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Wa-hoo! Yip-ee! Wa-ha! Chris Pratt officially dons the famous blue overalls, red cap, and wavy mustache of Nintendo's pipe-warping plumber in the very first trailer for the animated Super Mario Bros. film. Produced in collaboration with Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets), the movie will transport viewers to an eye-poppingly rendered version of the Mushroom Kingdom full of memorable characters and unexpected perils. It's gonna be a real — dare we say it? — Mario...party!
Pratt leads an all-star voice cast that also includes Charlie Day (Luigi), Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek), and Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike). Charles Martinet, longtime voice of Mario in the 40-year-old video game franchise, has been cast in a top-secret role. Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (collaborators on Teen Titans Go!, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies) co-directed from a script penned by Matthew Fogel (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Minions: The Rise of Gru).
Watch the trailer now:
The footage shows off much of Mario's animated world, which draws a ton of inspiration from the decades of Super Mario Bros. games. We see Bowser's air ship arrive at an ice castle full of blue birds, and Bowser gets a general's entrance with some WWE flair. Then an adorable snowball attack fails to gain ground. After that? Cue a confused Mario crashing into the Mushroom Kingdom, and he sounds a lot like Chris Pratt. We get some snippets of action, fun world-building, and our old pal Luigi being chased by dry bones (ahem, plural).
“Mario and Luigi are two of the most beloved heroes in all of popular culture, and we are honored to have the unique opportunity to work so closely with Shigeru Miyamoto and the widely imaginative team at Nintendo to bring these characters to life in an animated movie, unlike any film Illumination has made to date,” Chris Meledandri, Illumination’s Founder and CEO/outside director of Nintendo, said when the cinematic project was first announced last fall.
The trailer made its debut at New York Comic Con, and SYFY WIRE was there for the premiere. Fans got to see a special intro from Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto, as well as stars Chris Pratt and Jack Black. Jack Black even showed up with an orange-dyed beard to look a bit more on theme with Bowser, sitting on Bowser's throne. He also had on a fire print shirt, y'know, because fire balls. He also teased Bowser has a bit of a sensitive side, adding he was just "not loved enough."
"We are collaborating with Chris and his experienced team to not just create a character licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment which brings Super Mario Bros. to life on the screen, and allows everyone to enjoy whether or not they know about the game," added Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario's creator/Representative Director, Fellow of Nintendo. "The production so far is constructive and going very well, and both parties are learning a lot from each other. We humbly ask that fans wait just a little longer for the premiere, and we hope they look forward to seeing the unique characters from Super Mario Bros. on the big screen."
This title marks the second attempt to adapt the Mario Bros. brand for the big screen after the disastrous live-action film released in the summer of 1993. While the movie — which starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi — dissuaded Nintendo from making any more film adaptations, it is now considered a cult classic.
The film arrives on the big screen Friday, April 7, 2023.
*Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.
Click here for all of SYFY WIRE's continuing coverage of New York Comic Con 2022.
In the mood for some illuminating animation? Check out Minions: The Rise of Gru, now streaming on Peacock!