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All of my childhood, Super Mario Bros. has been the top video game in my household. I even played it on the Super Nintendo as a child. So, during Spring Break, I went to see the new Super Mario Bros. Movie.
by Ansleigh Hester
Video Game Comparison
Another thing that my family and I did while watching the film is compare the movie to the video game. The setting and characters are the same, but the relationships between the characters are more developed. For example, Donkey Kong and Mario have a love-hate relationship that I love.
One thing that I really liked that they changed from the video games to the movie is the kidnapping of Princess Peach. In the game, she gets kidnapped by Bowser, and Mario has to save her. In the movie, she protects her kingdom. She holds up a good fight till the end.
The video games have Mario jumping, bouncing, running, and more to pass the henchmen of Bowser. They usually come at you in handfuls, but in the movie, they come at Mario all at once. Although, in the movie, there was a video game-like course that Mario practiced on the quest.
The movie’s drive is stopping Bowser from taking over all the kingdoms (also the side goal of Mario and Luigi trying to go home). The plot to me aligned well with their original origins from the video game. I enjoyed the thrill of Peach, Mario, and Donkey Kong trying to stop Bowser. The plot twist especially at the end of the movie was expected, but the way the animators planned it was perfect. The ending was sweet and opened a new door for more movies to come.
At the beginning of the movie, the occurring question in my head was, “When will they get to the Mushroom Kingdom?” This added a little suspense of when the true purpose of the movie would take place.
Princess Peach of Mushroom Kingdom
Princess Peach, as a character, has changed drastically from the video game to the movie. She became one of my favorite characters because of her strong leadership, fighting skills, quick thinking, and her devotion to her people. She was willing to do anything for the mushroom people. Before, she was helpless, a damsel in distress, and she was just shown as Mario’s love interest. Now, she has better combat skills than Mario. I also enjoyed the mystery of her origin in the movie. She doesn’t know where she’s from, but it’s hinted by Mario that she might be human.
Mario Mario (yes, his last name is the same as his first)
Mario’s character stayed the same mostly from the game to the movie. Out of the two Mario brothers, he is still the courageous and ambitious brother. One trait of his that I admire throughout the movie is that he is willing to do anything for his brother; family always comes first. I also liked that he risked everything to be a plumber even when he had a stable job.
Before the movie, my outlook on Donkey Kong was that he was a mindless smashing machine that just wanted to win the game. He was depicted that way on the surface, but on the inside, he just wanted to make his dad proud. He makes several disappointed dad jokes throughout the movie. It made me sad for him that he wasn’t good enough for his dad.
I liked how Luigi’s character was still fearful of the unknown. I related to Luigi because I know what it feels like to be scared of new things. Most of my life I’ve been player two just like Luigi. Luigi also had some character development throughout the movie that changed his perspective on change in his life.
I liked the cast that the producers picked for the movie. My favorites are Chris Pratt (as Mario), Jack Black (as Bowser), Keegan-Micheal Key (Toad), Fred Armisen (as Cranky Kong), and Khary Peyton (as the Penguin King). I feel like all of these voice actors did a great job voicing their characters.
I thought that the Penguin King was super sassy and funny when he was locked up in Bowser’s castle because of Khary Peyton’s voice.
Jack Black’s voice was perfect for Bowser, and he added a comedic side to Bowser that viewers haven’t seen before.
Fred Armisen’s “accent” for Donkey Kong’s dad added a comedic element and made sense for the character.
Keegan-Micheal Key altered his voice to be a high register to make Toad’s voice more believable. Personally, I couldn’t voice a bunch of parts with a high-pitched voice. It took a lot of skill for him to do that.
A question that I had after watching the movie was, why didn’t Chris Pratt do Mario’s Italian accent throughout the whole movie? Screen Rant explains the complications if Pratt did Mario’s accent during the movie. “With the new Mario movie, we are seeing the debate of actor over character identity, especially with the accent of Mario. Whilst it’s important that voice actors don’t put on an accent using stereotypes, many Mario fans are questioning why an English-speaking Italian actor wasn’t picked to become the voice and take on the character,” Screen Rant explains.
I see where they are coming from, but recently I’ve learned that Mario isn’t even Italian. He’s Japanese. CBR debunks the origin of Mario. “In an interview with Kotaku, Uemura discussed the development of the NES. The designer said "Super Mario Bros. isn't set in Japan, but [Mario is] Japanese. The name Mario sounds Italian, but he isn't Italian. They were really able to capture that ambiguity,” CBR informed.
The argument of Chris Pratt not being Italian isn’t valid because Mario himself isn’t Italian. Mario is just a character and won’t accurately represent a group of people fully.
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