The first trailer for Nintendo’s animated “Super Mario Bros.” movie is finally here, as Chris Pratt brings the mustachioed, Italian plumber to life. The trailer debuted during a Nintendo Direct video presentation on Thursday.
Alongside Pratt as its central character, the “Mario” movie boasts a star-studded cast of Mushroom Kingdom characters including Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike and Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek.
After a surprise announcement earlier this week, Nintendo debuted the first trailer to its upcoming film, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” a film based on the video game character and series that one could argue is most responsible for the success of the video game industry after a single, groundbreaking title in 1985.
The trailer features Bowser — with an unsurprisingly spirited performance by Jack Black — attacking the nation of penguins, who famously appeared in the level Cool, Cool Mountain in “Super Mario 64.” In a fight that’s over in seconds, Bowser asks who could dare challenge him. Enter Mario — voiced by Chris Pratt with all the passion of a Chris Pratt character, sounding exactly like Chris Pratt and not at all like the chirpy, “woo hoo” voice of the games, where he is voiced by Charles Martinet.
“I finally found it. Now, who’s gonna stop me?” Bowser yells.
Enter: everyone’s favorite Italian plumber. In a new scene, Mario flies through a green pipe into the Mushroom Kingdom, where he bounces off huge, red mushrooms until he flops on the ground. The “Mario” theme song twinkles in the background as he awakens to find Toad. “What is this place?” Mario wonders aloud, in a very Pratt-like voice. Toad leads Mario through the valley of gigantic mushrooms, with Princess Peach’s castle looming in the distance. After the credits roll, the trailer ends with Luigi being chased through a spooky forest by a group of Dry Bones.
The “Mario” movie was announced in September 2021 with an original December 2022 release date, but the film has since been delayed to April 27, 2023. Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind hit movies like the “Despicable Me,” “Minions” and “Sing” films, is making the movie with Nintendo. Chris Meledandri is producing for Illumination, along with Shigeru Miyamoto for Nintendo. Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic are directing, and the script is from Matthew Fogel.
Pratt, who is not an Italian plumber in real life, recently teased his Mario voice, calling it “unlike anything you’ve heard” in the popular “Super Mario. Bros” video games.
The film appears to show Mario’s first arrival to the Mushroom Kingdom, mirroring the “isekai” tradition of Japanese science fiction storytelling, where a stranger from another land magically teleports into another unfamiliar world for adventure. The trailer ends with his twin brother Luigi, voiced by Charlie Day (though we’ve yet to hear the character utter a sentence), being chased by ghoulish Dry Bones, a nod to the character’s starring role in the cartoon horror series Luigi’s Mansion.
The trailer follows the release of the movie’s first official poster, which has been heavily scrutinized by fans. Its granted a first look at the Mushroom Kingdom’s warp pipe infrastructure, and prompted a public outcry in some corners: Fans called on Nintendo and Illumination, the studio working on the film, to increase the plumber’s should-be-extraordinary derriere.
The voice cast was unveiled last year by series creator Shigeru Miyamoto in a very matter-of-fact presentation, and internet denizens erupted in laughter and shock as soon as Pratt’s smoldering headshot appeared on screen. The subsequent reveals of the rest of the cast, including Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, only added to the surreal nature of the announcement.
“I worked really closely with the directors and trying out a few things and landed on something that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to see and hear,” Pratt told Variety. “It’s an animated voiceover narrative. It’s not a live-action movie. I’m not gonna be wearing a plumber suit running all over. I’m providing a voice for an animated character, and it is updated and unlike anything you’ve heard in the ‘Mario’ world before.”
Of additional note is the inclusion of Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) and Cranky Kong (Fred Armisen) in the cast, two Mario-adjacent characters who have spun off their own successful franchise. While it’s not that implausible for these two to appear in this film — they frequently appear in Mario spinoff games — the Kongs’ appearance has fans speculating as to Nintendo’s intentions.
Nintendo’s latest acquisition, CG production company Dynamo Pictures, was officially renamed Nintendo Pictures earlier this week. Nintendo has admitted to having a hands-off approach to previous movie iterations of its intellectual property. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” trailer appears to mark the first instance of direct control by Nintendo over a cinematic venture.3
Watch the trailer below,
One thought on “Nintendo debuts first ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ trailer : Chris Brings Nintendo Icon to Life in First Footage”
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