Super Mario Bros.

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Super Mario Bros.
This ain't no game, but it ain't no faithful video game adaption too! Mamma-Mia!
Genre: Science Fiction
Directed By: Rocky Morton
Annabel Jankel
Produced By: Jake Eberts
Roland Joffé
Written By: Parker Bennett
Terry Runté
Ed Solomon
Based On: Super Mario Bros. by Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo
Starring: Bob Hoskins
John Leguizamo
Dennis Hopper
Samantha Mathis
Fisher Stevens
Fiona Shaw
Richard Edson
Cinematography: Dean Semler
Distributed By: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: May 28, 1993
Runtime: 104 minutes
Country: United States
United Kingdom.
Language: English
Budget: $48 million
Box Office: $20.9 million
Franchise: Mario

Super Mario Bros. (also known as Super Mario in Japan, or often referred to as Super Mario Bros.: The Movie) is a 1993 adventure comedy film loosely based on the 1985 video game of the same name, and the rest of the Mario video game series by Nintendo. It is the first feature-length live-action film to be based on a video game. The film was directed by the husband-and-wife team of Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, written by Parker Bennett, Terry Runté, and Ed Solomon and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures through Hollywood Pictures. Released on May 28, 1993, the film becomes a critical and financial failure, grossing an estimated $35 million worldwide, against a budget of $42–48 million. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto felt the film tried too hard to replicate the games instead of being a good film. However, despite this, the film gained a cult following in later years and has been recently regarded as a cult classic.

An animated adaptation of the Mario franchise by Illumination is set to be released on December 21, 2022, with the involvement of Shigeru Miyamoto.


Brooklyn plumbers Mario and Luigi get the shock of their lives when they discover a parallel world populated by the intelligent descendants of dinosaurs. It seems they weren't destroyed by meteor millions of years ago but hurled into another dimension and, now, they have plans to rule our world. It's up to our unlikely heroes to battle the evil King Koopa and his Goomba guards, free the beautiful Princess Daisy and save mankind in this adventure of a lifetime.

