Over recent years Nintendo's been making a major effort to expand its commercial efforts - there's been merchandise and various tie-ins, most notably plans for a Universal Studios Japan attraction. That deal with Universal seems to have led to further opportunities, with The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reporting that a deal is close for a Super Mario Bros. animated movie.
It's important to note that a deal is not yet done, and both Nintendo and Universal have declined to comment. With that in mind, here's the general detail from the WSJ report.
The talks are around an animated movie by Illumination, which has produced the likes of “Despicable Me,” “Minions” and “The Secret Life of Pets". Illumination produces its movies for distribution via Comcast-owned Universal, a potential relationship no doubt helped by the aforementioned Theme Park deals. The final agreement is yet to be signed, with Nintendo reportedly eager to ensure it maintains a degree of control - Shigeru Miyamoto would likely be a producer. The project is said to be in the "early stages of development", so a release could be a number of years away yet.
We've seen reports along these lines before, but there certainly seem to be reasonable odds of this actually happening; it'll be fascinating to see if the deal gets over the line.
Would you be excited to see an animated Mario Bros. movie?
No please no
Yes please yes
This is the tradeoff from having a Nintendo theme park at Universal is a mediocre animated movie from the most mediocre animation studio in the industry
For reference, here's what happened last time Mario had spoken dialogue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8sYvNtjXRI
@Malcrash - No dude, that's Blue Sky.
Oh god why.
How about this ?
Make Super Mario Odyssey Movie version.
@Paraka Blue Sky is the little kid that tries but never seem to hit the mark.
Illumination is a lazy kid with bad grades but somehow gets a pass
Sony Animation is expelled
Never realised they used nintendo scopes in the original film until i saw the picture above, huh, will have to look out for it
You mean the movie where every 2 mins Mario trips over a Power Moon?
I just hope it won't have an animated style like the mentioned movies. Putting up that animation style (which is also used in Mario + Rabbids, ugh) against the animation style of Gamecube-era Mario sports intro movies (most notably Mario Power Tennis and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour), I certainly know which animation style I prefer. And highly so. I really can't stand that dumb, wacky, and jumpy animation style all these 3D animated movies use.
Oh wait it's animated? Eh. Maybe it might get $200m at most. Nothing more than that if it isn't Japan only or in selected theatres...
I would totally like it, specially if it's anywhere near as good as Despicable Me 1, which is one of my favorite animated movies. Here's hoping it ends up getting made.
It's silly how some people would rather they don't even try it.
I wonder if Nintendo would make a tie-in game to go along with the movie therefore, releasing their first first-party developed and published, licensed Mario game from themselves. Weird concept. A better idea would be to release a Mario game at the same time that had nothing to do with the movie. I hope it turns out okay.
@Yasaal Illumination runs on a budget on $50-$70 million dollar budget movies. They're really low budget, so don't get your hopes up with the studio's track record as well
A super Mario bros animated movie, this is going to be so cool!
(sees Illumination in the article)
If they have us toads or shy guys be the next Minions (in a bad way) I swear.
I think it's worth a shot, Nintendo has nothing to lose at this point and Illumination can potentially breathe new life into both the Mario franchise and video game movies as a whole. Plus CGI animation suits the Mario universe much better than live action does.
So, average feature length movie is 1 hour, 30 minutes, and for this amount of time, Mario, Luigi, Peach, and others have to "talk" presumably, rather than babble-speak, grunts, or exclaimactions as they currently do. Interesting hurdle. Or, maybe it's straight to video and it's similar to a silent movie with no words, but the actions do the talking. Can't wait to know more.
Um... not exactly.
Maybe Nintendo can extend the Plot, explain more details and of course with proper Voice acting, not a Gibberish Simlish language.
I'd really prefer Dreamworks did a Zelda one, they are pretty cool and taking a "light" amount of content and turning it into a film (Just look with what they managed to do with How To Train Your Dragon).
Illumination has an... uneven track record with me but has scored well with kids in general so it makes sense Nintendo might pair with them for a Mario movie
Ugh, video games seldom (if ever) have served as a good source of inspiration for non-interactive entertainment. And the studio behind Minions is helming this? I won't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Gross.
Cant say Im too excited about this news. But i do suppose Nintendo would have a pretty tight grip on this one considering past disasters.
@thesilverbrick Castlevania is pretty much the only example of a video game adaptation done right. I can't really think of anything else that wasn't mediocre at best.
@thesilverbrick Yeah, my hopes are not especially high. Mario doesn't really translate to narrative mediums because the plot has always been completely tossed off and inconsequential.
The old Super Mario Adventures comics that ran in Nintendo Power are about the only good adaptation of Mario into a narrative medium that I can think of, and that's because they're just super goofy, episodic little stories that don't really bother with an over-arcing narrative.
