Mario meets Movie

Brooke Butler, Editor in Chief of Newspaper


“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” offers a visually pleasing story with familiar faces. Made exclusively with already-established Mario game characters, it’s a fun watch for kids and those who’ve been playing the series for years.

The animation-produced by Nintendo and Illumination- was beautiful and creative. It adhered to the video games’ characters and worlds while giving it a stunning makeover and integral backstory.

The movie was full of references to Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros., along with some Easter eggs of Nintendo video games like Kid Icarus and F-Zero. Seeing nods to Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario 3D World, and a plethora of other games that I’ve played before offered a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the movie’s homage to its past. Incorporating Paulina and Cranky Kong from the 1981 arcade game Jump Man — where Mario and Donkey Kong first started — was an appreciated callback to their beginnings.

“Super Mario Bros.” did, however, veer from the tiresome “damsel in distress” trope that it’s leaned into for quite some time. Giving Princess Peach a more active role in playing the hero was a simple but refreshing change to the franchise, building upon her recent independence established in the 2017 game Super Mario Odyssey.

While I may have liked the movie, it’s worth acknowledging its critics. IMDb gave the movie a 7.4/10, though Rotten Tomatoes gave it 56%. The movie’s most prevalent criticism is that it’s cheesy, or that its story line isn’t well-developed. While that may be true, it’s important to note that the majority of movie goers aren’t the target audience. It’s meant for children, and is clearly marketed as such. Most 10-year-olds aren’t looking for a deep and thought-provoking plot; they’re just happy to see their video games on the big screen. 

If nothing else, it’s certainly a step-up from the 1993 “Super Mario Bros.” live-action movie.

Overall, I recommend watching “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” Just keep in mind that it’s a mindless but fun movie; if you’re looking for something serious or insightful, this isn’t for you. Otherwise, sit back and relax as Mario and his friends face off against Bowser once more. Wahoo!