In the film, Mario and Luigi are the owners of a grocery store. One night, Mario was engrossed in his Famicom game. Suddenly, the picture goes out and Princess Peach appears on the TV screen crying for help from the enemies attacking her and jumps out of the TV. Mario falls in love with her and vows to protect her. Soon after, Koopa appears on the TV screen and starts to come out of the TV. He grabs Princess Peach and takes her into the TV. Mario then discovers a small brooch that Peach left on the floor.
The next day, the brooch that Peach dropped becomes a matter of concern for Mario. Luigi immediately notices the brooch and regards it as the "Visionary Jewel from the Country of Treasure". Soon, Kibidango, a small dog-like being, wanders into the store and notices that Mario has Peach's brooch. He takes it away from Mario, enraging him, thus beginning his (and Luigi's) chase with Kibidango into the Mushroom Kingdom.
In all honesty this anime is by no means TERRIBLE. The story was awful and the music was 80's awful. But it's Mario, so it gains a few points in key departments!
Story: While the story was terrible, it remained true to the Mario standards of "save Princess Peach, then we're done!" It also managed to include the power-ups we all remember, such as the Red Mushroom, Fire Flower, and the Star! So it definitely tries hard to please we who played the games. It's very comedic as well, and I actually managed to chuckle a few times. A few scenes were extremely boring, having only
the two Mario Bros. walking through different back droppings. Big minus!
Art: The art isn't half bad! All of the Mario baddies we all know and love were involved, and they looked very good! Hammer Bro ftw! :D It does indeed shine in a few areas. The only drawback is that it's only (to the best of my knowledge) available in VHS form. So it's not exactly perfect viewing. Of course this isn't the fault of the artists!
Sound: The SFX were awesome, the only reason sound scored an 8 in my review, as the music was awful. The random "Denim, denim, denim" or the warp tube sounds were extremely nostalgic, and they honestly kept me watching it. You could also hear other familiar sounds that come from the Mario NES series of games! The music was terrible though, so there's your fair warning.
Character: It's Mario, so naturally it's good. But the lack of originality stopped me from giving it a higher rating.
Enjoyment: Besides the random fun SFX and the nostalgic sight of Koopas, Hammer Bro, and Bowser this really isn't too exciting to watch. Without the nostalgia I really doubt this would have gotten any bit of enjoyment out of me. IF you enjoy Mario you'll definitely find some satisfaction SOMEWHERE.
To sum it up, you may as well watch it! If you're a Mario fan you'll definitely have a laugh or two or maybe a "W00T!" during the final battle. From someone who doesn't look back to the NES Mario days as the best of their lives, however... You should probably pass this one up. :D
When people think of a Mario movie, they immediately look to the horrible live action movie. However, hardcore fans of the series will know of the existence of an obscure anime film from 1986. I'm willing to bet that 95% of Mario fans will wonder what I'm talking about. In 1986, Grouper Productions secured the rights from Nintendo to produce an anime film based upon the immensely successful Super Mario Bros. for Famicom/NES. The anime was called Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen, or literally Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach.
With this being a rather obscure movie, very little
is known about what went on during production. To what extent Nintendo and series director Shigeru Miyamoto had to do with this film is not at all clear, but my guess is not much. The film saw a very limited theatrical release in Japan and was quietly distributed on VHS by VAP Video a short time later. VAP made the dumbest mistake possible by only releasing the anime on rental cassette. Because of this, the film is highly sought after by collectors and fetches high prices on Japanese auction sites. And before you ask, no the film was never released outside of Japan. This somewhat surprises me, as Mario is marketable to a worldwide audience. We can only hope that an anime distributor will pick up the rights to this title someday, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Luckily with the age of the internet, the film is available for viewing or download on sites such as YouTube. There's even several fansubs that exist, though they vary in translation quality and character name accuracy. A fandub exists as well, though we all know about the quality of such productions.
Despite poor choices in distribution, the anime actually had a wide variety of tie-in products such as a manga adaptation, an official soundtrack release, wrist-watches, ramen noodles, and phone cards. As expected, these products are even rarer than the film itself so don't bother looking for them unless the planets align or something.
With all this being said, is this film a hidden gem? The short answer is no. Going into this film, it's clear to me that this anime was never a high priority among the studio. The main reason it exists is to make a quick cash grab based upon the Super Mario license. It was directed by Masami Hata. Never heard of him? Me neither because his most well known work is Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. That being said, the movie isn't completely terrible and actually has its share of enjoyable moments.
Story and Characters: 6/10
The mentality of the Mario series has always been gameplay over story. Rescue Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. That's it. To accommodate this paper-thin story into a watchable movie, much had to be added to the script. The film opens with Mario playing a Famicom game late at night. You heard me right. The Italian plumber, from Brooklyn, created by a Japanese guy that symbolizes the video game genre itself, is playing a video game in an obscure Japanese anime based upon a video game. Wrap your head around that one. Mario's brother Luigi asks him if he wants tea, but is curtly ignored. Ah, social commentary on the current state of modern-day video gamers. Suddenly, Princess Peach jumps out of the screen being chased by Bowser. After introducing herself to Mario and her current situation, Mario vows to defend her. Bowser then grabs Peach and takes her back into the TV. What surprised me the most is how Mario handles the whole situation. Although he's surprised at first, he just seems to go with the whole thing shortly after. Seriously? If I were him, I'd question what drugs I had just been smoking to see such an intense hallucination. When Mario tells Luigi of what just happened, his response is the same as mine. (Okay it's not exactly the same. He tells Mario that the whole thing was a dream.) Mario then sees that Peach left her necklace on the floor, and realizes that what he just experienced was all too real. The next day, Mario constantly daydreams about Peach and is distracted from his job. By the way, in this film Mario and Luigi are grocery store workers and not plumbers. A strange looking dog named Kibedango (a pun upon Japanese millet dumplings called dango) rushes in and steal the Peach's necklace from Mario's hand. The two brothers chase after the dog and who leads them down a warp pipe. They are greeted by the most stereotypical old man/wizard who tells them that they must rescue Peach from Bowser, who intends to marry her on the upcoming Friday the 13th. They must procure the mushroom of strength, the flower of courage, and the star of invincibility (this is Mario we're talking about) to stand a chance against Bowser.
