha’s “Take on Me” have already been used in many other movies. When these types of songs are used in a movie about the world of Mario, it feels more in line with the standard Illumination pop music gag, rather than as something in line with the Mario franchise.

The runtime of this film was 92 minutes with credits, which felt entirely too short. Due to this, each scene of the film feels like the shortened version of the actual sequence. If the movie had been around 10 to 15 minutes longer, the film would have felt a lot less rushed. 

Overall, while the story of this film is very simple, that doesn’t mean the movie can’t be interesting to view. The movie isn’t perfect, similar to many films it does have its flaws, but at the end of the day, the film is just trying to entertain and that is exactly what it does.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” provides a largely successful adaptation of its source material, and will definitely be a crowd pleaser for both fans of the world of Mario, as well as kids and families looking for a fun movie to watch.