The moment you’ve been waiting for your entire life is finally here: Nintendo has released the first teaser trailer for the upcoming animated Mario movie featuring Chris Pratt in the title role and a slew of other A-listers rounding out the cast. The Super Mario Bros. Movie is coming. Are you ready?
What happened — The official New York Comic Con Twitter account teased back in September that the premiere of the first teaser trailer for the Super Mario Bros. movie would occur on October 6 at 4 p.m. Eastern during NYCC Day One. The 45-minute panel on the Empire Stage likely had something extra for those onsite, but at around 4:05 p.m., a Nintendo Direct was also broadcast.
After a brief introduction from Mario creator Shigeru Miyamato and Illumination’s Chris Meledandri, along with co-stars Chris Pratt and Jack Black, we finally got the trailer:
An icy fortress town looms in the distance, and Bowser’s floating island castle lands nearby. A bunch of cute little penguins pelt Bowser with snowballs but are quickly subdued before the king of the Koopas burns down the walls of the city to claim a star. “Who’s gonna stop me!?” he screams.
That’s when Mario gets blasted sideways out of a classic green Warp Pipe and into wilds outside the Mushroom Kingdom. He bounces around a bit, wonders aloud “What is this place?” and then quickly meets a Toad who leads him towards Mushroom Kingdom.
“Mushroom Kingdom, here we come!” Mario says.
What the Mario voice sounds like — A Toronto native, Chris Pratt wields a subtle voice here as Mario. Disappointingly, we only get two lines. “What is this place?” Mario mumbles in a voice that sounds almost indistinguisable from Chris Pratt’s voice.
The final line of the trailer is quite telling. Pratt draws out the vowel sounds, speaking slower than his normal cadence, in a way that almost feels like a yawn. The pitch of his voice also peaks on the “i” in “Kingdom.” Rather than emulating a typical Mario voice, Pratt is instead going for a bit of a subtle wise guy approach that riffs on New York City English.
For all we know, maybe this Mario is an NYC plumber who got blasted into the Mushroom Kingdom on accident?
What Mario looks like — The day before the trailer was slated to premiere, a McDonald’s employee in the ConnorEatsPants Discord server leaked the first photo of Mario from the movie. In short, it looks like Mario! But the denim and buttons on his overalls look a little bit more photorealistic. And his body’s dimensions — usually short and stour — look a little closer to human proportions. Despite that, he’s still got a huge head with a super-large nose. The mustache, as ever, looks like it was carved out of dark felt. There’s also a curious slit in his gloves, which probably makes them easier to remove.
All things considered, there’s something uncannily off in this leaked photo. Mario doesn’t look like an animated character so much as he does a bulky human in some kind of mascot costume you’d see at the Nintendo theme park. Still, it does resemble the final product, so it seems like this one was accurate all along!
Nintendo also released an official teaser image of Mario the day before the trailer, and it shows our hero standing with his back to the camera.
Hilariously, a controversy emerged because Mario has a rather flat ass here. For such a stocky, active fellow who spends much of his time jumping, you’d think he’d be a bit more curvaceous. But alas.
The hype train — A new Mario movie had been bandied about for quite a few years before Shigeru Miyamoto announced the core cast in a September 2021 Nintendo Direct. Much of the casting is positively inspired: The chaotic and loud Jack Black as Bowser! Seth Rogen’s gruff and throaty voice as Donkey Kong! Young Millennial it girl Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach! But the lead role of Mario went to Jurassic World lead Chris Pratt, best recognized as Star-Lord in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Notably, Pratt did lend his vocal talents to Emmet, the lead character in 2014’s The Lego Movie.
Despite the fact that actor Charles Martinet has voiced Mario and Luigi since 1992, and that voice is more recognizable than the signature red plumber’s cap, Nintendo went in a different direction with the silly guy from Parks and Recreation.
Back in June 2022, while promoting his Amazon Prime Video series The Terminal List, Pratt spoke about his Mario voice to Variety. He threatened that his voice was “unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before.” Pratt worked with the directors and tried out a few different options for the voice before landing on the final product.
We haven’t seen that much so far, but the little bit we have seen leaves us feeling cautiosly optimistic.
The Mario movie will be released on April 7, 2023.
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