Mario Characters: Movie Vs. Game
Image: Nintendo Life

The Super Mario Bros. Movie will be coming our way in early April (be sure to check out our release date guide for region specifics) and it certainly looks like we are in for a video game adaptation that actually respects its source material. What a concept!

With every new trailer and poster comes more detailed peeks at Illumination's take on The Mushroom Kingdom and all of the familiar faces that we are going to find therein. From series staples down to the more obscure characters, we have been pretty impressed by all of the silver screen tweaks and enhancements made to the appearance of the plumbers and pals. Were they really necessary, though? Are they better than what we get in the Mario games?

With your help, we are going to be solving that very question below. With the release of the character posters, we can now see all of the film's starring cast in great detail and settle once and for all which design is better, film or game. We have collected together images of every character confirmed to appear in the film and placed it alongside their most recent video game style. You can get a good look at each and then vote in the character's respective poll with your favourite design.

Let the comparisons begin!


This is the design that was either going to make or break the film. After all, nobody wants to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie with a lead character that looks like anything other than, uh, Mario.

Illumination has therefore played it pretty safe with this one. Sure, his eyes are a little smaller, his 'tache a little hairier, his cheeks a little chubbier, but that's still Mario through and through.

Which Mario design do you prefer?


The changes here are much the same as they are with Mario. Luigi might not look quite as elongated as he does in the games and that nose is a little more bulbous than we expected, but the resemblance is still there.

Which Luigi design do you prefer?


Illumination's Peach isn't miles away from the game design, but there are some noticeable differences. Those eyes are much more pointed than we usually see in the games and her face is a little more compact. At least her hair has stayed much the same — even if it is slightly weird seeing a 'realistic' take on it.

Which Peach design do you prefer?


There are really not all that many changes made to Toad. Sure, he has some teeth now, but it's not as if the movie design has done anything drastic like giving him a nose or pupils *shivers*...

Which Toad design do you prefer?


The biggest difference in the movie design for Bowser is the level of detail — just look at those scales — but proportionally, this is the same ol' King of the Koopas that we have come to know and love.

Which Bowser design do you prefer?

Donkey Kong

For the most part, Illumination's Donkey Kong design remains pretty faithful to the games. The eyebrow arch doesn't appear to be stuck in that signature scowl and the snout is slightly more aesthetically pleasing in its roundness, but everything that makes Mario's OG foe is right there, albeit with more of a DK Jr. vibe.

Which Donkey Kong design do you prefer?


Kamek was one of the first characters that we saw up close in that initial trailer and the movie design hasn't messed around with him too much. Bar some added detail, that's one faithful translation.

Which Kamek design do you prefer?

Koopa Troopa

Again, there are very few liberties that have been taken with the Koopa Troopa design. The mouth section is a little more pointed this time around and they all seem up to the teeth in armour, but rarely have we gotten the chance to see these guys so closely.

Which Koopa Troopa design do you prefer?

Funky Kong

We haven't had the closest look at Funky Kong just yet, but from the brief kart-based snippet that we have seen, everything looks in order. We can just about make out the shades and bandana in the above shot, so all's looking good so far.

Which Funky Kong design do you prefer?

Cranky Kong

No glasses? Wrinkle-free lips? Who is this guy?

Actually, he might be wearing glasses, it's tough to tell. Anyone seen our glasses?

Which Cranky Kong design do you prefer?


We don't know whether we are going to see the Yoshi at any point soon, but from the brief look at the galloping heard of them it seems that Illumination is not going to be messing around with the design of this one.

Which Yoshi design do you prefer?

Piranha Plant

Ok, we might be pushing the definition of 'character' here, but hey, it's in Smash and it's got an amiibo. And oh god it has proper teeth.

Which Piranha Plant design do you prefer?


Spotted in the background of an early poster, we're making the assumption that this is Pauline that we're looking at. Who else would wear a suit that brave?

We'd also like to make the assumption she's talking to Stanley Tucci. Love that guy.

Which Pauline design do you prefer?

We'll be updating this with better pics as and when they drop. In the meantime, now that you've placed your votes, which of the above characters is your favourite? Let us know in the comments.