Sees Illumination as the ones who makes the movie
My interest have went from hyped to not care. Other than Despicable Me (and even that have dipped in quality thanks to once funny minions that are now at the levels of Rabbids with their over-saturation), they really don’t know how to make movies since it looks like they are more focused on creating the next big seller of merchandises over a good movie. If only Dreamworks are the ones making it, it seems like they are the only ones who know how to make a good animated movie AND follow up with an even better sequel (Disney’s sequels are trash).
For the love of god anyone but Illumination there are diseases more enjoyable than their movies.
I'm optimistic about this. I don't think modern-day Nintendo would let an external company work on a movie based on their biggest franchise if they didn't think it would turn out well. Personally I really like the first Despicable Me film, and the sequels were decent enough, so I think Illumination could get this right; they're not exactly Pixar, but they're certainly not bad.
Remember Animal Crossing movie ?
Between the game and movie are completely different.
In game, All Animals talk in Animalese language.
But, in the movie, they talk properly in Japanese language. No grunts, no gibberish.
@Paraka Also, in a weird turn, Blue Sky actually does better with adaptations rather than their own original films, like Horton Hears a Who and The Peanuts Movie. Hence I felt they could've been decent enough
I despise Illumination, however, they are one of the few studios that could probably make a decent Mario Bros. movie, so I guess we’ll be stuck living with it. :/
Another Super Mario live action movie? Ha good luck, we all know videogame to movie adaption never works, the only few that almost works are Mortal Kombat, Silent Hill, and Resident Evil and even so only the first movie did well, everything else flops.
Alright, animated mov-Illumination?
As long as Myamoto and Charles Martinet are involved... I'd be interested... I wouldn't expect much, but it could be at least as entertaining as Wreck it Ralph...
Okay, I know the Mario Bros. movie is hated by most. I know it had nothing to do with the games. But I actually like the movie. I was about 7 years old when it came out so maybe that has something to do with it. It was different, weird, and quirky. I think that's why I liked it.
@Exy I feel like they just let Charles Martinet improvise and told him to have fun with it.
@Dogorilla We also have to consider that us old, seasoned gamers are not really the target audience for most of Illumination's movies, and that's something we may need to be prepared to accept for this Mario as well.
Something else to keep in mind is that guidance from series's creators is something that was lacking from every other attempt at a video game movie. Film-makers just don't play them, so they pretty much just grabbed surface elements from them then haphazardly created stories after.
@jpfan1989 That's the impression I got. It's not so much a promotion as it is Charles Martinet just entertaining himself. Especially in this earlier press conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIzwSaj7B08
Miyamoto is going to oversee any movie made and will have a Director title as a result. I’m cautiously optimistic. If this works out, it’ll help Nintendo’s franchises reach even more people, expand its ecosystem and reach for its games.
Hopefully they do a good job. Wreck It Ralph 2 should also feature our favorite plumber a lot more than the mere mentions of the first movie.
A SMB Galaxy themed movie by Pixar would be amazing. With Illumination , this movie will never be as good.
I always thought Illumination would be a good choice for an animated Mario movie. Granted, I think Pixar is a better choice since they're better at storywriting. The only thing I'm worried about is Nintendo meddling where they don't belong; Anytime there's meddling from the higher-ups - in war, video games (Sonic 2006, Superman 64, and Resident Evil 6) or movies - it's almost guaranteed to flop, especially since Nintendo doesn't exactly have experience in movies.
I always thought of a Mario movie as a buddy comedy, where Mario is the risk-taking optimist who comes up with hare-brained ideas while Luigi is smarter, maybe more cynical, and has more common sense, living in Brooklyn, New York (and all the quirks that come with it).
TBH, I'd much rather see a Zelda anime.
Would prefer Dreamworks Animation take a shot at it, but I'll take what I can get as I enjoyed the Despicable Me movies and have faith they can do Mario justice.
@Malcrash True. And knowing that this is the second movie after the infamous Mario Bros you can never keep your hopes up XD
@Malcrash Not according to rottentomatoes.
Disney & the Weinstein Co. have made more craptacular animated films. No one comes close unless you count Hanna barbara cartoons.
@DiggerandIndy I'd argue that in the case of video game-based movies, a lack of ''meddling'' from those who know the respective series best is precisely what caused most of them to flop. Nintendo aren't expert film-makers, but they do know Mario. Their ''involvement'' got us Mario + Rabbids, so I think they know how to not step on toes. Mario is super versatile, and doesn't take itself too seriously.
Why not allow some people to develop animated The Legend of Zelda/Metroid series?
Sans "Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!" of course.
Here's an idea: why not produce inhouse? Nintendo already have animators. Besides, Miyamoto's Pikmin short movies were actually enjoyable and he previously stated that he'd like to do more with videos.
