On October 6th, we all got our first look at The Super Mario Bros. Movie, an animated film by Illumination (of Despicable Me fame) with heavy involvement from Nintendo. Video game movies are always a gamble, and strange cast choices like Chris Pratt as Mario were making fans even more skeptical, so everyone had to tune in to see if we’d get another trainwreck like the first Sonic the Hedgehog trailer. As it turns out... it actually doesn’t look half bad!
Sure, Mario’s design looks a bit different from the games and those oh-so-hilarious modern kids’ movie gags will only be funny to the film’s actual target audience, but there were some real bright spots as well. It got us thinking about what the rest of the movie could be like when it releases this April, so here’s our list of 5 things we expect to happen in the Mario movie!
1. This Won’t Be the Same World as the Games
This is just a theory, but hear us out real quick. The movie seems to be following the Super Mario Bros. Super Show idea that Mario is a plumber from Brooklyn who gets isekai’d into the world of the Mushroom Kingdom, as evidenced by Mario having a slight New York accent and being a fish out of water in his new predicament. Instead of just being an origin story for the same character from the games, this could be an entirely different Mario in a different Mushroom Kingdom. Multiverses are a hot topic in movies these days, so it’s possible that the movie could lean into this idea and establish that the redesigned environment and new characters (like the penguins) aren’t just a stylistic choice, but a separate reality from the one we know.
2. Charles Martinet Will Cameo as the “Original Mario”
It’s actually been confirmed since September of last year that Charles Martinet – the iconic voice of Mario, Luigi, Wario, and many others in the games – will have a series of undisclosed cameo roles in the movie. He may just appear as a bunch of unnamed characters at various points, but if we’re going with our theory from the previous segment, he could also cameo as the “original Mario” in a brief glimpse at another world (perhaps through another warp pipe). This would also be nice for the fans, since it would establish that the Charles Martinet version of Mario still exists alongside the movie canon. If Captain Lou Albano were still alive, we could’ve even had a live action Mario cameo as well!
3. The Set Design Will Be Amazing (And Will Promote the Theme Park)
One of the most universally praised aspects of the trailer has been the set design and animation. The Mushroom Kingdom is a gorgeous place, seeming familiar to the games and yet also entirely new, striking a balance between fantasy and realism with its lush foliage and complex architecture. Even if the rest of the movie is a wash (besides Jack Black, of course), it should at least be nice eye candy. And we wouldn’t be surprised if some aspects of this design make it into Super Nintendo World, the theme park at Universal Japan that’s expanding to the US in 2025. Star Wars already did this by using Batuu (the setting of Galaxy’s Edge at the Disney parks) in several movies and games, so it’s not out of the question that we might see a Mario movie version of Peach’s Castle at Universal Studios one day.
4. We’ll Have Some Kind of Mario & Minions Crossover
If Illumination is known for anything, it’s the Minions – those highly marketable yellow critters from Despicable Me. Now that they’re working on the Mario movie, it’s basically inevitable that they’ll put the two properties together in an effort to print money from the sheer star power alone. This probably won’t happen in the film itself, but stay on the lookout for Happy Meal toys, mobile games, and plushies of Minions wearing Mario hats in the near future. You heard it here first!
5. Jack Black as Bowser Will Be the Best Part of the Whole Movie
In the Nintendo Direct’s pre-trailer presentation, Jack Black seemed absolutely thrilled to be playing Bowser. He even grew out his “majestic mane” and “learned how to breathe fire from Gene Simmons of KISS” to prepare for the role – just what we’d expect from him! Like Jim Carrey’s Dr. Eggman in the Sonic movie, Jack Black is putting his all into this and will no doubt be the best part of the whole film. He’s even mentioned that the king of the Koopas will get to show off his musical chops... are we going to get a Bowser villain song? And one that sounds like a lost Tenacious D track, no less? That’s worth the price of admission all by itself!
We still have very little information to work with, so most of these items are still just theories for now. But what do you think? Are you excited to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie? What do you think of Mario’s new design? Are you prepared for the Mario Minion invasion? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!