The Super Mario Bros. film is a bright and joyful adventure, but it’s aimed squarely at kids.
Mario games have evolved since 1981’s Donkey Kong. Many of us spent our formative years with the exuberant Italian and his brother Luigi (and all his cronies) as they went from the side-scrolling deliciousness of Super Mario Bros. to open-world adventures that have only gotten bigger and better.
Super Mario Bros. Film
The Super Mario Bros. Film isn’t for adults, despite their familiarity with the brand. Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Film targets kids like its predecessors. It has some adult allusions and inside jokes but employs child-friendly tale mechanics and story choices. Remember this… No downside!
This film’s gags will delight series lovers. It’s true that the film features 90 minutes of Easter eggs in trench coats, but I don’t think that hurts it. How better to introduce a fresh audience to your biggest songs and make their parents laugh?
While the claim that there are many family-friendly children’s films is undoubtedly true, it seems quite unlikely that an eight-year-old would yell at their parents about the film’s shoddy storyline and stale clichés.
Sonic & Nintendo’s rivalry
It’s only logical to compare Sonic to Nintendo’s rival, Mario, given their long history of the rivalry.
Nevertheless, Sonic has something Mario lacks: a really unique personality.
Although it shares Sonic the Hedgehog’s PG rating, I’d argue The Super Mario Bros. Film has geared at an even younger audience thanks to its lack of “rude humor” (that’s not what I said; it was the MPAA) and live-action violence.
I love that the new Super Mario Bros. movie recognizes that kids nowadays have grown up playing video games that are much more sophisticated than the ones we did when we were kids. Nintendo and Illumination have made a fantastic decision with this since it will introduce the Mario series to a whole new audience.
The Super Mario Bros. Film has been panned from the get-go. It’s not that big of a deal that the conversation over Chris Pratt voicing the main character devolved into a “you should be employing genuine voice actors to speak your characters” level of keyboard fury.
The animated film is an IP device because, duh, it’s Mario; the story is thin because it’s meant for brains that aren’t fully developed yet; and the film plays like 90 minutes of Easter eggs because it was trying to connect with adult viewers who have loved the series since we were kids while still being flashy enough to engage the kids watching.
This movie will change everyone’s outlook. This doesn’t mean the movie’s critics are wrong, since reviewers are fans too. The film will also appeal to adults. This updated plumber story has a lot to offer. He’s got character! It’s a subtle reminder that not all stories are for us. 8-year-olds will love The Super Mario Bros. Film. Despite disappointing adults, the emphasis should have been on 8-year-olds.