What would they do for Mario’s voice? That’s the question I ponder every time I hear mention of a new Mario movie. His voice in the games is great in very small doses, but does anyone really want to listen to that for an hour and a half straight? It obviously wouldn’t work in a movie, but what else could they do? They’re not going back to his sassy Brooklyn tough guy voice from ye olden days of the character.
Aw, I was hoping 25 years later we'd finally see what "trouble" Commando "Daisy" had going on in her home world.
Also, nobody has said that this news is Almost Unreal.
(okay, so probably almost nobody is going to get the connection)
Can we stop being doom and gloom for a moment and appreciate the fact they're even trying?
@Malcrash Universal is pretty mediocre in the theme park business, as well. The Harry Potter areas are gorgeous to look at... but the rides all have the same "shake you in front of a movie screen" design that every other Universal attraction has.
I'm not expecting anything good from the movie or Super Nintendo Land. Now if Disney had gotten in with Nintendo...
@DiggerandIndy Disney already made greatest Nintendo movie of all time.
@meleebrawler True, but I mean in the case of UNNECESSARY meddling. Sorry if I made myself unclear. I still think Pixar should've been a better choice, though. I know it's not their tradition to so someone else's work, but I think it'd be a good challenge and experience for them.
@Prof_Yoshtonics i thought the same thing. If this turns out well maybe Zelda is next.
@BAN This is such an inane complaint considering the voices of popular characters such as Spongebob (uber annoying voice) or Calliou.
And Mario's voice actually works fine. Once you realize he won't go "Letssa Go!" or "Whooohoo!" every 2 seconds but actually says normal sentences.
Hell yes to animated. Brawl's Subspace Emissary has no dialogue, and I still love rewatching its scenes in their entirety every now and again. Smash 4's character trailers are also a great indication that an animated movie with Nintendo IP can be done right.
I'm both excited and disappointed. Excited because it's animated and not live action. Disappointed because it's being made by Illumination. Not that they're a bad studio, but they make mediocre films at best. (Dispicable Me being their only good film)
But since Miyamoto is gonna be producer, I have a little hope. His involvement with the Pikmin shorts was outstanding, so hopefully he can do good with a full length feature film.
Good team. Might not be Pixar but Illumination does good, fun work usually. I’m just glad it’s not an anime.
@Muddy_4_Ever VIDEO game movie, you mean. Mario wasn't even in that one, only a mention and Bowser. And a good movie at that.
I'm ALMOST really excited. Truth be told, I would flip out over a Mario movie, but Illumination hasn't done anything great. Here's hoping, though.
Not a fan of Illumination, but whatever. I’ll give such a movie a chance.
@MonkiPlays HAHAHAHAHA! Everyone's calling this the second mario movie! HAHAHAHA!
Haaa... okay kids, time to take y'all ta school:
That's right, not only is it ANIMATED, but it's also ANIME, and came out YEARS before the live action movie. So yeah, this is the first Mario movie.
The new one would be the third.
Have fun with your newfound knowledge!
I personally think everyone is being too tough on Illumination. I thought Secrete Life of Pets was good as well as the Despicable Me series. The Lorax was okay too. I can pass on Hop and Sing!
I think Nintendo will have their say in the story this time around. They must have learned their lesson from the first movie.
I would have been okay with Illumination, Pixar or WB (Lego Movie guys).....Sony would have been a big disaster.
.....and Dreamworks has seen better days.
@CheddarSword I think that's a pretty damn obscure release compared to the infamous star-studded and big-budget flop.
But I'd like to see that 1986 anime if that's possible, so thanks for letting us know. No reason to be a smart aleck about it though.
Illumination?! God help me...
I think Illumination shouldn't be up for the job since their movies typically have low class,juvenile humor and I tend to think of the Mario series as being generally innocent.But hopefully Miyamoto can prevent another apocalyptic disaster of the Mario franchise.
This studios current output is gawd awful...... that's worrying.
@DanElectrode - I immediately thought of the manga. I got the bound collection for my daughter last year for Christmas. We’ve read it a couple times. It is one complete story, broken up into monthly installments. Most of the stories end in some kind of cliffhanger until the following installment. It would make a perfect movie, especially if it was hand drawn in that old style.
You should all know that just because it's animated this time doesn't mean it will be better.Just look at that Ratchet & Clank movie!
Also,this is more coincidental than actual proof but the production company Lightmotive made the first Mario movie and if Illumination is tapped to do the second one,then that'll be two productions comapnies that have titles refering to light.This could be potential foreshadow in the quality of the new Mario film.
I cannot imagine Martinet's Mario's voice for an hour an a half. I hope they recast him for the movie <_<
@GC-161 Inane? Uhh, okay? This is an article about a movie, and I'm talking about ideas associated with that topic, so it's kind of weird that you felt compelled to resort to dismissive insults.
