Mario Movie Theory Reveals a Massive Easter Egg Hiding in Plain Sight

Mario may not be the same as Jumpman.

Mario movie desktop wallpaper art
Universal Pictures

Before Nintendo’s iconic plumber was known as Mario and starred in a blockbuster movie, he had no name. First appearing as the player character in the arcade game Donkey Kong, the then-carpenter was just a nameless mustache-sporting man in overalls. The Super Mario Bros. Movie is filled with Easter eggs from the now-long-running series, but one of the earliest references in the movie is a sneaky homage to the origins of Mario.

Audiences seeing The Super Mario Bros. Movie are first introduced to the brothers Mario and Luigi during a commercial for their newly opened plumbing business. The commercial plays in their local pizza joint (Punch-Out Pizza) and they banter with some of the other customers. Amongst these characters is an old man named Giuseppe.

Giuseppe in The Super Mario Bros. Movie has plenty of secrets.

Universal Pictures

Those who were upset over Christ Pratt’s attempt at Mario’s iconic voice will quickly recognize that the voice of Giuseppe is none other than Charles Martinet, the voice actor who has long been the voice of Mario. It’s a nice eater egg that pays tribute to the man behind Mario, and it goes beyond just his voice. Giuseppe is fixing up an arcade cabinet in the pizza shop that looks incredibly similar to the original Donkey Kong arcade game. In the movie, this cabinet is called “Jump Man.”

While the player character in Donkey Kong originally had no name, English translations of the game gave the character the name Jumpman. The character was dressed in a red cap with matching overalls and a blue undershirt, this is the same outfit that Giuseppe wears in the movie.

While this is a nice easter egg, other references in the movie support a theory that Giuseppe is actually Jumpman and that the events of the original Donkey Kong game occurred within the universe of The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The current Mayor of New York City in the movie is Pauline, who in Mario canon is the damsel in distress from Donkey Kong that Jumpman is hoping to save. All three of the game’s stars are in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

While Seth Rogen voices the more famous version of the Donkey Kong character, the more important version for this theory is Cranky Kong. Within the game’s canon, the original Donkey Kong who is the antagonist of the arcade game gets older and becomes Cranky Kong, whose grandson is the more famous Donkey Kong. In the movie, Donkey Kong is the son of Cranky Kong (voiced by Fred Armisen).

The Super Mario Bros. Movie features all three characters from the original Donkey Kong arcade game.


With Jumpan (Giuseppe), Pauline, and Donkey Kong (now Cranky Kong) all within The Super Mario Bros. Movie it implies that the events of the original Donkey Kong game occurred at some point in the past before Mario and Luigi’s escape into the Mushroom Kingdom. This is possible due to the method of travel between Brooklyn and the Mushroom Kingdom, green pipes.

A large room in the sewers underneath Brooklyn containing green pipes allows people to travel between the two realms. The movie already makes it clear that Mario and Luigi are not the first humans to travel between realms, as Peach was transported to the Mushroom Kingdom through one such pipe as a baby. These pipes do go both ways as shown in the climactic final battle of the movie.

Pauline, Giuseppe, and Cranky Kong never interact within the movie so there is no way to validate this theory based purely on the events of the movie. However, all of the easter eggs point to the possibility of this fun theory. Even if Nintendo will most likely leave these as just easter eggs with no greater purpose, it just shows how much love was put into The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

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