Skip to main content

Forget the haters, The Super Mario Bros. Movie actually looks awesome

The latest trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie has reignited hype for the animated blockbuster and then some. Featuring a plethora of Easter eggs, new characters, and memorable moments, this trailer has convinced audiences that this controversial video game movie will become Hollywood’s next big thing.

Though many people slammed this movie before it even premiered, everything the studio has shared so far seems to have sent all that hate and doubt down the drain pipe. Here are reasons why The Super Mario Bros. Movie will have moviegoers cheering when it premieres in 2023.

The humor

Mario being punched by Donkey Kong in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie".
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This should be expected from Illumination, the studio that gave the world hilarious pictures like Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets. Just like the film’s first trailer, the second sneak peek features many comedic moments, such as when Mario fumbles through an obstacle course, Donkey Kong beats him senseless, and a Cheep-Cheep tries to eat his face.

But Mario isn’t the only one who’s the butt of the joke in this strange, new world. Plenty of audiences had to have laughed when Bowser tore off a piece of Luigi’s mustache. All these hysterical moments will surely keep audiences watching and laughing.

The worldbuilding

Toads looking at a map in the Super Mario Bros. movie.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The film does an excellent job of bringing the Mushroom Kingdom and the many worlds beyond it to the big screen. This is evident in the shot of Peach’s map, which displays the multiple realms that make up her world. Such realms include one where Donkey Kong and his friends live and another where Yoshis roam free.

Peach also mentions that there’s a “huge universe” with a “lot of galaxies,” which hints that the film is setting up an even bigger sequel based on Super Mario Galaxy (so it’s a safe bet that Rosalina will appear in a post-credits scene).

The visuals are outstanding

Cheep Cheep on a bridge in Super Mario Bros. movie.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Every shot has to be planned down to the pixel when making a computer-generated movie, and Nintendo and Illumination didn’t disappoint. The film’s creators have given audiences many eye-popping frames of its colorful and fantastical worlds, from the wonderfully weird Mushroom Kingdom to Bowser’s flying lava ship.

It all looks like Mario and the audience have wound up in an animated realm similar to The Wizard of Oz, and t detail put into every image is a masterclass in animation. Illumination thus proves that it is a studio that can truly rival the likes of Disney and Pixar.

Princess Peach is a scene-stealer

Princess Peach in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Instead of being the damsel-in-distress as usual, this film’s version of Princess Peach is a strong warrior monarch trying to defend her kingdom from Bowser and his army. She accompanies Mario and Toad on their journey to defeat the King of the Koopas, while Mario’s brother Luigi seems to be the one that must be rescued instead.

The incomparable Anya-Taylor Joy (currently starring in the thriller satire The Menu) nails Peach’s voice in this film, conveying her graceful regality as a princess and her fiery spirit as a warrior leader. While Mario is the main protagonist of this movie, it seems like Peach will be the true shining star.

It pays homage to other games

Mario and his friends race down Rainbow Road in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This movie is gaming fan service at its finest, and the trailer shows the filmmakers held great respect for the source material adapting Mario this time around. It includes multiple references to the classic games, with the heroes getting power-ups like the Tanooki Suit and the Fire Flower.

Mario and Donkey Kong engage in a battle that looks straight out of Super Smash Bros. Mario practices on an obstacle course that looks like it was built in Super Mario Maker. The trailer also ends with the heroes driving down Rainbow Road in a Mad Max-style exodus just like in Mario Kart.

Mario’s voice is actually pretty good

Mario in a fighting stance in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie"
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Many people complained about Chris Pratt voicing Mario in this film, especially after hearing his character’s voice in the first trailer. But the second trailer gave audiences a greater sample of Pratt’s interpretation of the mustachioed hero, and many fans have quickly warmed up to it.

Instead of the stereotypical Italian accent Mario’s known for, Pratt plays the character with a more grounded Brooklyn accent, and it suits him well. But the way Pratt says “Let’s-a-go” and “Wahoo” proves that his Mario is still the brave and jolly plumber gamers know and love. It just shows that a film can’t be judged by a few seconds of dialogue.

To see Mario and his friend on the big screen, see The Super Mario Bros. Movie, in theaters on April 23, 2023.

Editors' Recommendations

Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now streaming
Characters in The Super Mario Bros. movie align on the poster.

The top movie of 2023 finally heads to streaming as The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now available to watch exclusively on Peacock.

Based on the multimedia franchise by Nintendo, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is an origin story for iconic Italian-American brothers Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day). While working as plumbers in Brooklyn, the brothers are sucked into a Warp Pipe and transported into an alternate world. Mario ends up in the Mushroom Kingdom, while Luigi winds up in the Dark Lands. When Luigi is imprisoned by Bowser (Jack Black), Mario must team up with a new group of new friends to defeat Bowser and save his brother.

Read more
Super Mario Bros. Wonder: release date, trailers, gameplay, and more
Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi in Super Mario Bros.: Wonder key art.

It's been over a decade since we got the last new 2D Mario game, but that dry spell has finally come to an end. Super Mario Bros. Wonder has appeared and will give us a brand new side-scrolling adventure through the Mushroom Kingdom. While 3D Mario titles tend to get most of the excitement and praise from fans, there's no denying that the 2D games are just as creative and fun in their own ways. Even though they all follow the same basic formula of running through a stage in an attempt to reach the flagpole at the end, they all put fun and creative twists on how you get there that keep each title fresh. If you've been wondering what Mario's next 2D adventure will hold, here's everything we know about Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
Release date

We have waited long enough for a new 2D Mario, and Nintendo seems to agree. Super Mario Bros. Wonder will arrive this fall on October 20.

Read more
Metroid should be Nintendo’s next hit adaptation after The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Samus Aran in the Power Suit with the EMMI robots behind her.

Across film and TV, video game adaptations are becoming increasingly prominent, and the commercial success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie should pave the way for Metroid's time in the sun. Though The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a bit of a superficial adventure, the movie's colorful visuals and reminiscent fun of the source material are more than enough to draw massive crowds.

That box office success should also be a testament to the viability of gaming adaptations in general, and the recent resurgence of Metroid should ride its tailwinds. The latter's recent critical and commercial acclaim from Dread and Prime Remastered for the Switch combined with the storytelling potential of the TV medium could take the Nintendo brand in bold new directions.
Getting the Nintendo brand's foot in the door

Read more