by Joy Alexis Barker

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is only one week away from its release date, on April 5th for the United States. This film has the potential to outdo its predecessors and impress audiences with its balanced mix of action, adventure, and storytelling.

This new film was animated in partnership with Illumination, the studio notable for Despicable Me, which has had a number of sequels and spin offs following its first film. And Sing, which also has a sequel.

However, that information alone is not enough to get some, perhaps even you, who are big Mario connoisseurs excited if they aren’t into the works of Illumination. Thus you might be a bit concerned or expecting the new Mario movie to be disastrous.

For those who are skeptical about the likelihood of this movie being good, it might provide some comfort to know it is co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto himself, the father of Mario! After all, what’s a Mario movie without the charm of Miyamoto, who knows his own characters, and other creations best? This is what sets this Mario movie apart from the former Mario movies. Never before this, has Shigeru Miyamoto had this much hand in bringing a Mario movie to the big screen!

This 2023 film might just be the one to break the ground and have adults and kids alike asking for sequels. I can definitely imagine this paving the way to a new era that appeals to audiences who have played the Mario games and even provides an introduction to newcomers to jump on board.

The very first Mario movie called Super Mario Bros: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen, was released on July 20th, 1986, only in Japan, so Americans are mostly not aware this exists. It was based off of the first Super Mario Bros. game. And three years later, another Japan only film was released, Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros., based on fairy tales.

In 1993, the very first live action Mario movie was released, featuring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi. The film was made on a budget of $42 million. In stark contrast to the video games, this film embodies a dystopian, science fiction, and cyberpunk feeling, which lead to its failure, as it was criticized for its lack of faithfulness to the source material. And the actors reported having highly negative experiences with the filming. But despite appearing on several lists of the worst films ever made, the film has gained a cult following of its own, proving that everything, no matter how successful or not it is to the masses, has at least some die-hard supporters.

This brings us back to today, as we count down to the latest Mario movie which focuses on the Mario brothers being transported to the mushroom kingdom by a warp pipe and venturing out to stop Bowser from taking over the world. How do you think it will do? Will it fly, or be the gum on someone’s shoe?

I personally want to be optimistic, and cheer on its arrival, because I think that so much passion, thought, and care was put into it. I can tell it wasn’t poorly handed when I see the trailers, and the casting. The history of Mario movies is indeed a bleak one, but that doesn’t make the future of these films dim. For better or worse, no matter the outcome, this new Mario movie shows that there is always room for improvement.

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