The image of Mario is inextricably linked with the development of modern culture. It’s impossible to imagine reality without the mustachioed plumber in the red and blue suit, and Nintendo strives to ensure that every Mario project meets the company’s highest standards. And the cartoon “Super Mario Bros. Film” is a new attempt to enter the territory of expensive and high-quality cinema. In the review below we tell you how it turned out.
Pros: excellent graphics, both from an artistic and technical point of view; high dynamics of what is happening; competent attitude to the canons of video games about Mario; excellent implementation of all game mechanics as scenario elements Cons: some simplicity of the plot; general naivety of what is happening, so as not to frighten or confuse young viewers
“Super Mario Bros. Movie / The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Genre: animated adventure
Directed by Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
Starring: Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key
Release year 2023
Plumber brothers Mario and Luigi in Brooklyn are trying to improve their lives and decide to open their own business. Only instead of ordinary work, they end up in fairy-tale Kingdoms. In these fairy-tale worlds, a threat has arisen from Bowser. He wants to take over other people’s worlds and make Princess Peach his bride.
There is already a movie adaptation about Mario. “Super Mario Brothers” was released back in 1993 and turned out to be an extremely strange film even by the standards of the chaotic cinema of the 90s. Watching it today means agreeing to receive a very strange, almost otherworldly pleasure. But Nintendo doesn’t need such a legacy, so with the new adaptation the company decided to go a different route.
“Super Mario Bros. The Movie” version of 2023 is a colorful cartoon that surpasses all video games about Mario in terms of graphics quality. Everything shines and sparkles here, and individual scenes with shadows and lighting deserve separate analyzes from the point of view of the development of digital technologies.
You can watch a cartoon just for the visual part alone, it’s so good and, more importantly, original. What we have here is not another attempt to “be like Pixar,” but something of our own.
However, the graphics won’t surprise anyone for a long time. Especially when it comes to such an iconic character as Mario. And then Nintendo, Universal Pictures and Illumination did something interesting. They didn’t directly adapt any of the video game stories, but took gaming conventions and mechanics as a basis to give them meaning and awareness.
After all, the Mario games were never about the plot, and many recognizable elements in them were simply taken for granted. “Super Mario Bros. The film turns all these givens into important script elements that are always relevant. It’s somewhat strange to watch how the same invulnerability star turns from a simple improvement into a plot engine, but it makes it all the more interesting to watch.
The film actively flirts with the nostalgic feelings of Mario fans. There are more references here to classic parts and moments, and not to, for example, the relatively recent Super Mario Odyssey. Even the blocks hanging in the air, from which no part can be hidden, have found context here and work within the framework of their own universe.
And it’s all the more offensive that with such a rich background, “Super Mario Brothers. The film is obviously trying to please primarily the children’s audience. That is why everything here is so bright and simple. Don’t expect any special plot intrigues or unexpected developments. You can predict the ending of the story from the first minutes of viewing, and each scene ends exactly as you think.
Games about Mario have also always remained accessible and friendly for everyone, but in them the authors managed to hide interesting subtexts and even ambiguous jokes for adults. The cartoon doesn’t do anything like that at all. He seems to be afraid to take risks, although it would seem that cartoons have long become entertainment for everyone. And hiding storylines for adults in them, at least at the level of hints, has already become good form.
The same “Detective Pikachu” could just take a risk and wink at the audience with a grin so that they would not get bored while their children/younger brothers/sisters of a younger age enjoy the cute monsters on the screen. “Super Mario Bros. The film is devoid of this – and this is perhaps the most important complaint about the cartoon. And even that is somewhat subjective, because not everyone wants “adult” elements.
The rest of the cartoon turned out to be as beautiful as possible. To be honest, I didn’t expect anything less from Nintendo. The company’s quality control is absolutely crazy, and Mario is its main symbol. So “Super Mario Bros. Film” could not turn out to be anything other than a good project.
The cartoon sounds great, the musical component in it just begs to be added to playlists. It is varied and dynamic, the locations are constantly changing, so it’s nice to follow even the somewhat simple story. The jokes here are good and actively use both the animation features and the video game heritage of the genre.
Even the voice acting here is quite at the level, which applies to both the Ukrainian and the original versions.
The Mario cartoon was initially doomed to success. Its current record-breaking box office performance confirms this. So he could have done worse – and still would have collected his cash. That’s why it’s doubly nice that “Super Mario Bros. The film” is far from the word “worse”. And you don’t regret going to the movies to see a cartoon at all, even if you absolutely don’t care about Mario as a game character.
Nintendo and its main character took the world of animated films by storm. Mario looks so appropriate on big screens that it is no longer possible to imagine how we used to live without him in this format. Just don’t make your face too serious when watching, because then all the impressions will collapse