The transition from video game to cinema with Super Mario Bros. – The film is not the most delicate in the career of the legendary Italian plumber by Shigeru Miyamoto. Let’s summarize the videogame history and not.
Now that Super Mario Bros. – The Movie arrived in cinema Italians, to the delight of his fans, it may be appropriate to explain even to those who have not eaten bread and Nintendo and 40 years which is the history of this brand and of this sunny and cheerful world, made of challenges and improbable surreal platforms… among other things. With such evident commercial success in the gaming market, what have been the most interesting linguistic incarnations of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser and partners? Forgive us for the schematisms, let’s try to be quick and clear, rather than exhaustive.
Super Mario Bros. – The Movie, Deep Roots in Platorm Gaming
Super Mario Bros. (1985) for the 8bit console NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was the moment of actual maturity by Mario and associates. Not that the platform gamewhere the protagonist jumps from structure to structure, collects bonuses and faces enemies that did not exist before. Shigeru Miyamoto however, he built on the brief tradition of the fixed screen platformerin which he himself had moved to start the saga (with Donkey Kong e Mario Bros.1981 and 1983), a dynamism never experienced before: a constant sliding of the seabed, a continuous discovery and – within the technical limits of the time – the continuous exploration of a world. An approach that was then widely imitated, capable even in the USA of lift the world of video games from the historic crash of 1983when there was the feeling that video games, which exploded in the second half of the seventies, were a fad that had come to an end.
Always faithful to its machines, Nintendo with Miyamoto continued over the years to refine the formula of platform bidimensionaleboth on the 8bit NES (with the monstrous success of Super Mario Bros. 3 in 1988), and on the next generation, the Super Nintendo a 16bitwith the event of Super Mario World (1990).
Super Mario Bros and the transition to 3D
When Mario passed to the mondi 3dwithout however abandoning the two-dimensional ones for parallel raids on Nintendo portable consoles (such as the Game Boy), the entire world of video games had evolved and could no longer be considered in crisis. On the other hand, while on Nintendo 64 the epoch saw the light super mario 64 (1996), reinterpretation of the platform in a three-dimensional environment explored in third person with a moving camerain the West Lara Croft exploded with the coeval Tomb Raider, in an action-adventure still 3D but relatively slower and more cadenced. That doesn’t mean the analog and immediate control system in Super Mario 64, stitched on the N64 joypad, was not as revolutionary as the character’s debut on the NES, so much so that in this case too it was a trailblazera compass to understand in which direction to go in the genre.
The three-dimensional Mario has continued to evolve over the years, opening up for example to the bizarre and experimental controls of the console Wii con Super Mario Galaxy (2007), to then grace also the innovative hybrid console (portable and “housewife”) Nintendo Switchwith the much appreciated Super Mario Odyssey in 2017. Meanwhile the graphics chips of consoles have evolved, and the look of the character has acquired detail and expressiveness such as to certainly act as a yardstick and inspiration for the artists of theIllumination Entertainment con Super Mario Bros. – The Movie.
Super Mario Bros., movies and cartoons
Historically, Mario has been transposed into linear, non-interactive form primarily as animated characterand after all the passage sounds quite natural, given the fairy-tale atmosphere and cartoon of his adventures. Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! is an animated feature film made in 1986 in Japan, especially for home video (“Media“, technically), while the American series known in Italy simply as Super Mario. It was made on the promotional wave of Super Mario Bros. 3and America had really gone mad: let’s remember that the cult The great little wizard of video games (1989) told of a child who participated in a championship sponsored by Nintendo itself, being put in front of that third chapter, unpublished for him! When storytelling and promotion merge in a rather blatant way… The same American studio behind the aforementioned series, DIC Entertainment, created two other shorter cycles in 1990, broadcast in Italy as The Adventures of Super Mario.
However, the linear and classic audiovisual transpositions of Mario’s world stopped after what was to represent its peak: Super Mario Bros. (1993) by Rocky Morton & Annabel Jankel, a blockbuster from life with Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi. In this article we would prefer to draw a pitiful veil over the result, referring you to another piece in which we discussed this deadly faux pasable to suspend Mario’s ambitions for further moves to other media for 30 years… until this Super Mario Bros. – The Movie.
Super Mario Bros. 1993: after 30 years a summary trial to the first film based on a video game
Super Mario, not just platforms
A piece of this kind would be incomplete if we did not mention VERY briefly the plethora of video games that have seen the Mario gang as protagonists, however not attributable to the main genre, the platform. The most popular parentage was Super Mario Kart (1992) on SNES, go-kart racing with our protagonists, among other things, the debut of a 3D-like visualization, flagship of the console, to the delight of mother Nintendo. We would also not leave out sporting exploits such as i mario golf eh Mario Tennisnor the sorties in the field gdrrelatively more narrative and articulated: Super Mario RPG of the Square (for SNES, 1996) and the sagas of Paper Mario (from 2000 onwards for Nintendo 64 and higher systems, with a particular “paper” look that is maddeningly 2D), as well as Mario & Luigi (on portable consoles, 2003 to 2018).
We close with a note of parochialism: the coalition between Mario and the Rabbids della Ubisoft brought to Switch, in 2017 and 2022, two very particular turn-based action-adventure titles, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle e Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. They were made largely by Ubisoft Milanunder the creative direction of David Soliani e Damian Moro. The Super Mario verb is universal, if you ever needed more proof than this!