The Super Mario series was at the height of its success and it seemed like the sky was the limit for the franchise to the point where people would be confident enough to put 42 million USD into creating a live action movie based on the series in the form of Super Mario Bros the movie.
The film put this fairly impressive budget to good use and went all in on the use of cutting edge animatronics and special effects. The movies tagline is "This ain't no game". The run time of the movie is 1hr 44 minutes.
Ever seen the trailer from the Mario Bros Movie? personally, even though I saw this movie when it came out, I didn't see the trailer til 2014... here it is for your viewing err.. pleasure.
The start of the film is animated briefly showing us that a meteorite struck earth 65 million years ago which ended dinosaur life making them extinct. We are then in Brooklyn 20 years ago where a frightened mysterious woman in a red cloak is running through the street where she places something on a doorstep and frantically runs away. A nun opens the door and picks up the mysterious item and takes it inside to the other nuns who all look concerned and apprehensive about what they are about to uncover... a large egg hatches and the gentle sound of a baby crying is all that is heard.
Brooklyn now... two guys in an apartment named Mario and Luigi who are not only business partners in plumbing but also brothers. They have an emergency call out job but unfortunately the van breaks down on the way. Luigi sees a very pretty lady who he cant take his eyes off, not only because of her beauty but also because of the distress across her face. He helps her out by borrowing her a quarter for the phone and after the call she desperately needed to make she thanks him. He compliments her unusual name... Daisy.
Daisy is a palaeontologist who is digging on a site in town to uncover fossils of extinct dinosaurs. The reason she is distressed is because her job is being made very difficult for her by Anthony Scapelli who is a hot shot business man in town who is waiting to build on the land Daisy is digging on with her team of uni students. Unknown to Daisy she is also being followed by two men called Iggy and Spike who have been instructed to kidnap her. Luckily for Daisy, Mario and Luigi offer her a lift back to the site. Luigi is a shy cute character and somehow manages to pluck up the courage to awkwardly ask Daisy out on a date (with tips from his big bro Mario). Much to Luigi's amazement Daisy accepts the dinner date.
The dinner date goes well for Luigi as he has the company of his brother Mario and his girlfriend Daniella as support. He awkwardly makes small talk with Daisy and compliments her on her unusual necklace. After the date Luigi offers to walk Daisy home and they stop at the site so Daisy can show Luigi her work. As they are walking down the creepy underground tunnel there is a huge gush of water and two men run away who have obviously tampered with the pipes to try and destroy Daisy's work. Mario and Luigi to the rescue! As the best plumbers in town they just about to manage to stop the water when there is a huge thud as two men hit both Mario and Luigi over the head leaving them unconscious. A frightened Daisy is then dragged away by the two men... The same two men who were following her earlier called Iggy and Spike. Mario and Lugi regain consciousness and try to find Daisy by following the sound of her voice. When they find her they are surprised to see the same beautiful face but distorted in a whirlwind wall. They reach out for her trying to drag her back but she's too far to reach... all they end up pulling back is her necklace. Daisy then disappears into the wall still screaming. Luigi instantly jumps through encouraging his brother Mario to follow. As they both fall through the wall and land hardly onto the sidewalk they look around in disbelief.
Mario and Luigi are in what appears to be Manhattan however not in the civilised world they are used too. Its a jungle of noise, violence and destruction. The world they have landed in is a parallel dimension which was split into two 65 million years ago when the meteorite struck. Over all the madness surrounding them Daisy's scream is heard as the two men drag her into a car. Unknown to Mario and Luigi the necklace they accidentally pulled from Daisy's neck is the reason for her kidnap. As Mario and Luigi are looking at the necklace a frightening woman named Big Bertha steals the necklace from Mario and Luigi... none of them knowing the importance of the necklace.
When Daisy is imprisoned by Iggy and Spike under the orders of King Koopa it then becomes obvious that Daisy does not have the necklace which leads to Mario and Luigi being captured! The importance of Daisy's necklace is because it is a piece of the meteorite from over 65 million years ago. When connected back with meteorite it would combine the parallel world with the real world which can only lead to the madness and destruction their world currently lives in.
Mario and Luigi aren't in Koopas prison long as they launch their escape with all the other prisoners cheering them on. Unknown to Mario that one other prisoners is his girlfriend Daniella who was secretly kidnapped from her home not long after the double date. Signs are put up all around the mad Manhattan for Mario and Luigi's capture branding them as "aliens".
