The Super Mario Bros. Movie Will Be A Hit With Nintendo-Loving Kids

It’s Mario time!

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Ever since a Mario movie was announced in 2018, fans have been excited to see how their favorite Italian plumber would come to life on the big screen. The emotional stakes were high. Generations of gamers have grown up on these brothers from Brooklyn and their ragtag crew of friends and foes. Would the movie live up to any ideas of it we had in our head? And what age is The Super Mario Bros. Movie appropriate for? Can we take our kids to see it in theaters? Here’s what we know so far about the long-awaited blockbuster.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is rated PG.

Expect cartoon-y fantasy violence and mild peril. There will be battle scenes, but don’t worry about your child enduring Saving Private Ryan levels of realism (or, frankly, Marvel movie levels of realism). Based on the official trailer, even the violence in the film is played off as somewhat silly. Another trailer features dark humor done humorously. “Ooh, fresh meat for the grinder,” a cute little luma with an adorable child’s voice calls to an imprisoned Luigi. “There is no escape. Your only hope is the sweet release of death!” To which to rest of the prison erupts in “Whoah!”s of disbelief.

This keeps Super Mario in line with action adventure family movies from the likes of Disney or Pixar. (Finding Dory, for example, earned a PG rating.) This lines up pretty well with Mario video games have a ratings of either “E” (for “Everyone”) or E10+ (Everyone 10 and older). According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) games rated “E” “contain content that is suitable for all ages.” Games labeled “E10+” is basically fine but might have more frequent cartoon violence or slightly darker themes. All this sounds more or less in keeping with what we know about the movie so far.

The cast of The Super Mario Bros. Movie is full of celebrities.

As is the case with big animated features, the beloved characters are all voiced by well-known actors. Chris Pratt, who has proven his voiceover chops via The Lego Movie franchise, is playing Mario. Charlie Day of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is Luigi. Princess Peach and Toad are played by Anya Taylor-Joy and Keegan Michael-Key respectively and Bowser is voiced by Jack Black. Rounding out the cast are Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong as well as Charles Martinet as Mario and Luigi’s dad.

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If that last name doesn’t sound familiar to you, that’s understandable, but you’ve absolutely heard the voice! The 67-year-old actor has been providing the voices for both Mario and Luigi in video games since 1991.

There was another Mario Bros. movie in the early ’90s.

Gen-X and Elder Millennials may recall going to the theaters to see the original video game-based film, Super Mario Bros. starring Bob Hoskins and Mario, John Leguizamo as Luigi, Dennis Hopper as Bowser, and Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy.

This Princess Peach erasure was frankly among the least bizarre aspects of the film. From the design of the Goombas (mushroom creatures? No. Now they’re very tall, broad men with itty-bitty dinosaur heads.) and Bowser (a bizarrely attired human who can occasionally turn into a dinosaur, but not the kind of dinosaur-esque creature Bowser is in the video games). Also there’s a meteorite that can give you the power to rule the universe? “Well wait,” you ask. “Surely it still takes place in a vibrant cartoon world, right?” No. This live-action film was set in a Blade Runner-style, gritty futurist urban hellscape. It was more than just a choice. It was a series of choices that just spiraled out of control and no one, at any point, was like “OK this isn’t working.” It has a 29% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. So, good news The Super Mario Bros. Movie! The bar is ridiculously low.

“Can I see the Mario Bros movie with my kids?” TL;DR...

Every family is different and probably has the best read one whether or not something is going to be right for their kids. But, generally speaking, if your kids play Mario video games, they should be able to see the movie without an issue.

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