Mario Movie's 'Peaches' Song Proves a Surprising Truth About Bowser

Love really makes a turtle come out of his shell.

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Bowser might have the heart of an incel, but his amusing, showstopping personality turns him into a surprisingly sympathetic villain. His viral song Peaches exemplifies exactly why he’s the real Gold Star of The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

It isn’t just a song. It’s a storytelling device that characterizes the Koopa king beyond his nefarious tendencies, and hints at a formula that Nintendo and Illumination can use in future movies.

Bowser sings Peaches as an ode to his crush, Princess Peach. He first sings about her on his way to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, declaring his love for the princess and his desire to wed her. Jack Black delivers the dramatic vocals in a pink-hued, romantic background with enough oomph to make it an instant classic.

At the heart, Peaches is a song about unrequited love. Bowser might be trying to take over the world, but he’s also just a lonely dork who wants to date a beautiful princess. Most big-budget movies like Marvel’s Captain America have a clear divide between black and white, and the villains tend to have a clear plan with immovable hatred for the hero or the opposing side. But you can’t help but like Bowser. At the very least, he loves Peach, even if he doesn’t care about anyone else.

His motivations work in the frame of the Mario movie because the film isn’t meant to be an intellectually challenging think-piece. It’s meant to be a joyride. The stakes are low. At no point during the movie does any astute critic believe that Bowser will really kill any of the main characters. In fact, I could see him working with Mario if their interests aligned (perhaps in a sequel).

Sure, Bowser threatens to lower his prisoners into lava to celebrate his wedding. He also has no problems torching his own henchmen. The goofy banter and hammy love song wouldn’t feel right in a straightforward superhero movie, where a cold grave typically means anguish and guilt. Yet, Jack Black can do it as Bowser with as if he were in a rom-com.

Black, known for his many iconic roles from movies like School of Rock and Kung Fu Panda, also stars in a separate music video where he dresses as Bowser while playing piano and dancing. Universal confirmed to Variety on April 10 that Peaches is eligible for a Grammy, so it could be the next video game song to win the award behind Kirby Superstar.

It’s hard to imagine how Nintendo and Illumination will top Black’s performance in a sequel. Maybe another character will have their chance at a musical number? Or perhaps Black will return to sing a different song? It’s not likely Bowser will stay kooped up in his cage forever.

According to Variety, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa specifically stated that the company planned on expanding the Nintendo franchise outside of video games in a 2019 financial briefing. It’s clear this won’t be the last we see of our spiky, lovelorn turtle buddy — and maybe we can get the Koopalings on board for the sequel.

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