Why It's Not Super

  1. The main problem with the movie is that it's completely unfaithful to the games and has an extremely poor grasp of the source material. The directors treated the other people involved in the film's production horribly and their bad decisions played a major role in the problems of the movie.
    • The movie begins with a pointless dinosaur extinction, which, in no way, relates anything to the Mario franchise at all, aside from its poorly done sprite animation that poorly resembles the games.
    • The Mushroom Kingdom in the games is a cartoony fantasy world, but in this movie, Mushroom Kingdom is a cyberpunk world named Dinohattan.
    • Mario and Luigi don't have Italian accents despite this being one of their most famous characteristics, despite this being common in other Mario media made at the time, including the DIC TV shows, and the Golden Book. Super Mario Bros: Trapped in the Perilous Pit.
    • Unlike the video games, Luigi doesn't have a mustache.
    • Super Mushrooms act as shields and are obtained from a weird fungus growing all over the kingdom, not from the ? Blocks seen in the games.
  2. A lot of bad character development, some of these characters are in name only, compared to their game counterparts. For example:
    • Princess Peach (or Toadstool) does not appear and in her place is Princess Daisy (who, during that period, only appeared in Super Mario Land). Also compared to Peach, Daisy only got kidnapped once and nowadays seems to make an appearance in the Mario spin-off games.
    • Bowser, or Koopa as he’s referred to in this film, is a human with weird spikes on his head rather than a giant fire-breathing turtle with spikes up until the film's climax, where the Devolution Guns Mario and Luigi use against him turn him into a monstrous Tyrannosaurus rex.
    • Toad is just an emo-looking kid who barely gets any screen time rather than an anthropomorphic mushroom.
    • Koopas and Goombas are portrayed as humanoid figures with shrunken, lizard-like heads, a design decision that has been widely mocked.
    • Bullet Bills are literally just ordinary bullets.
    • Yoshi and Big Bertha also look completely different; Yoshi looks like a rejected Jurassic Park dinosaur extra and Big Bertha is a human rather than a fish.
    • Iggy and Spike are also not represented well. Iggy in the games is one of the Koopalings debuting in Super Mario Bros 3, and Spike is just a regular enemy also debuting in Super Mario Bros 3.
  3. This film is full of gross-out humor, especially in style with fungi, the scene in which King Bowser Koopa (transformed into a dinosaur) becomes vomiting or the scene where the fungus becomes a human.
  4. The plot is confusing and makes no sense. For example, Iggy and Spike transition from being Bowser's minions into Daisy's helpers at the drop of a dime for no reason halfway through the movie.
  5. The infamous scene where Mario says he won't jump, but he does in the video games himself.
  6. There is a pointless running gag of Bowser trying to order pizza.
  7. Filming was apparently so taxing on the actors that they would get drunk just to make it through the whole ordeal. John Leguizamo was so drunk that he braked too hard while driving a van and slammed the door on Bob Hoskins' hand.
  8. Aside from the main characters, most of them are downright awful.
  9. The pacing is not that great.
  10. Laughable dialogue, two notable examples being Koopa saying "Bob-Omb!" and "Monkey!".
  11. The directors wanted the movie to be aimed towards more mature audiences despite the fact the targeted players for the Mario games are mainly children.
  12. Mario and Luigi only wear red and green clothes, respectively, at the end of the film, and Luigi wears red clothing for much time of the film.
  13. The Koopas, Yoshi, and the Goombas are unpleasant to look at.
  14. The original Super Mario Bros. theme is only used once in the entire film.
  15. This film can be too scary for a PG film sometimes.
  16. Luigi appears get a lot more focus in this film instead of Mario, and is treated as the film's main protagonist, despite Mario being the titular protagonist of this movie and the entire Super Mario franchise, and Luigi being the deuteragonist.
    • Aside from it, he doesn't have his signature mustache just like Mario.
  17. The film ends on a shameless cliffhanger when Princess Daisy asks the Mario brothers for help and it's never revealed what would happen next, as its possible sequel was canceled due to overwhelmingly negative reception and only making less than half of its budget.
    • However, the webcomic does have unofficial sequel.
  18. The infamous post-credits scene.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. This film was the first to use the now-industry standard Autodesk Flame software for its special effects, which were considered groundbreaking at the time, and still look impressive today.
  2. There are some moments that are faithful to the games, such as Yoshi having a long tongue.
  3. The costumes and the Bob-Omb design are both pretty good.
  4. The set designs, though too gritty and industrial for a Mario movie, still look fantastic.
  5. Funny and/or hilarious moments here and there, such as the scene where Mario and Luigi say their real names: Mario Mario and Luigi Mario. Also when Mario falls to the other dimension.
  6. It is revealed that there is a love relationship between Luigi and Daisy, although this has not been explored that much since aside from a Mario Kart Wii course, and other small mentions here and there.
  7. They do at least play the Mario theme, even if it only happens once.
  8. The film's soundtrack has some surprisingly decent songs. Most notably, "Almost Unreal" by Roxette.
  9. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo's performances are good and the two actors have good chemistry.
  10. Alan Silvestri does a good job composing the music, especially the opening theme.
  11. The film is considered so bad that it's good by fans of the games.


Super Mario Bros. has always been hated by critics and Mario fans, who praised the innovative special effects, creative artistic direction, and the performances of its actors, but criticized the confusing narrative, lack of similarity to the games, and inconsistent tone. Nevertheless, with the advent of the internet, it has gained a cult following under a "so bad, it's good" feel. Even many of the crew regretted making it. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 24% based on 41 reviews, with an average rating of 4.02/10. The site's consensus states: "Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty.". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B+" on a scale of A+ to F.

Cancelled Sequel

Since the film ends on a cliffhanger, there was going to be a possible sequel, but it was never made due to the negative reception and box office performance. However, an unofficial sequel does exist in the form of a webcomic which improved a little.


