By Kieran Burt.
The latest Super Mario Bros. Movie trailer has arrived, and it showcases more of the crisp animation style that we can expect from the film, but also shows a lot of Easter Eggs and references to the Mario franchise. Peach, Toad and Mario get the most screen time, but there is some confirmation on Bowser’s motivation, marking a radical change from the games.
The references come thick and fast at the audience, and they start right from the opening shot. Mario gets beaten up by Donkey Kong (bad monke), on a platform reminiscent of the very first Mario arcade game, way back in 1981. Mario wasn’t even called Mario then, but Jumpman. Several other Donkey Kong characters are also in the trailer, with some featuring in the end. The film is looking like it might have two villains, Donkey Kong and Bowser, which would be ambitious.
Bowser then comes to show just how far he’s willing to go in order to rule the world. Luigi is captured by the angry turtle, who demands that Luigi give up information about Mario. If he doesn’t, Bowser will rip off Luigi’s moustache. Indeed, at the end of the scene, Luigi’s screams can be heard. Yikes. Nintendo is clearly letting Bowser behave very intimidating and cruel, which is tonally different from the cute and kid-friendly Mushroom people. Hopefully Nintendo can balance these tones, and not have it feel like Bowser walked in from a much angrier movie.
We also get to see Bowser’s diverse army, Koopas, bats, Shy guys, bob-ombs but no Goomba’s yet. Hopefully these evil but somewhat cute mushrooms will show up in the film.
In a universe where Mario does a suspiciously little amount of plumbing, we do actually see him doing it in the trailer! Him and Luigi will probably fall down the plughole at some point, and that’s how they end up in the Mushroom Kingdom. At one point in the trailer, we can see Mario and Luigi being transported with their equipment through a wormhole, indicating their likely entrance to the world.
Princess Peach gets to shine in this trailer, and the film will give her a lot more agency than simply being kidnapped and carted off to Bowser’s castle at the beginning of the film. She wields a pike axe, and later gets a fire power up. Clearly she will be instrumental in the fight against Bowser. This is a huge departure from the games, but one done with intent.
The mushroom kingdom is vibrant with life, with wild Yoshi’s and Cheep Cheep fish. Hopefully everyone’s favourite dinosaur gets a part to play and isn’t just in the background.