A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie”: A serviceable kids film but a superstar adaptation

Courtesy of Illumination Entertainment
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” from Nintendo and Illumination and distributed by Universal Pictures is an excellent film for fans of the video games, families and moviegoers who want to just sit back and have fun.

During what seems like a rise in high quality video game adaptations with the likes of the 2019 film “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” and this year’s “The Last of Us” TV series, the second attempt to bring Mario to the big screen had the potential to be a huge success or a massive disappointment like its predecessor. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is neither, proving to be an incredibly solid adaptation for fans, a great movie for families with kids and an overall fun but middling experience for other audiences.

Like the typical plot in a “Super Mario Bros.” game, the story features the title character, Mario, going on an adventure to defeat the recurring villain Bowser, the King of the Koopas, and rescue an individual whom he has captured, usually Princess Peach. Things are different this time and Mario teams up with the Princess to save his brother Luigi.

This time in the form of an animated film, the visuals are absolutely gorgeous and the soundtrack is fantastic. Both faithfully recreate elements and music from the games and come with easter eggs and references that made the film an absolute joy to get through despite its flaws.

The voice acting was excellent, both in terms of casting and performance. Although sounding very different from how they do in the games, every character’s voice perfectly captured the essence of the film’s version of the character.

Jack Black as Bowser easily stole the show. Black proved to be simultaneously funny, awkward, and scary depending on the scene much like his video game counterpart.

In terms of humor, the film relied on references, situational gags and one-liners rather than unfunny fart jokes and shock humor. While not every joke landed, the movie still managed to be funny at times, or at the very least highly entertaining.

Furthermore, while the action scenes weren’t anything special for an animated film, they were still full of references and fun moments to make them highly enjoyable.

Despite its plethora of positives, there are some noticeable issues with the film.

The plot of the film is as bare-bones as the games with only a single character or two undergoing any semblance of an arc. Coupled with noticeably awkward pacing alongside simple plot devices to move from one scene to the next, the film is brought down tremendously for a casual moviegoer.

The film also has a multitude of pop songs throughout. While most of the songs were from the decade in which the original game was released, the ‘80s, it was still extremely jarring and an odd choice given the source material.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is an amazing adaptation of such a famous franchise. It was respectful to its source material and full of references that are highly entertaining to identify and experience. On the other hand, it suffers through pretty major fundamental issues that make watching it unappealing for a casual moviegoer. However, if you’re a fan of the games, want to find a serviceable film to see with kids or just want to sit back and have fun watching a simple movie, then “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is a solid pick.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Lucas Cadigan-Carranza
Lucas Cadigan-Carranza is in his fourth semester at The Oak Leaf. He has been at SRJC for much longer, having already earned his degrees in English, game programming and humanities. While not usually an overachiever, he has decided to go for the journalism major as well due to the subject providing a much greater interest. He has enjoyed his time as The Oak Leaf's Theatre Arts reporter but also very much enjoys talking about video games.

Comments (0)

All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *