Nintendo’s cooperation with Illumination studio (creators of, among others, Minions and Secret Life of Pets) will be released next year. The spectacular teaser, however, evoked mixed reactions.
News of an upcoming full-length animation set in the Mushroom Kingdom has long fired up the Super Mario series fanbase. Nintendo has found a partner in one of the most prominent animation studios on the market – Illumination, which has been successful in recent years thanks to the enduring popularity of Minions. A year ago we learned the outline of the dubbing cast of this ambitious project. And, quite understandably, the engagement of Chris Pratt in the role of the moustachioed Italian plumber was not met with a wave of enthusiasm. It’s hardly surprising since for over a quarter of a century the voice of Mario (as well as Luigi, Wario and Waluigi) has been provided by Charles Martinet, who created a characteristic and unmistakable style. We had to wait for the first sample of the capabilities of one of the most sought-after actors in contemporary Hollywood.
The trailer for The Super Mario Bros. The Super Mario Bros. Movie was released simultaneously as an online broadcast on Nintendo’s social media channels and during a special event at the ongoing New York Comic Con. Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s father, and Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination, shared a 2.5-minute teaser of the production. And we must admit that from a technical point of view it looks really promising. In the short clip, we can see basically two scenes. A show of power from the mighty Bowser (in this role, quite rightly, appears Jack Black) and the first visit of Mario in the Mushroom Kingdom and his interaction with Toad. Interestingly, it looks like the film will probably show under what circumstances Mario ended up in the aforementioned kingdom in the first place (which is interesting, as, despite the difficulty in delineating the canon of the game’s overall storyline, Mario and Luigi have appeared multiple times as children inhabiting the Mushroom universe).
Any cinematic adaptation of an acclaimed series comes with a reaction from legions of fanboys. The promotional poster, released a few days ago, was heavily praised (although be warned, there were quite a few reservations about the level of roundness of Mario’s own buttocks…). The trailer was met with a more polarized reception. Again, the doubts are about Chris Pratt. Above all, the fact that he clearly doesn’t sound like the Mario we’ve grown accustomed to over the years, but rather like… Chris Pratt. It’s all the more ironic as the actor has repeatedly stressed that he’s a fan of the entire series and has been working hard on a creation that will convince even the biggest sceptics. Everything indicates that he will not.
The U.S. release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie is scheduled for April 7, 2023.