The Great Koopa then demands for Princess Daisy as he refers to her, to be brought immediately to him and well presented as a princess should be, much to Lena's jealously. Lena works for Koopa but also appears to be his girlfriend/mistress. He then makes skin crawling remarks to her asking her as she ever been kissed by a lizard?! He also insinuates that Daisy's father is still with them but not as she would remember. Daisy is an actual princess as her father was once the ruler of the parallel dimension. Daisy is then tied back up alongside with the family pet called Yoshi, who is a small friendly dinosaur.
When Koopa hears of Mario and Luigi's escape he lashes out at Iggy and Spike blaming it on their stupidity and lack of intelligence. Koopa has a unique machine which could either de evolve a human (shrinking the brain to make stupid) or evolving a human (enlarging brain to make intelligent). Therefore it makes perfect sense to evolve Iggy and Spikes brains to help capture Mario and Luigi, much to their protest. They are both evolved however it helps them no more as when they try to again capture Mario and Luigi they end up getting tied up themselves by the brothers!
Mario and Luigi realise the importance of the necklace therefore must retrieve it back from Big Bertha and head to a local night club in the hope to find her. Mario and Luigi are in luck as they see Big Bertha in the club and Mario approaches her, unfortunately for Mario Big Bertha is as frightening as she first appeared as she punches him in the face for no apparent reason. That doesn't put Mario off at all as he follows her to the dance floor and compliments her punching skills! Bertha aggressively orders Mario to dance with him which Mario accepts as Bertha is wearing the necklace! After failing a couple of times Mario finally secretly steals the necklace, spins Bertha around and disappears. Mario and Luigi's luck is running out as Koopas guards and Lena arrive in the club. They try to use rugby tactics and toss the necklace back and forth between themselves but unfortunately the necklace falls down a vent.. however is just about hanging on as it dangles downwards, which Lena is the only one to notice as she grins mischievously.
Back in the prison Princess Daisy and Yoshi are still tied up when one of the de evolved guards enter with some food for her and Yoshi. Lena soon enters and orders the friendly giant away and grabs daisy with a knife to her neck in a jealous rage. Yoshi to the rescue as he extends his tongue around Lena's ankles making her fall down giving Daisy the opportunity to escape. Poor Yoshi is then stabbed in his side by Lena!
Mario and Luigi are back in Koopa's Kingdom to try and rescue Daisy and Daniella. In Daisy's escape she finds a fungus which is spread around the entire kingdom. Daisy's father who once ruled this parallel dimension is now a fungus as King Koopa de evolved him too much so he could take over! His spread of fungus however has been helpful to Mario and Luigi by giving them signs like mushrooms and stopped them from falling down a huge hole by bouncing them back upwards.
Mario and Luigi find the prison where Daniella is being kept captive along with many other women from Brooklyn. It is a cold dreary room and all the women are freezing as the large pipe is frosted over. This gives Mario a great idea... they place the mattress at the top of the icy pipe and all sit on it ready for the best rollercoaster ever! They are chased by Koopas de evolved guards and eventually they all come out the other end of the pipe screaming into the mad Manhattan at astonished onlookers. Surprisingly the guards don't attack, instead they dance to the sound of the music being heard through the street. Earlier in the story Luigi had secretly made them all dance when music was playing, therefore as they are de evolved and have the tiniest brains ever they now think they must dance when music is played!
Mario tricks Koopa by making him think that he has the necklace. Unknown to all Lena has the necklace! Luigi and Daisy hurry and find her at the meteorite about to connect the missing piece... the necklace. They are too late Lena has already connected the missing piece of the meteorite. The parallel dimension begins to combine with the real world and all are transported to the real Brooklyn. Koopa blasts his de-evolver gun at Mario but misses and gets Scapelli! Much to everyone's amusement as Scapelli is not a popular man and has now been de evolved into a monkey!
Luigi and Daisy are still at the meteorite where Luigi is using his tools to dig to try and retrieve the necklace... he succeeds! The parallel dimension is again formed. Much to Koopas anger he blasts the de evolver gun at Mario and Luigi but they reflect the blast back at King Koopa who is then de evolved into a dinosaur! Koopa and his family were descended from dinosaurs therefore when de evolved this is what they become. When us mere humans are de evolved like Scapelli was we would become a monkey.
Koopa is now scarier than ever as a huge roaring tyrannosaurus rex! The Mario bothers grab the de evolver gun and blast it at Koopa and de evolve him that much he's destroyed into green gooey slime! Everyone cheers as Mario and Luigi fly away (with flying boots given by Big Bertha). Luigi and Daisy are reunited and finally kiss! Happy ending... nearly as Daisy breaks Luigi's heart by telling him she must stay in the parallel dimension until she's decided where she needs to be. Her father is no longer a fungus and she is after all Princess Daisy here.
