The Super Mario Bros. Movie brought me back to my childhood


Growing up with a Wii, I have always known who the Mario Bros. are: Mario and Luigi, the valiant plumbers trying to save Princess Peach, and many other innocent characters from Bowser’s clutches. I remember countless nights when my family and I would have a Mario tournament, playing Mario Kart, Super Mario, even a Mario-themed Olympics game. All of this being said, I was ecstatic to hear that there was going to be a movie surrounding this franchise.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie was released Apr 5, 2023. The movie follows Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day)—of course—while Mario tries to save Luigi from Bowser (Jack Black) while also trying to halt Bowser’s plan for world domination. 

It begins in the human world—still animated, but with no sight of other-worldly creatures yet—where Mario and Luigi are trying to become successful plumbers in Brooklyn, New York. While attempting to fix a plumbing issue in the sewers, they come across a green tube. Suddenly, the bros are sucked in and deposited into a different world. 

Separated, Mario and Luigi both struggle to find civilization. Mario lucks out and discovers the Mushroom Kingdom where he meets Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) and Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy). Luigi, however, lands in the Dark Lands, where he ultimately gets captured by Bowser. 

Mario convinces Princess Peach and Toad to help him find Luigi and defeat Bowser along the way. Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) joins them near the beginning of their journey, bringing an army of gorillas with him for assistance. 

Before this movie, most of our interactions with these characters were controlling them on a little screen—we didn’t really understand their personalities much, besides the fact that they didn’t like Bowser because of this. I don’t know if others are guilty of this as well, but in my head, I always made up personas for each character. Amazingly, the movie marvelously portrayed each character practically as I assumed they’d be. The writers clearly understood the characters and ensured that they were rendered perfectly. 

My favorite feature of the movie was that many different components of the franchise were included.

My favorite feature of the movie was that many different components of the franchise were included. There’s a scene where the characters make and then ride and race their karts, and there are many of those green tubes that transport the characters to different parts of the world. Also, just like in Super Mario, there are power-ups such as fire flower, ice flower, mushrooms, and more. The creators of this movie were extremely careful to incorporate as many little details as they could. 

One of the only downsides of this movie is that Princess Daisy is not included in it at all. Throughout the movie, there are many little cameos of various characters even if they were not a large part of the plot, such as King Boo and Yoshi. Yet, not once did Princess Daisy appear on the screen. As she has always been one of my favorite characters, I was exceptionally disappointed. 

When I went to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie in theaters with my sister, I was a tad nervous to see that, other than some parents, I was probably the oldest member in the audience. I was worried that I was going to regret spending my Saturday afternoon watching a little kid’s movie that will do nothing more than mildly amuse me and that I would have sat through a kid disrupting the movie and his dad consequently hissing, “Be quiet, Jonathan.” However, not only did both my sister and I genuinely enjoy the movie, but I also look forward to watching it again. Yes, some of the comedy is little-kiddish, but I was engaged and entertained throughout the entirety of the movie.