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SYFY WIRE super mario bros. movie

Mario takes a tour through the Mushroom Kingdom in first clip from ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’

Toad actor Keegan-Michael Key teased fans with the Nintendo-worthy footage at this year’s Game Awards.

By Benjamin Bullard

Hey, no one ever said an Italian plumber’s cartoonishly huge big-screen task would be easy.

After an early teaser that introduced Nintendo’s mustachioed mascot to the outskirts of the Mushroom Kingdom, and an official trailer that placed Luigi in peril at the scaly tip of Bowser’s claw, Mario now has to learn the ropes (and pipes, and platforms, and block-boppin’ beats) fast in Universal’s newest trailer for The Super Mario Brothers Movie, introduced Wednesday at The Game Awards by none other than Toad voice actor Keegan-Michael Key.

No mater how many times he’s swooped, swam, skidded, and sailed to the finish line in Nintendo’s iconic video games, Mario never fails to be a little bit awed by all the dizzying stunts he’s asked to do, and that’s definitely the vibe in the animated film’s lates clip. With Key’s curt-but-cute character as his guide, Mario timidly tests the waters of the Mushroom Kingdom’s preposterously precarious public transportation system…which, if we’re being honest, looks suspiciously like a sky-high platforming level straight out of the games.

Check it out:

Key teased The Game Awards audience with a bit of Mario trivia aimed at clearing up the mushroom-y lingo that defines Toad’s signature headgear — but of course he ended up only stumping himself. “I see a lot of people online saying that it’s a hat,” said Key, “and you know what? It’s not a hat. It’s a cap! You see, because the cap is the top part of the mushroom that houses the spores and everything. And also, a cap…is another word for hat. Okay, I just right now saw how that could be confusing!”

We’ll take Toad’s word for it, but there’s definitely no confusion about the way The Super Mario Bros. Movie is coming together as an animated adaptation of Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto-created pop culture icon. In the hands of Despicable Me computer animation masterminds Illumination, the movie looks and even sounds like a magic leap into every colorful nook (and maybe even galaxy) of Mario’s bouncy, pounce-y universe, brought to life by a star-studded voice cast who sounds like they’re having a genuine blast being trapped inside the movie version of Nintendo’s platforming playground.

Featuring Key as Toad alongside Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is directed by Teen Titans Go! veterans Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and Minions: The Rise of Gru).

Miyamoto (who’s co-producing the movie for Nintendo with Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri) has even teased that longtime original Mario voice actor Charles Martinet is set to make a “surprise” cameo somewhere in the film — a potential Easter egg that sounds perfectly par for the course for anyone who’s ever obsessed over uncovering every 100-percent completionist secret in the games themselves. Call it a hat, call it a cap, and even call in sick on Friday, April 7 of next year if you have to: That’s the date when Mario and the gang start stacking those box office coins when The Super Mario Bros. Movie bounds to Luigi's rescue in theaters everywhere.