Does a ‘Super Mario Bros.’ movie have the Star Power to succeed?

Ah Mario, the high-jumping, block-smashing, super-powered, princess saving, koopa killing plumber.  The character of Mario has been celebrated decade after decade, year after year.  When you think of Nintendo, who do YOU immediately think of?  Link from  The Legend of Zelda?  Samus Aran of Metroid Prime?  Or perhaps maybe even  Donkey Kong  from you know,  Donkey Kong Country?  But I’ll bet that the majority of people visualize the one and ONLY Super Mario.

Mario has had his share of arguably the greatest games in video game history with  Super Mario Bros 3  considered to be one of the greatest games of all time.  So it should come as no surprise that fans have been clamoring for our favorite plumber to take center stage once again in a 3D cartoon motion picture.  Unfortunately Mario has been featured in a very laughable and forgettable live action film titled  Super Mario Bros.  which starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi respectively.  Fans may finally get their wish because recent SONY hacks have told us that there have been talks between SONY and Nintendo via email to retain film rights for a Super Mario Bros.  animated film.

Frankly, I kind of hope it isn’t SONY who makes this movie but rather a more trust worthy company such as Disney who have already created the wonderfully animated film  Wreck It Ralph.  However, should a  Super Mario Bros.  movie be made, there are a few things to keep in mind and some questions that should be answered beforehand such as why we as a society LOVE Mario in the first place?  WHY and how does he appeal to children?  Finally, and more generally speaking, how can an animated  Super Mario Bros.  movie become successful?  Here are some reasons why we LOVE and hold Mario near and dear to our hearts:

Mario’s Variety of Power-Ups


A Mario game couldn’t possibly be complete without its fair share of power-ups!  From the ever popular super mushroom to the invincible super star, EVERY Mario game has some sort of power-up.  One of the big reasons we enjoy playing these games are the multiple power-ups that Mario has access to.  If any film is developed, power-ups are a MUST.  Without them, Mario would be hopeless and his journey would be ten times harder.  How can you include the Mushroom Kingdom without any mushrooms?  That’s impossible!!!  If a Mario film is to be made, these three original items MUST be included:  the super mushroom; the fire flower; and of course the super star.  These are my personal choices if the film makers had to decide which three items they wanted to use in the film.

Mario Appeals to Children AND Adults

Mario can be labeled as a middle-aged, overweight, mushroom consuming plumber.  A middle-aged overweight man?  A mushroom consuming plumber?  Yep that is who Mario really IS.  What child wishes to become a plumber when they grow up?  What child’s favorite vegetable are mushrooms?  I myself am not a fan of mushrooms.  So how in the world does a video game character with those traits appeal to children?  Well, there are a few reasons.

One of the reasons is that people consider Mario a true hero.  In most of his games, Mario must save Princess Peach from the evil clutches of Bowser who was initially referred to as King Koopa.  Kids and adults alike feel a bit of satisfaction when fighting through all of the various enemies in the game to reach their ultimate goal of saving the princess and the entire Mushroom Kingdom.

A second reason is the famous voice of Mario (more on that later).

However the third and most important aspect of how Mario appeals to kids and adults is that gleaming smile Mario has all the time.  There is a sensation of hope that you get when playing any Mario game.  You never feel defeated when you “die.”  Mario constantly gives that sense of encouragement throughout EVERY game.  From “Let’s-a go!” to “Mario time!,” fans will always understand that sense of satisfaction when playing any of his games.  The film should be no different.  The studios MUST capture that feeling of never giving up hope even when the stakes are high.  Fans must feel like they are right there with him from the very beginning of the film all the way to the end.

Mario’s Recognizable Voice

How could Mario be fully complete in a feature film without the brilliant voice of Charles Martinet?  For those of you who grew up in the 80’s, you may know that Mario initially had a very heavy Italian accent similar to Wario’s voice of today.  Mario was featured in his very own television show and voiced by Lou Albano.  However, Mario’s expression we currently recognize, all started with Nintendo 64’s  Super Mario 64. 

Martinet brought us the loveable plumber we enjoy quoting nowadays.  His famous greeting from that game, “It’s a- me, Mario!” is what particularly sparked our interest of the game.  That simple four-worded sentence would easily transpire more memorable quotes for years to come.  A film would not be whole without the famous Charles Martinet voicing our beloved plumber.  This is truly one of the main reasons why we LOVE Mario.  Also please click down below to view Martinet describing his love for the character and how he has brought Mario and the other characters of the Mushroom Kingdom to life in this heart-warming video:

Mario’s Famous Theme Songs


There are so many things that pop into my head when I say the name Mario.  But is it possible to have a Mario film excluding all of the famous theme songs that have taken place over the years?  Of course NOT!!!  From collecting the super star while becoming temporarily invincible, to falling down the pipes underground, these theme songs have widely become instant classics when you think of any Mario game.  Much like my last point, this one should be a no-brainer.  If any studio is to create a Mario animated film, they BETTER include theme songs from the Mario universe especially from the original game.  If you haven’t had a chance to listen to that amazing melody of music, then you’re in luck.  Click the video below to listen to perhaps the greatest gaming theme song of all time!

Mario has become a Cultural Phenomenon


I kind of feel like a broken record right about now but that is NOT a bad thing.  Mario has shaped the way games should be made. Not only has Mario saved the Mushroom Kingdom but he has also played in multiple sports such as baseball, tennis, golf, basketball, and soccer.  Mario has also flown in outer space while saving the whole galaxy.  He even received his PHD and became a certified doctor for crying out loud!  The question shouldn’t be what Mario has done but what he hasn’t done. The more Mario games created, the more he has taken part in anything your mind can think of.  Mario has not only left us a legacy of gaming, but has indeed left us much, much more.  Lunchboxes, t-shirts, action figures, books, and all kinds of merchandise have left fans wanting more from our much loved goomba stomping hero.

There is reason to believe that Mario will one day receive his own animated feature length film. However no one is certain when this will happen.  But for him being such a famous character, I cannot see how he will at the very least, star in a rejuvenated kids television show.  Time will tell, but for now we must be patient and thank the real creator for this iconic childhood friend:  Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto.  Thank you so much for designing arguably the greatest video game character of all time.  And thank you Charles Martinet for using your voice to breathe life into a character that enjoys fixing pipes for a living.  I cannot wait to one day here Mario’s voice on the big screen and proclaim, “Here we go!”  Here we go indeed.

So what is YOUR opinion on a  Super Mario Bros.  animated feature film?  What kind of things would YOU want the studios to include?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!




2 thoughts on “Does a ‘Super Mario Bros.’ movie have the Star Power to succeed?

  1. I think the appeal of Mario and his brother is the fact that they are unassuming nobodies who become valiant heroes saving a beautiful princess. Young boys love the action and young girls love the romance. Mario is also cute in a way kinda like a Mickey Mouse with that rare voice just like Mickey. The games themselves are exciting too which is the major reason kids play them. They are not boring and it’s a continuing story line between good and “evil”.


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