The World Needs More Nintendo Movies & Television Shows!
It’s finally happening. In animated form. At long last, Nintendo is opening up their vast collection of priceless intellectual properties to mediums outside the video game world. As it should, it all begins with Mario.
Last week, Nintendo announced a partnership with Illumination (Despicable Me, Minions…) to produce an animated Super Mario Movie! The child in me is thrilled. I’m also a father now with a daughter who will likely be 6 or 7 when the film is released. Perfect.
The day the movie was announced, I introduced my daughter to Super Mario 3. She was in charge of the jump button while I controlled the ‘former’ plumber. There’s something poetic about reliving your childhood memories with your child.
But they still have to produce a good movie. Let’s get the obvious out of the way.
BOWSER KIDNAPPING PEACH ISN’T ENOUGH ANYMORE
Nintendo released Super Mario Odyssey in 2017 to high critical praise. The one complaint about the game I found the most interesting was the lack of evolution in Mario’s story. Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach. Mario must brave dangerous platforming worlds to save her.
I don’t think that flies anymore. Princess Peach is a strong character now and I think fans expect more than another tale of a damsel in distress. I think Illumination/Nintendo have an opportunity to surprise people. Go ahead and kidnap her but wrap up that tale in the first act and lead into a bigger story.
MORE THAN A MARIO MOVIE
The movie has the potential to be incredibly charming. Especially when it comes to the relationship between Mario and Luigi. Add in a couple Toads and you’ve got yourself more than a family. You have a chance to expand the Mario mythology and impact the entire property forever.
Shigeru Miyamoto is on board to produce the film. It’s a brilliant move. Whether you think the Mario story is too formulaic or just deep enough to get you through the game, you have to assume Miyamoto has more to say.
I can’t wait to see how the father of Nintendo’s main man creates in a different medium.
THE FATE OF THE FRANCHISES
Nintendo is sitting on a gold mine of movie and television properties. A successful Super Mario movie could potentially open the flood gates for franchises like The Legend of Zelda.
A Super Mario Kart movie is a natural sequel to Mario’s animated big screen debut. By extension, I think it’s time to bring back Wave Race in video game AND movie form. F-Zero too.
While there was an ‘okay’ animated series, I’d love to see a Donkey Kong Country movie.
Visually, a Star Fox movie could be something. (I can’t get Wes Anderson out of my head to direct this.)
Metroid essentially belongs on a Saturday morning lineup of bad ass cartoons.
Even some of Nintendo’s newer franchises like Splatoon could likely carry a movie.
What about Kirby? Kid Icarus?
Wait… wait… Punch out. Let’s get a Punch Out movie!
Obviously the list goes on and that doesn’t include Super Mario sequels featuring Wario, Yoshi and more… You can finish a trilogy with Super Mario Galaxy: The Movie.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE LIVE ACTION ‘ELEPHANT’ IN THE ROOM
The Super Mario Brothers movie was terrible because it wasn’t a Mario movie. What makes people angry is broken promises. We were promised a Mario movie and instead we got weird dinosaurs and a human being playing Bowser.
If they ever go live action again, (Read: They won’t) I would lean more towards the weird and manage the expectations of fans. Let’s face it… No matter how much we ‘think’ we want it. A live action Super Mario movie simply doesn’t work unless you go WAY outside the box.
A NEW LIVE ACTION SUPER MARIO BROS MOVIE PITCH
My ideal Super Mario movie would take place in a theater. The characters in the film would be wearing cheap costumes of their video game counterparts. I’m talking about the crappy Halloween versions here. Spared no expense. (Hat Tip: John Hammond)
These people are not actors. They ARE Mario, Luigi, Toad, Bowser, Princess Peach and the whole supporting cast. They aren’t people in suits. They are gearing up to put on a play called Super Mario 3.
The movie plays out in the theater as they prepare for opening night when Bower’s jealousy and rage towards Mario gets the better of him. He locks everyone in the theater and the story plays out from there with the requisite amount of inside jokes and references of course.
What would your Super Mario movie be about? Would you risk live action or stick with animation? Would you change up the formula or stick with the classic mythology?
Finally… The biggest question of all. Can Nintendo and Illumination actually deliver a solid Super Mario movie?