with file Mario The movie is on its way so soon, it only makes sense that we’d take a look at the first-ever feature film to feature the famous plumber. No, it’s not the horrible real-life Mario movie from 1993, but a forgotten classic – Super Mario Brothers: Great mission to save Princess Peach.
This movie has been tragically forgotten by most people despite being one of the first video game adaptations ever (Related to The Ring Boy: Star Soldier No Himitsu which was released at the exact same time.) Copies of the movie go for hundreds of dollars on bidding sites, so what makes it so incredibly desirable by video game and anime fans alike?
Who was behind the movie?
Unlike other Mario anime OVAs created in the 1980s, Super Mario Brothers: Great mission to save Princess Peach Created by the now defunct Grouper Productions. They don’t have many memorable projects outside of their final production from 1995: Ping Pong Club.
However, the staff behind the movie itself included some major names with Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Best known for working on several projects for Hello Kitty and Kero Keropi at the time, director Masai Hata would eventually go on to direct. Lilo and Stitch Anime. Sound director, Yasuo Urakami, has gone on to hold the same position on legendary projects like Code Geass and Studio Ghibli Grave of the Fireflies. He also brought back the original voice of the Mario Toru Furuya anime dragon ball Kudos for voicing the honorary plumber.
What was the movie about?
The movie was released as a tie-in for what is known in the West as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels But it was simply called Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan. Grouper Productions has also created several commercials featuring Mario to go along with their release of things like watches and phone cards. The movie also has animated product placement in it as well as showing that much of its creation was created for promotional reasons.
The film unsurprisingly follows Mario and Luigi on their quest to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. However, it had many differences from the games including characters that were not part of the series after that. Among them are Kinoko Sennin, a wise man who helps the brothers find their way to the Kingdom of Mushrooms, and Kibidango – an adorable dog-like creature who turns out to be a prince named Haruoji from the Kingdom of Flowers who ends up with a peach. Being destined for marriage much to Mario’s dismay. There is also an elderly Koopa named Shishai who presides over the failed wedding between Bowser and Peach.
The two brothers have to try to collect three “mystical items” that players know as power-ups – the mushroom, the fire flower, and the star. Viewers can see several sightings of familiar enemies from the series such as Bullet Bills, Spinies, and the Hammer Brothers. The two brothers end up exploring underwater in the movie. Of course in the end, they manage to defeat Bowser and save the day.
The potential influence of the film on later games
Many things happened in the movie that later became canonical in video games. Goombas appear in something similar to the Goomba shoes seen in Super Mario Bros 3. Bowser’s romantic interest in Peach started here and he wasn’t even seen again paper mario He is released, and the giant Koopa trying to marry the princess will eventually become the main plot of the game Super Mario Odyssey. Luigi was shown to be taller than Mario in the movie as well, who would become a bricklayer Super Mario Bros. 2 for western audiences. Peach’s hair is even blonde on top of the red that was featured in the games at the time, and is now her recognizable hair color.
Why is the movie so rare?
The movie is now extremely hard to find outside of a stunning 4K restoration on YouTube as it was only released in Japan. To make matters worse, it was also shown in Sochiku theaters and the majority of the VHS release was for rental only which meant that very few tapes made it to the general public.
Some of the other promotional products associated with the movie are also hard to find. The film’s soundtrack only had 50 copies produced with a number of those having only the film’s theme “Doki Doki Do it!” Some of them were also packaged with a now extremely rare book containing promotional art, interviews and lyrics to the songs they are called The Wonderful World of Mario Picture Book. There was also a manga, three books of puzzles, and a picture book to promote the movie, which are also incredibly hard to find and even considered lost media for some time.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the movie will be getting another official release either. Mario’s voice actor Toru Furuya confirmed in an interview that the anime projects he has worked on will not be considered for international releases. Fans can only hope Nintendo changes their minds and makes it easier for fans to enjoy this special piece of plumbing history.
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