The image of Mario is inextricably linked with the development of modern culture. It is impossible to imagine reality without a mustachioed plumber in a red and blue suit, and Nintendo is trying to make sure that each Mario project meets the company’s highest standards. And the cartoon “Super Mario Brothers. Film” is a new attempt to enter the territory of expensive and high-quality cinematography. In the review below, we tell how it turned out.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Genre animated adventure
Directed by Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenik
Starring Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Keegen-Michael Key
Release year 2023
Plumbers and brothers Mario and Luigi are trying to fix their lives and decide to open their business in Brooklyn. Only instead of ordinary work, they end up in fairy kingdoms. They just faced a threat from Bowser, who wants to make Princess Peach his bride and at the same time take over the entire universe.
There is already a film adaptation of Mario. “Super Mario Brothers” was released back in 1993 and turned out to be an extremely strange film, even by the standards of chaotic cinema of the 90s. To watch it today is to agree 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 take a different path.
Super Mario Bros. Movie 2023 is a colorful cartoon that surpasses all Mario video games in terms of graphics quality. Here everything shines and sparkles, and individual scenes with lighting and shadows deserve separate analyzes from the point of view of the development of digital technologies.
You can watch a cartoon just for the sake of one visual part, it is so beautiful and, more importantly, original. We have here not another attempt to “be like Pixar”, but something unique.
However, you won’t surprise anyone with graphics for a long time. Especially when it comes to such an iconic character as Mario. And here Nintendo with Universal Pictures and Illumination did an interesting thing. They didn’t directly adapt any of the video game plots, but took video game 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 were simply taken for granted. “Super Mario Bros. at the movies” turns all these data into important script elements that are always relevant. It’s a bit strange to see how the same star of invulnerability turns from a simple improvement into a plot driver, but it’s all the more interesting to watch.
The film actively flirts with the nostalgic feelings of Mario fans. There are more references here precisely 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 you cannot hide in any of the parts, have found a context here and work within the framework of their universe.
And it’s all the more unfortunate that with such a rich background, “Super Mario Brothers in the movies” is obviously trying to please primarily the children’s audience. That is why everything here is as bright as it is simple. Do not expect special plot intrigues and unexpected developments. You can predict the end of the story from the very first minutes of viewing, and each scene ends exactly as you think.
Mario games have also always remained accessible and friendly to everyone. But the authors managed to hide interesting subtexts in them, and even ambiguous jokes for adults. The cartoon does not 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 it has already become a good tone to hide storylines for adults in them at least at the level of hints.
The same “Detective Pikachu” could just take a risk and wink at the audience with a smile so that they don’t get bored while their children/younger brothers/sisters/teens enjoy the cute monsters on the screen. “Super Mario Bros. in the movies” is devoid of such – and this is perhaps the main complaint about the cartoon. Even then, it is somewhat subjective, because not everyone wants “adult” elements.
After all, otherwise we have the most beautiful animated film. Honestly, nothing else was expected from Nintendo. The company’s quality control is insane, and Mario is its main symbol. So “Super Mario Brothers in the movies” could not turn out to be anything but a good project.
The cartoon sounds great. The musical component in it is what you want in your playlists. It is diverse and dynamic, the locations are constantly changing, so it’s nice to follow even a somewhat simple story. The jokes here are good and actively use both the features of the animation and the video game heritage of the genre.
Even the dubbing here is quite on par, as for both the Ukrainian and the original version.
The Mario cartoon was doomed to success from the very beginning. This is confirmed by its current record-breaking box office. So he could have been worse – and still collected his cash. Therefore, it is very nice that “Super Mario Brothers in the movies” is far from the word “worse”. And you don’t regret going to the movies to see a cartoon, even if you don’t care about Mario as a game hero.
Pros: beautiful graphics, both from an artistic and technical point of view; high dynamics of what is happening; a competent attitude to the canons of video games about Mario; excellent implementation of all game mechanics as script elements Cons: some simplicity of the plot; general naivety of what is happening, so as not to scare and confuse young viewers Conclusion:
Nintendo and its main character broke into the world of animated films with a bang. Mario looks so appropriate on big screens that it is already impossible to imagine how we used to live without him in this format. Just don’t make too serious a face while watching, because then all the impressions will be ruined