Super Mario Bros. (film)

From Academic Kids

Super Mario Bros.

The poster for Super Mario Bros.
Director Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton
Screenplay Parker Bennett, Terry Runte, Ed Solomon
Producers Jake Eberts, Roland Joffé
Released May 28, 1993
MPAA Rating PG
Color / BW Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Runtime 113 minutes; 140 minutes (director's cut)
Sound Dolby
Budget  ?

Super Mario Bros. is a 1993 movie loosely based on the popular video game series of the same name. The film follows the exploits of Mario Mario (Bob Hoskins) and his brother Luigi Mario (John Leguizamo) in a comical dystopia ruled by King Koopa (Dennis Hopper).

It was directed by Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton and was distributed by Hollywood Pictures.



The movie's basic premise involves the notion that millions of years ago a meteor hit the earth, splitting the world into two parallel dimensions. The first dimension is our world, inhabited by humans who evolved from apes, who in turn evolved from small mammals. The other dimension is inhabited by humanoid creatures who evolved from dinosaurs.

Thirty years ago, the dinosaur world's benevolent monarch was deposed by a military strongman named Koopa. Koopa proceeded to establish a brutal dictatorship with himself at the center of a vast personality cult. Using a special de-evolutionary machine, Koopa transformed anyone who opposed his rule into mindless lizard drones known as Goombas. With his power over the dinosaur world firmly consolidated, Koopa began to plan for the eventual takeover of the human world as well.

Flash forward to present-day Brooklyn, New York, where a young archeologist named Daisy has uncovered a massive find of mysterious new dinosaur bones. She befriends two plumbers named Mario Mario and Luigi Mario, after her car breaks down. Unbeknownst to Daisy, two strange men named Spike and Iggy are trying to kidnap her. They are cousins of Koopa, and on orders to capture Daisy, who is actually the daughter of the deposed king. She possesses a magical amulet that Koopa needs if he is ever to succeed in uniting the two dimensions.

Eventually Iggy and Spike succeed, and drag Daisy through an underground portal into the dinosaur world. Mario and Luigi follow in after her. Meanwhile, Iggy and Spike follow them in a 6WD desert cruiser when Mario and Luigi explore the desert.

The rest of the film involves the Mario Brothers trying to navigate through the chaotic capital of the dinosaur world ("Dinohattan"), track down Koopa, and rescue the Princess. It should be noted that Dinohattan is a dinosaur version of Manhattan, New York. This is probably because the concept between these two worlds is that the people of Manhattan are descended from apes; whereas those of Dinohattan are descended from dinosaurs, which is why the name Dinohattan is used.


The film is widely considered an enormous flop. Although it boasted several big stars, the film was denounced by critics as "cheesy" and lacking any sort of coherent plot. The film was reasonably popular with pre-teens, though many fans of the Super Mario Brothers series were upset at the movie's more "serious" tone, and found its live action cast to be too drastic a departure from the colorful, cartoony world of the games. Fans denounced the movie for having very little to do with the video game series and distorting many known facts about the fictional game world, for instance, in the movie King Koopa is a humanoid descendant of a dinosaur, whereas he is no such thing in the games. The film's PG rating probably hurt the film's potential, as the movie's dark atmosphere, realistic-looking monsters, and numerous action sequences scared off many parents from bringing their young Mario fans to the theater, effectively eliminating a key demographic.

While the film is generally considered to be a disaster by fans of the games and nonfans alike, some consider it to be a priceless cult classic. The movie's ugly and ruthless characters make the movie "too real" to a child fantasy game, making it more of a hero's adventure in a gothic world. Although the film is not included in the Mario video game canon, many fans of the series have adopted "Mario" as the true surnames of Mario and Luigi, a fact established in this film.


The soundtrack featured two songs from Roxette: Almost Unreal which was released as a single, and 2 Cinnamon Street, a new edit of Roxette's Cinnamon Street. The music video for Almost Unreal was inspired by the film, featuring scenes from the movie and a de-evolution theme.


Although it is not certain, it is rumored that the movie became an indie series in The United Kingdom, where it has developed a secretive cult following. However, supposedly, the sequels are very violent and feature high amounts of obscene language and crude sexual humor, as well, supposedly, they were not even released in America because they used Barney The Dinosaur as a stupid henchman to Koopa, and they would be sued in America for this, one of many reasons why The Mario Brothers has been labeled as a practicer of Anti-Barney Humor. Likewise whether or not these sequels even exist or not is unknown and it is likely that they do not, but few Americans who have been to The United Kingdom claim to have seen these movies.

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