‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’: 5 out of 5 Super Stars


AP Newsroom

Jack Black poses at the premiere of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” on April 1. He created his own song for the movie, called “Peaches.”

Natalie Becker, Opinion editor

In September of 2021, I did not have high hopes for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” For every few good video game movies, there’s a sea of bad ones. I was thinking “Super Mario” would be mediocre.

The eclectic casting choices coupled with the not-so-great movie studio was certainly a surprise. Chris Pratt as Mario and Keegan Michael Key as Toad were the two I was worried about the most. Simply because I didn’t think Pratt and Key could give the genuine voices of the characters.

I was also nervous with how Illumination Studios, the producer of the film, would create it. They’ve produced some of my least favorite animated films of all time.

Here we are in April 2023 and I think that was one of my favorite movies I’ve ever seen. And this isn’t hyperbole. I saw it with my partner and they agreed. We stepped into the theater with little to no expectations about this movie, and we left with our jaws on the floor.

“Super Mario” has everything for the super fans of the video game franchise: Fire Flowers, Cat Mario, Diddy Kong and the infamous “DK Rap.” This is one of the few movies that almost perfectly stayed true to the source material. 

I say “almost” because the beginning is exposition into where the Mario brothers came from. It almost felt like they took inspiration from the terrible 1993 live action movie and made it so much better. I liked the additional story, it gave more depth into our main characters.

My only critique for the film is that Bowser’s song, “Peaches,” should have been longer.

Jack Black, who voices Bowser, was the best part of the entire movie. When you first see him on screen taking over the Ice Kingdom, you think his motivations are dastardly and terrible. But his motivation for total world domination is not what you’d think.

The song is a total bop and it’s set to a melancholy piano. But you can still jam out to it because the chorus is so catchy; it’s the word “peaches” over and over again. Black’s vocals on the song remind me of when he was in “School of Rock” singing his heart out.

And the soundtrack for “Super Mario”? It takes elements, called leitmotifs, from the original game soundtracks and turns it into an epic orchestration. I loved the end credits medley. It included one of my favorite songs from “Super Mario World.” I only wish the composer would’ve taken us on a trip to Coconut Mall, from “Mario Kart,” in the end credits with the medley.

Along with the amazing score, the visuals perfectly complemented it. This film is unlike anything I’ve ever seen Illumination Studios produce. It gave the essence of 8-bit style while also giving a sense of realism. The detailing was incredible.

“Super Mario” defied my initial thoughts and became one of my top 10 movies. I recommend anyone who is or isn’t a super fan of the franchise go see it. It’s worth it.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to listen to “Peaches” on repeat.