The long-awaited video game film adaptation finally hit the big screen on April fifth, bringing joy to kids and nostalgia-loving adults alike. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” fulfilled the wishes of both parents looking forward to something like the popular Nintendo game and kids desiring some whole-hearted humor, action and colorful animation. With its star-studded cast, the movie, based on the 1985 video game of the same name, entered theaters with huge expectations, and many believe it could be the animated film of the year. As a simple origin story of the beloved Mario and Luigi, it may achieve its goal while becoming one of the most fan-favorite animated films of all time.
Starting in Brooklyn, NY, the beginning of the storyline follows the somewhat boring and downtrodden life of Mario and Luigi, two young adult brothers looking to find a sustainable job. They appear to find a start as they begin their own plumbing business. However, Mario and Luigi’s turning point comes when hey have a chance to save Brooklyn.
Saving the city comes at an ultimate cost, the secrets of the pipes beneath the city which holds a magical green “Warp Pipe” that leads to many worlds including the home of the evil Bowser. Mario follows him, but his pipe leads to the Mushroom Kingdom. There, a little, adventurous Toad leads Mario to the leader of the Kingdom: Princess Peach.
Peach offers to help Mario save his brother, but she requires him to help her save Mushroom Kingdom. Beforehand, Bowser had captured the Super Star from the Ice Kingdom and planned to take out all the other worlds for complete domination.
This movie has lots of action-packed sequences and is a relatively fast-paced storyline. The seemingly continuous action does hinder the ability for deeper storytelling, but is perfect for keeping viewers entertained. Throughout the plot, there are only a few points where there is a small break in action, and those are the points where movies should really shine its deep undertone. However, this movie didn’t necessarily do that, but it didn’t have to. This is due to the themes that were within the script throughout the movie, which were Mario never giving up and the Bros knowing that they were always better together. This culminated in the final scene, with Mario realizing he can’t give up, even though he feels Bowser has defeated him, because Luigi is always on his side. I found this emotionality of family and perseverance to be pretty touching, especially for a movie intended to pay tribute to the games and be simply entertaining.
Entertaining and eye-catching are two words to describe the plot and visuals of the movie, as it’s hard to take your eyes away with a new action-packed scene being layered on top of the previous one. Along with the action, the dialogue provides great humor with some goofy ideas such as the villainous Bowser singing a love song to Peach. In addition, the classic Illumination Studios animation provides highly detailed scenes with popping color, which really allows for intrigue to each moving part. The movie also does a fantastic job incorporating parts from the original game, and there are many references in almost every scene. For example, the inclusion of carts and Rainbow Road was a great taste of nostalgia and fanfare for the beloved Mario Kart game. No matter what, the movie accomplished its goal to make it “feel” like the game, have several references to games played by different generations and instill the desire in viewers to revisit the classic Nintendo universe.
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is, in general, very simple and may be disliked by older, more serious viewers due to its lack of depth and inability to truly move viewers. However, its intent isn’t meant to be an emotional story. Instead it is supposed to allow us to relive the classic game while enjoying an entertaining, humorous plot with great voice acting by Jack Black as Bowser and Chris Pratt as Mario. All the simple ingredients needed for a great animated movie are there, and they combine to make “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” a light-hearted and adventurous tale that makes audiences want to say, “Wahoo!”