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That Mario ‘Mystique’: Stars Talk Power-ups From The Super Mario Bros. Movie

‘I would definitely eat a mushroom if it was gonna make me taller!’ jokes Charlie Day.

By Benjamin Bullard
A still image from The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

Let’s-a-go! For anyone who’s ever guided Nintendo’s famous plumber to to the top of a level-ending flagpole (and isn’t that just about all of us?), there’s a certain satisfying payoff — complete with one of Mario’s trademark call-outs — whenever our hero goes on a fireball-throwing burst or grabs a mushroom that powers up his diminutive frame to double size. And if it's true for the games, you could even say it goes double for the Chris Pratt-voiced star at the center of The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Everyone, in fact, has a soft spot for those times when Mario's big-screen avatar gets swole: “There is a mystique about why the things in the game are happening” in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, says Keegan-Michael Key (Toad) in a new behind-the-scenes look at the film, just one of the bonus features fans can spy if they snap up the movie's newly-released “Power Up” collectible home edition.

RELATED: Want A Super Mario Bros. Movie Sequel? Chris Pratt Teases News Coming "Soon"

Watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie cast talk powering up Nintendo for the big screen:

Even if it’s only for a fleeting moment or two, leveling up our mustachioed star lets him go on an absolute tear, a no-holds-barred romp of near-invincibility that the cast and creators of The Super Mario Bros. Movie wanted to be sure fans felt all over again as Universal Pictures and Illumination made the Mario leap from video game to big screen blockbuster.

“Bringing in power-ups and how we’re going to treat them cinematically took a lot of discussion and a lot of thought,” says writer Matthew Vogel in the behind-the-scenes look, which comes as only one of several fun extras — including the music video of the epic "Peaches" ballad sung by Jack Black (Bowser) — that come bundled in with the collectible home edition.

“The job,” adds production designer Guillaume Aretos, “was to make [power-ups] as spectacular as we could,” with Mario creator (and all-around Nintendo icon) Shigeru Miyamoto explaining how the movie managed to convey the video games’ signature sense of adventure: “There are items that I wanted to give Mario so that he can take on something beyond his powers.”

For Mario's brother Luigi (voiced by Charlie Day in the movie), any extra inch or two of height definitely couldn’t hurt. “I would definitely eat a mushroom if it was gonna make me taller,” Day jokes in the video, as costar Anya Taylor-Joy (Peach) ties it all back to Mario’s movie high stakes. “Mario’s only just learned how to use all of the power-ups,” she jokes. “It’s just so funny!”

It’s funny, it’s jump-y, and for a gaggle of crazy Mushroom Kingdom creations from Nintendo, it’s even a little bit heartwarming. Fresh from a blockbuster theatrical run that powered up more than $1 billion at this year’s box office, The Super Mario Bros. Movie — complete with tons of fun behind-the-scenes bonus content in the collectible “Power Up” edition — is available to take home now on digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray, and DVD.

Want your streaming life to get even more animated? Check out Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and more ‘toon triumphs in our handy-dandy guide to the best animated movies streaming now on Peacock.