The Mario Brothers movie is almost here, and we’re going to run down Mario’s 40 year history for you! From dodging Donkey Kong’s barrels to exploring the universe with a possessed cap–this is the full history of Suer Mario brothers.
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Written by Ethan Eng
Hosted by Ryan Arey (http://twitter.com/ryanarey)
Edited by Brianna McLarty, Rohail Mistry, and Lee Mazzio
Of course buddy! And we’re going to run down everything you need to know going into this movie. So whether you’re a superfan who needs a refresher, or if you’ve never played the game before, you’re in the right place.
So the trailers for this movie have been so much fun! They’ve featured the iconic Mushroom Kingdom with tons of recognizable characters and enemies from the games such as Princess Peach, Yoshis, Donkey Kong, Kamek, Goombas, Koopas, Lumas, and more.
And then we have Star Lord himself, Chris Pratt, as Mario. And his brother Luigi, played by Always’s Sunny’s Charlie Day.
Doug: Hey, neither of those guys are italian.
No they are not, and that’s understandably led to some controversy online. Considering that the pair of brothers have always been Italian, going all the way back to the 80’s.
Mario’s first appearance was in the Donkey Kong arcade game. The game was so successful that Mario wound up getting his own arcade game. And after that his own home video game in 1985. Since then, Mario’s stories are kind of all over the place.
Doug: What do you mean?
Mario games have never been very story focused. There isn’t a single timeline of events and each game kind of takes place in a vacuum. When there is a plot, they all follow a similar formula. Mario is a plumber either stuck in or from the Mushroom Kingdom, a place filled with sentient fungi named toads.
Doug: Oh no! Are they the bad guys liek in the last of us?
Nope, they’re just cute lil’ toadstool heads. There are a few notable Toads from the games we haven’t seen yet. Namely, Toadette, a pink female Toad–and Toadsworth, the advisor to the princess.
The Toads are protected by Princess Peach and the kingdom is terrorized by King Koopa, Bowser, a giant turtle-like monster. Bowser and/or his kids kidnap Peach and it’s up to Mario to rescue her. Classic damsel in distress.
Doug: You’d think they’d build better defenses in the castle at this point but I guess not.
Sometimes they do this song and dance in the Mushroom Kingdom, sometimes they do this all over the globe, sometimes in space, and sometimes in beautiful Italian vacation vistas.
Since then, Mario has been in tons of video games and spin offs. There’s the insanely popular Super Smash Brothers, where Mario fights other video game characters; Mario Party, where Mario and the gang all put aside their differences to play board games; Mario Kart, where they all race, and a laundry list of others ranging from basketball to being a doctor.
The Super Mario Brothers franchise is the second highest grossing video game property in the world, only behind Pokemon which got its own movie in 2019. So it was only a matter of time before Nintendo partnered with Illumination Studios, the makers of the Despicable Me movies, to make the Mario movie a reality.
Doug: Wait, person, wasn’t there already a Mario movie that was like… really REALLY bad?
*sigh* Yeah there was but that was a long time ago. In 1993, a live action Mario movie was made involving weird Dinosaur people, rocket launchers, and Princess Daisy, a character we haven’t seen appear in the movie yet. This movie SUUUCKED and exemplified a terrible trope that these movie studios love to make when it comes to video game adaptations.
A lot of movie studios decide to frame these video game characters in our world to make general audiences feel relatable and so they don’t need to interact with the wacky places video game characters come from. This always just makes fans of the games feel isolated and delivers a mediocre movie. Take the recent Resident Evil and Monster Hunter movies for example.
In the case of the 1993 Mario movie, not only did they bring the koopas to the real world by creating these disgusting dino lizard things, but they also decided to make a parallel universe city called Dinohattan. I mean come on really?
Doug: Isn’t Mario from Brooklyn though?
Most of the time, yeah. When Mario’s origin is brought up like in that live action movie or the old Super Mario Super show, he and Luigi are plumbers from Brooklyn who fall down some pipes that warp them to the Mushroom Kingdom.