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Super Mario Bros. is the Cutest Movie You Ever Did See.

"Nintendo’s flagship property returns to theaters in it’s truest form. Friggin Cute!"

In 1993 Nintendo, and an offshoot of Disney, produced Super Mario Bros.: The Movie. It was an overwrought, overproduced, over-budget mess, that the late Bob Hoskins, who played the title character, called his “biggest regret.” Even with its PG rating, the film was dark and slimy and scary. Excellent effects for its time, but in service of a lackluster and tonally bleak script. It would be 30 years before Nintendo would attempt a movie again. The result this time, is the tonally bright, sweet and cute “The Super Mario Bros Movie.” A complete 180 from Nintendo’s previous film. It’s true to the original game, and a fun ride for the whole family.

The story is classic. Two brothers from Brooklyn, Mario & Luigi, look to make a way for themselves together by starting their own plumbing business. No one believes in them. Not their former boss Spike (easter egg: Spike is villain in the Mario spinoff game "Wrecking Crew" and one of Mario's original rivals), not their father or uncles. And their potential for failure is highlighted by an early hilarious encounter with a dog who prevents them from fixing a leak at their first customer’s apartment. When a water main break threatens to flood the area, Mario sees it as an opportunity to prove himself and promote the business. But, while attempting to fix the problem, the brothers are pulled into a Warp Pipe to a different dimension. And they’re separated.

Now Mario must enlist the help of Princess Peach to find his brother and in the process, defeat the “evil” Bowser and save the Mushroom Kingdom. Much was made about Chris Pratt’s casting, for reasons we won’t dwell on here, but he’s very good as a young Mario. He pleasant and funny and plays it straight. He stays out of the way of the movie, which makes way for other voice actors to shine. Specifically, Jack Black as the show stealing Bowser who’s smitten with the heroic Princess Peach. It’s his twisted feelings for her that manifests a most enjoyable musical number, elevated by Jack Black’s comedic timing and talent. Other top shelf performances include Charlie Day as a frightened Luigi, Seth Rogan as the competitive Donkey Kong and Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach.

Speaking of Peach, her move from Damsel in Distress to Hero and Mentor actually serves the story well as we have a character who can guide us through this colorful but quite possibly confusing world. The film trusts a child’s imagination and does not go out of the way to explain the magical element of this fantasy world. They just are, and we can accept that and follow along on this animated film’s journey. It’s a fun and funny journey with just a pinch of nostalgia for us original gamers.

The characters we meet along the way are distinct and memorable, like Keegan Michael Key’s very huggable Toad and a very unexpectedly funny “Luma” who cuteness contrasts its world view by a lot, played by Juliet Jelenic, the daughter of Co-Director Michael Jelenic. There’s some tension and danger along the way, but never too much because its even difficult not to love the evil Bowser and his army of Koopas. At one point the movie simply calls out how adorable the characters are. While the humor here mostly for children, there’s enough for adult fans of the original game and parents who have to be there with the kids. The film finds a way to please its whole audience without straying into hidden adult innuendos. It just keeps it cute all the way through to the end.

While it’s not as emotional and layered as some of Pixar’s best, and there isn’t much in the way of subtext, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is an easy to follow and easy to enjoy time at the theaters for kids and adults. It’s refreshing to just be able to go to a movie and have fun. Four invincibility stars out of Five for this adorable, animated adventure. The Super Mario Bros. Movie is Written by Matthew Vogel and Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic. The film runs a brisk 92 minutes. It stars Chris Pratt, Jack Black, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day and Keegan Michael-Key as well as Charles Martinet, the original game voice of Mario. The film is rated “PG” for mild violence. You can see The Super Mario Bros. Movie in theaters now!

Average Joe is a social commentator, Show host, writer, Movie Critic, influencer, and content reviewer at Head Nerds In Charge Network.

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