And that's the setup for the story. In order to fill the huge gaps in storytelling that Nintendo left, much emphasis is put on slapstick humor and longer chase/fight scenes. Is the story still pretty basic? Yes. Is it at all entertaining? For the most part, yes. Even though its clear that this film was meant for children, I still found myself smiling at some of the film's comedic scenes. Despite the efforts to inject substance in the script, by the end of the day it's still a save the princess story. One thing that kind of annoyed me is the shameless plugs for ramen noodles that appear throughout the film. Gotta love those noodles, right? Surprisingly, some of the actions that Mario performs appeared in later Mario games like Jjumping on a Lakitu and riding its cloud (Super Mario World), eating a mushroom and growing humongous (New Super Mario Bros.), and spinning Bowser by the tail and throwing him (Super Mario 64). Coincidence? I guess that's left for the viewers to decide. Overall, the film really hasn't aged well in terms of story or animation (more on that in a bit) but the nostalgia factor will probably make up for this.
The personalities of the characters in this film are completely different from what the series would later portray. Keep in mind that games were still limited in what they could accomplish in 1986 and Super Mario Bros. had no character development. The anime fills in the void by creating its own versions of the characters. Mario is still the humble and typical hero who wants to save the girl. While this is okay, he is dreadfully boring as a character offering nothing interesting to the table. Luigi steals the show by being a greedy and selfish miser. Sound familiar? He's pretty much Wario. While Mario is the boy scout who wants to save Peach, Luigi is only in it for the promised gold along the way. If you're wondering why his color scheme seems different from the games, that's because he had no set color pattern at the time. As for the rest of the cast, they're exactly what you'd expect. Peach is the stereotypical damsel-in-distress, just like her in-game counterpart and Bowser is the evil villain. With the running time only 60 minutes, there's really not that much room for character development. Not that there was ever character development in the Mario series.
The cast consists of somewhat well known and somewhat obscure Japanese seiyuu. There's really not much else to say, because I won't call this film the high point of any of their careers. The voices aren't bad in the slightest, (Japanese voice acting rarely is) but noting really stands out as notable expect for the fact that Bowser is played by a female Japanese pop singer. I'm dead serious.
I'm probably being generous here, but the animation in Mario isn't half-bad most of the time. Backgrounds pop out with various colors, and I enjoyed the cartoonish looks of the characters. That being said, I can't deny the significant age this anime shows. But like the crude graphics of the NES days, I can look past this for the most part. I should note though, that the Hayao Miyazaki film Castle in the Sky came out a mere two weeks later. Yeah...
The BGMs used in the game is directly taken from Super Mario Bros., and is slightly enhanced by the NES synth. This isn't really a bad thing, because I can't imagine a Mario film being accompanied by anything else. Like every single anime ever created, Mario includes several vocal songs. Nothing really stands out here as the songs are pretty forgettable.
Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach is a mixed bag overall. It has its moments, but it isn't a masterpiece buy any means. I'm sure that one could give it a quick look for curiosity's sake, but is no way worth the high prices its going for right now. The anime won't even take too much of your time, seeing as it's only an hour long. Despite its short length, it surprisingly does not feel rushed at all. I'd say watch it once, but don't bother again after that.
It was pretty poor and pathetic, but you can't really hate this movie. You could even be watching the best movie ever and you wouldn't facepalm (or the classic anime faint) yourself out of major stupidity. You'd only do that if you were over-upset in the ending. It's a terrible suprise. Luigi sets off a lot of humor.
"We're gonna be SOOOOOOOO RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICH!" Mario is trying to get across lava to save the princess once and Luigi looks for gold.
"Gold! Gold!! WHEEEEHEEEE!" He literally says that.
You can't NOT enjoy Luigi... LOL.
You can try to hate it or you can just hate it.
But at the end of the day, you'll AT LEAST somewhat enjoy it.
Maddie Manga strikes again by showing me another bad anime. This has just taken place as my least favorite anime I've seen to date. There's hardly anything to spoil beings it's just the generic "Mario saves the princess but gets friendzoned" storyline. That story alone would be fine, if they hadn't done it so poorly..
For one, they made everyone jerks. Literally. When your most likable character is your villain, you really bunked up on your protagonists.
I'm not kidding. Bowser is the most likable character in this trainwreck. He seems to legitimately love Peach and want to marry her, and while yeah he kidnapped her
and that's not okay, everyone else are straight up HORRIBLE PEOPLE or have no character to speak of.
Second, HOW DO YOU MESS UP LUIGI'S COLORS THAT BADLY?!
Another thing, what was with the weird music? I mean some of the songs were catchy but they don't fit in this at all, just use the traditional Mario soundtracks, we know they were able to because some of them were in this.
Also, the ending. Oh my GOD the ending. It's the worst thing.
The dog... THE DOG CATERPILLAR THING... GOT THE GIRL.