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'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' reviews praise zippy, Easter egg-filled romp through Nintendo history

Sounds like it was worth the 30-year wait!

By Josh Weiss
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!: Everything You Didn't Know

Lets-A-Goooooo!!! Reviews for The Super Mario Bros. Movie (in theaters tomorrow) are now coming online, and it sounds like the 30-year hiatus between films based on the video game phenomenon was very much worth the wait! 

Hoping to avoid a repeat of the critical and financial disaster incurred by the 1993 live-action adaptation, Mario's legendary creator — Shigeru Miyamoto — took an active role as producer on Universal and Illumination's animated approach to the pipe-warping, Koopa-stomping, mushroom-gobbling plumber from the mean streets of Brooklyn.

RELATED: Chris Pratt tells Jimmy Fallon how his ‘I’m okay, I’m alive’ sigh lets kids know Mario's not dead

The result, critics say, is another promising sign of the video game movie curse abating. Audiences, they add, can expect plenty of visual splendor and an epic parade of Easter eggs (visual, verbal, and musical) sure to give Nintendo fans young and old reason to smile.

Chris Pratt leads the ensemble voice cast as the mustachioed man himself. Charlie Day (Luigi), Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), Fred Armisen (Crankey Kong), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek), and Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike) co-star.  

Directed by Teen Titans GO! alumni, Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, the release was written by Matthew Fogel (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Minions: The Rise of Gru). Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri served as a producer alongside Miyamoto.

Plunge into what critics are saying about The Super Mario Bros. Movie below...

"Mario presides over a digital playground that lifts the spirit to a place of split-second wonder, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie stays true to that. Its ingenuity is infectious. You don’t have to be a Mario fan to respond to it, but the film is going to remind the millions who are why they call it a joystick." -Owen Gleiberman, Variety

"Fans will be delighted by the many Easter eggs liberally scattered throughout the proceedings — I’m sure I missed the vast majority of them, but there were plenty of appreciative laughs and cheers at the press screening — including the vocal cameos by original Mario voice performer [Charles] Martinet and other game veterans." -Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a fireball of animated fantasy. Mario, Luigi, and Peach’s adventure delights with its infectious energy and smart implementations of video game callbacks, and the top-shelf animation renders the Mushroom Kingdom as an Oz-like wonderland that begs to be explored in the inevitable sequels that will follow." -Tom Jorgensen, IGN

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie is chock-full of Easter eggs and other references to the decades of Mario-related content ... The Super Mario Bros. Movie never feels reverent of the Mario IP, but it's also never disrespectful. It's a spot that might not have worked if the film weren't so well put together — fortunately for us, though, The Super Mario Bros. could end up being one of the best big-budget action flicks of the year." -Phil Owen, GameSpot

"Watching The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it’s impossible not to imagine what it might be like to one day play a game as visually rich running on hardware that puts current-gen Nintendo Switch to shame. That’s probably (part of) the reason the movie exists. But as big-budget commercials for video games and consoles go, The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s going to be undefeated for quite some time." -Charles Pulliam-Moore, The Verge

"The most ingenious element of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, however, is easily the score from Brian Tyler, which brilliantly ties in dozens of iconic sound cues from the games with ’80s chart toppers and fresh new music. For those with even a passing familiarity with Nintendo, watching the film is like cosplaying as the Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme." -Matthew Huff, The A.V. Club

"Super Mario Bros. is a film that takes the Nintendo faithful’s valid concerns into consideration, making up for its weaker spots by exploding the film with immeasurable heart. It may not offer much to turn the gaming-ignorant into full-on converts, but it offers plenty enough for the remaining millions of us. Beautiful visuals and exciting play — what more could a Mario fan really need?" -Allegra Frank, The Daily Beast

"Nobody is reinventing the blue shell, but Horvath and Jelenic do an excellent job of recreating the Mushroom Kingdom from the recent video games while adding a decidedly cinematic flair. For certain demographics (i.e. families lamenting the fact that it’s been months since a major kids movie hit theaters), this is going to be an absolute godsend." -Christian Zilko, IndieWire

The Super Mario Bros. Movie warps onto the big screen tomorrow, Wednesday, April 5. Tickets are on sale here!

Want more Illumination goodness in your life? Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 are now streaming on Peacock.