Join Nintendo’s world of fun in ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’

Rena Weafer, Arts Editor

The Super Mario Bros. video games have been classics for decades. With bright graphics and simple but engaging gameplay, these games have captured hearts from around the world. Nintendo’s latest venture into the Nintendo-verse is “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” which hit theaters April 5. 

Despite the excitement from the announcement, there was controversy as soon as the casting was announced. Nintendo fans were outraged with Illumination’s choice of Chris Pratt as Mario, but he pulled through regardless. He actually did a great job, especially with the iconic line “it’s a-me, Mario.” The casting all-around was fantastic. Jack Black as Bowser was the perfect choice and Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong did not disappoint.  

Viewers of the movie follow Mario and Luigi from Brooklyn, N.Y. into the Nintendo World where they are introduced to a whole new set of challenges. They tunnel from Mushroom Kingdom to the world of Donkey Kong, even briefly passing through Mario Galaxy. Along the way, Mario meets characters from many Mario games, including Toad, Fire Flowers, Penguin King and Cranky Kong. There are fun easter eggs for fans to spot at every turn.  

In the original video game, there isn’t a whole lot of lore. Of course, the players know they are playing as Mario to save Princess Peach from Bowser, but there are many blanks to be filled. The player doesn’t know why Bowser takes Princess Peach or how Mario became involved in the world. They also don’t know the extent of Princess Peach’s rule as princess or how the Toads fit into the narrative. Directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic found a way to fill in all the missing details and surprise viewers at every point in the movie.  

The Bowser storyline is a fun contrast to his masculine persona which is perfected with Jack Black’s touch. Bowser even gets his own song, “Peaches” which actually debuted at number 83 on the Billboard Hot 100 (1). 

The movie also puts an interesting spin on Princess Peach’s character. Anya Taylor-Joy brings a fierce independence and blinding optimism that isn’t shown through the game. She is a must-needed strong female lead for the franchise.  

Instead of just being a princess in need of saving, in the movie, she saves herself. She trains Mario in his journey before Bowser captures her. She introduces him to the Mushroom Kingdom as the only other human and shows him how to thrive.  

The primary audience besides Nintendo fans is, well, kids, and it sets a great example for them. When the “good” characters are interacting with each other, they set boundaries and respect them. They listen to each other and help one another. Kids who follow this influence will be a positive light in their communities.  

Many critics call “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” too surface-level, saying it’s “a frantic Easter egg hunt of a film that does the bare minimum to please its loyal existing fanbase” (2). This is just plain wrong. The movie serves its purpose: a nostalgic throwback for die-hard Nintendo fans. It’s entertainment for entertainment’s sake, just like the game. UMass Boston student Brooke Vieira says, “I saw the reviews which seemed bad, but my friends said they loved it.” 

Any Nintendo fan will love this movie, kids and adults alikebut for adults it might be a little more fun to go under the influence.