  • The original script for this film was considered way better than the final with being faithful to the source material. As mentioned above, it is recommended that you read it, click here:
  • Tom Hanks was originally signed on for the role of Mario and Luigi but was fired from the set during production.
  • After the film received negative reception and bombed at the box-office, Nintendo stopped making movies for nearly 24 years, in which they canceled many live-action or animated movies based on their properties from The Legend of Zelda and Metroid and remained the only theatrical live-action film based on a Nintendo game property, until in 26 years, when Pokémon Detective Pikachu was released by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures. Years later, Nintendo announced that they would resume the movie business and team up with Universal Pictures and Illumination to make the upcoming Super Mario animated movie. Shigeru Miyamoto will co-produce the film and it will be released in December 21, 2022. The film is directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, and includes the voices of Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Fred Armisen, Kevin Michael Richardson, Sebastian Maniscalco, and series' longtime voice actor Charles Martinet (but unfortunately not as Mario and Luigi, but rather a currently unrevealed character).
    • Nintendo and Universal also made a theme park called Super Nintendo World based on Super Mario, while Donkey Kong and various Nintendo properties are planned.
    • However, in an interview with the CEO of Nintendo Co. Ltd, he makes a hints that there will be possible film adaptations of their game franchises in the event of the Mario film's success.
    • Most fans believe that the upcoming Mario film could be a massive improvement over the live action one, and they believe it could be good as well be more faithful to its source material as opposed to the live action one where its not.
  • Danny Devito was considered the role for Mario.
  • Kevin Costner, Michael Keaton and Arnold Schwarzenegger were all considered for Koopa.
  • Some of the scenes from the trailer and promos was been alternated and removed from the final release. Later in 2019, SMB Movie Archive (the fan-site of this movie) found a VHS with all the deleted scenes on his Twitter, which he could release in public and making the director's cut of the movie on Blu-ray in the future. Here are the scenes that were cut.
    1. It could have an extended scene of Daisy's mother been chased by Koopa in the introduction.
    2. Mario and Luigi enter the Riverfront Café to prevent two guys who work with Scapelli (real names; Doug and Mike) where they steal the job since Mario Bros. got the call first. It was the first deleted scene that was finally uploaded on YouTube by SMB Movie Archive.
    3. After Toad was transformed into Goomba, Koopa's technology accidentally sneezed at Koopa where he was been de-evolved by turn into slime. The scene was removed from the final cut until the slime still appeared on the floor was appeared out of nowhere making a continuity error. The deleted footage was later been founded and uploaded on YouTube with the special scene at the end of the human-like-lizard who throw the cigarette at Mario in the prison scene.
    4. Extended car chase scene from reaction shots of Mario and Luigi, who are about to get crashed by another car.
    5. Extended scene where Iggy and Spike told Koopa after he finishes talking with Daisy, which was shown in the trailer.
    6. Iggy and Spike's rap on the Boom Boom Bar.
    7. The ending is different after Mario and Luigi used the de-evolved gun at Koopa as it revealed his true appearance was a Tyrannosaurus Rex/Human hybrid as the heroes quickly throw Bob-Omb at Koopa's mouth it causing him to fall off the Bridge and exploding in little bits once as he hit the water.
    8. After Koopa's demise when he turns into slime, the pizza delivery person gives him a pizza.
  • An adult film parody with Ron Jeremy, Super Hornio Brothers, was bought by Nintendo with the intent to destroy copies of it.
  • Critically, this movie did so bad not even Nintendo themselves want anything to do with it anymore, thus the reason why at one point, the movie was no longer sold in stores almost everywhere, and was never sold on digital storefronts, until October of 2021, where the movie saw a Blu Ray release, another print run of the DVD, and was released on digital for the first time, all done to coincide with the upcoming release of the 2022 Super Mario movie.
  • The recent 2021 print run of the DVD and Blu Ray has the director's cut of the movie included with all the deleted scenes, as well as the original
  • As with Barney's Great Adventure, the film was banned in Malaysia. mostly due to it being deemed "not made for children".



Reviews and Top 10/5s

External links


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