Mario and Luigi return to the real world without Princess Daisy. Its a normal day for Mario and Luigi as they are in their apartment, its been 3 weeks since Luigi had to leave Daisy and he is still sulking... until she bursts in the apartment with some exciting news asking for their help? The End.
Check out this article from Nintendo Power Magazine Vol. 48 which went behind the scenes with the stars and also took a look at the use of the animatronics which were used for Yoshi!
In the parallel dimension in which Koopa has turned Daisy's father into fungus and taken over rule there is both a shop called Thwomp's (after the classic Super Mario Bros enemy featured in Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart etc) and also a bar called Bullet Bills another enemy which has also been seen more than a few times from the game series.
Another reference to the games would be that the fungus kept giving Mario & Luigi Bob-omb's, which are also classic enemies from the games.
A collection of screenshots from the Mario Movie including a rather endearing looking Goomba (endearing compared to most super villains usual henchmen at least), a shot of Daisy before she got kidnapped, various shots of Mario and Luigi together and of course a couple featuring Koopa taking aim at them.
Bob Hoskins - Mario
John Leguizamo - Luigi
Dennis Hopper - King Koopa
Samantha Mathis - Princess Daisy
Fisher Stevens - Iggy (One of the two crooks who kidnap Daisy)
Richard Edson - Spike (One of the two crooks who kidnap Daisy)
Fiona Shaw - Lena
Dana Kaminski - Daniella (Mario's Girlfriend)
Mojo Nixon - Toad
Gianni Russo - Anthony Scapelli
Francesca P. Roberts - Bertha
Lance Henriksen - Daisy's Father
Desiree Marie Velez - Angelica
Don Lake - Sergeant Simon
Original Music by
R. Christopher Biggs (special makeup effects artist)
Rob Burman (prosthetic makeup designer)
Evan Campbell (makeup artist)
Roxy D'Alonzo (lab technician)
Jeff Goodwin (key makeup artist)
Vincent J. Guastini (prosthetic makeup)
Shelly Hutchins (hair stylist)
Michelle Johnson (key hair stylist)
Herita Jones (key makeup artist)
Sandra S. Orsolyak (makeup artist)
Katherine Rees (hair stylist)
Amy L. Taylor (makeup artist) (credited as Amy L. Snyder)
Adam Brandy (special makeup effects laboratory technician: animatronic creatures and special costuming)
Jake Garber (special makeup effects artist)
Dean Gates (creature lab)
Jane Pollack (makeup artist)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
The Mario Bros Movie received some rather mixed reviews from critics. Generally speaking there was some minor praise for the acting and special effects which was outweighed by the negatives of the movie which for the most part included the story and "lack of substance".
Here are some of the scores it received, correct as of 19/07/2014:-
Rotten Tomatoes scored it 16% across 32 reviews with 27 stating it truly rotten!
IMDb scores the movie at 4/10 after 31,895 votes.
EMPIRE scores the game 2 stars out of 5 - "Poor" on their rating scale
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Tribune & Sun-Times newspapers rated the film with two thumbs firmly pointing down in 1993 and on their television program Siskel & Ebert at the movies added the Super Mario Bros movie to the worst films of 1993 list.
There were a few positive reviews too, just not so many.
Washington post reviewer Hal Hinson said he admired the movies spirit and said "In short, it's a blast"
Another positive review was from Janet Maslin of the New York times who said "the film doesn't have the jaunty hop-and-zap spirit of the Nintendo video game from which it takes - ahem - its inspiration
Here is the track list that makes up the Mario Bros. Movie Soundtrack which was released in 1993 published by Capitol.
|1. "Almost Unreal" - Roxette
2. "Love Is the Drug" - Divinyls (cover of a song by Roxy Music)
3. "Walk the Dinosaur" - The Goombas (cover of a song by Was (Not Was))
4. "I Would Stop the World" - Charles and Eddie
5. "I Want You" - Marky Mark
6. "Where Are You Going?" - Extreme
7. "Speed of Light" - Joe Satriani
8. "Breakpoint" - Megadeth
9. "Tie Your Mother Down" - Queen
10. "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)" - Us3
11. "Don't Slip Away" - Tracie Spencer
12. "2 Cinammon Street" - Roxette
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Soundtrack was released in 1993
in the USA in CD Format.