Why We Have Mario to Thank for Video Game Movies

Mario, Toad, Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, and Cranky Kong racing each other on the Rainbow Road
Get Tickets to Super Mario Bros: The Movie

Picture this: it's 1983, and the video game industry is plummeting faster than a Goomba under Mario's boot. In the midst of this chaos, one mustachioed plumber swoops in to save the day – and he's about to do it again, but this time on the silver screen. The hero we're talking about is, of course, the one and only Mario. As the savior of the home video game market, it's only fitting that the character who paved the way for game movies is finally getting the blockbuster treatment he so richly deserves in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. So let's jump (see what we did there?) into the history of how Mario changed the game and ignited the video game movie revolution.


An Extra Life for the Games Industry

The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 threatened to bring the entire industry to its knees. With an oversaturated market, low-quality games, and fierce competition from computers, it seemed like the end was near for video game consoles. But then, Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985, featuring a mustachioed plumber in red overalls – our beloved Mario.

The game, Super Mario Bros., brought excitement, innovation, and fun back into the living rooms of millions, proving that video games were here to stay. The immense success of the NES and Mario's adventures sparked a resurgence in the industry, laying the foundation for future game consoles and franchises.


Leveling Up to the Big Screen

As video games continued to grow in popularity and sophistication, so did the desire to bring these beloved characters to life on the big screen. In the 1990s, we saw a flurry of video game adaptations, such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. But let's be honest, not all of them were exactly critical darlings. However, they signaled the beginning of a new era, where video game properties could share the stage with comic book heroes and other pop culture icons.

Fast forward to today, and video game adaptations have become a staple of the film industry. Detective Pikachu charmed us with its mix of nostalgia and heart, while Sonic the Hedgehog raced into our hearts with its playful humor and thrilling action. These recent successes show how far video game movies have come and how much potential they hold.

And now, the character who started it all is finally getting his turn in the spotlight. The upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated movie, produced by Illumination, the studio behind Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, is set to bring Mario's world to life like never before. With an all-star voice cast featuring Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, and Charlie Day as Luigi, this film promises to be a love letter to fans of the iconic franchise.

Why has it taken so long for Mario to get his own movie? Well, some might point to the notorious 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. film, which didn't exactly win the hearts of fans or critics. But let's not dwell on the past. It's a new era for video game movies, and Mario's upcoming adventure has all the ingredients to be a smash hit.


Mario at the Movies

The excitement surrounding Mario's big-screen debut is palpable, and it's not just nostalgia talking. It's the knowledge that without Mario's success in the '80s, the video game movie genre might not even exist today. Mario's journey from pixelated plumber to international superstar is a testament to the power of video games and their ability to create immersive, emotional experiences that can be translated to the big screen.

As we eagerly anticipate Mario's upcoming adventure, it's worth reflecting on how far the industry has come since the days of the NES. Thanks to Mario's groundbreaking impact, video games and their adaptations have evolved into a thriving, interconnected ecosystem, where stories and characters can span multiple mediums, engaging fans on a whole new level.

We've seen franchises like Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, and Assassin's Creed make the leap from consoles to cinemas, each bringing their unique worlds and stories to life. These adaptations have attracted top-notch talent, both in front of and behind the camera, demonstrating the growing respect and excitement for video game movies in Hollywood.

So, as we prepare for the arrival of the The Super Mario Bros. Movie, let's take a moment to appreciate the journey that led us here. From the humble beginnings of a pixelated plumber leaping over obstacles to save a princess, we've witnessed the birth and growth of a genre that has become a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.

Mario's big-screen debut marks a new chapter in the ongoing story of video game adaptations, and we couldn't be more excited to see how it unfolds. With the character who started it all finally getting the movie he deserves, it's time to strap on your overalls, grab your power-ups, and join Mario and his friends as they embark on their most exciting adventure yet.

In conclusion, The Super Mario Bros. Movie isn't just a celebration of a beloved character – it's an ode to the history of video games and the impact they've had on our lives. As Mario leaps onto the silver screen, we can't help but feel excited and grateful for the character who not only saved the home video game market but also paved the way for other game movies to find their footing. Mario, we salute you!

Super Mario Bros: The Movie premieres in theatres on April 5th! See it at Regal. 

See Super Mario Bros: The Movie at Regal