But it's definitely not "inane." There's a gulf of difference between a nasally voice like Spongebob and the ultra high-pitched fake-Italian-accented voice of Mario. But regardless, one of the main points of Spongebob as a character is to be at least slightly annoying. It's written into every episode of the show that Spongebob grates on the nerves of almost everyone around him. Mario is not intended to be an annoying character, so using the "other characters have annoying voices, too" argument to justify the use of his in-game voice in a two hour movie is actually a self-defeating strategy.
In fact, literally the only situation where Mario's voice DOES work is in his brief exclamations of "wahoo" and "let's-a go" in games. If you cut those phrases out and try to replace them with complete functional sentences that you're trying to imbue with a range of emotions- something that's obviously of the utmost importance in a movie, where the audience doesn't have interactive gameplay to immerse them in the world in order to help them identify with the character- the voice immediately loses its value and believability. And I would be beyond amazed if Nintendo themselves haven't discussed this very issue at length.
@LemonSlice Well, if you want to see it, there is at least one site out there that has it available to watch. I don't think I'm allowed to list sites like that here. Not sure if it has fan subs or not though.
And yeah, it is pretty obscure. I learned about it through http://www.themushroomkingdom.net/ and that was years ago.
Apparently, there was also an anime series as well. Just found out about this one. http://www.themushroomkingdom.net/mania/anime_amada.shtml
whispers and shakes head Nooooo.
Even if Illumination somehow monumentally screws up this movie, it'll probably still do well at the box office. What Illumination lacks in writing they make it up with marketing, heck some of their movies are among the highest grossing films. Plus it's a Mario movie, what kid wouldn't want to go see it, even if the quality of it would be subpar.
Animated - the only way to make a game-based movie. I`m in !!!
@BAN Dude, there are full lenght videos featuring Charles Martinet imitators doing the voice on YouTube and no one in the comments is complaining about the voice. Why? Because 1).- Mario's vouce it's not even on the same level of annoyance as Spongebob high pitched-nails on a chalkboard- voice and 2).- characters with fake italian accents have been a thing before you opened your big brown eyes for the very first time in this world.
So it won't bother anyone who's been around before the Wii U launched.
Yeah, I find it an inane complaint. Considering all the goofy voices in animation that have ZERO effect on their popularity.
Hotel Mario - The Movie
Wasn't Nintendo looking to produe their own movies? Why don't they make it in house?
I would love a Mario animated movie (if done right) please put in this cast: Mario, luigi, peach, toad, yoshi, even DonkeyKong, Wario, waluigi.
@Malcrash By George, you hit the nail on the head! Blue Sky has had some potentially great movies (in between Ice Age 😞 movies), but could never seem to get it together. I’ve enjoyed some of Illuminations early stuff, but they’ve become a one trick pony. Just make loud, crowd pleasing films that doesn’t challenge the audience at all.
@GC-161 If the evidence you're citing to validate your point is the lack of dislikes on random (and most assuredly exceedingly brief in comparison to a full movie) YouTube videos of Charles Martinet that have likely only been seen by an infinitesimally tiny fraction of the number of people who would watch a typical main-stream animated feature, then you don't have an argument. But you're not even trying to address the points I'm making and seem more interested in being butthurt/defensive and argumentative for some bizarre reason I can't quite put my finger on, so I'm going to stop replying to you after this comment.
Also, the weirdness of your comments is pretty off-putting. You can take issue with what a person is saying without trying to put them down on a personal level, especially over things they have no control over, such as age and eye color (wtf?). And not that it's any of your business, but since you seem to think I'm like twelve years old or something-- I've been a diehard Nintendo fan since roughly 1988 and am well acquainted with every single permutation of Mario's voice that's ever been used, and my eyes are green, not brown.
Anyway, bye now, have a nice life.
@BAN I'm the butt-hurt one and yet you're the one writing walls of text accusing me of "insulting" everything but your opinion that a wacky voice is out of place in animated films? I'm merely questioning THAT opinion. Stop taking it personal.
And here's along @$$ video of Charles Martinet doing the Mario voice while reading a book. His voice is fine doing regular dialogues.
Oh, that could be good
Please at least be better than the Angry Birds movie...
The best video-game company is teaming up with the absolute WORST animation company.
I don’t see this going well.
I mean they’ll make money but they’ll probably be butchered.
So Mario would probably be my last choice of Nintendo IP for a movie or TV series. I know it's had them both in the past but they're far from quality productions. It just doesn't lend itself as well to narrative heavy media like this, not without the kind of changes those last iterations had. It makes sense from a business perspective I guess though, he is their biggest property and one of the biggest in the world. Illumination is a smart choice too. Regardless of personal opinion kids love their movies and crazy sidekick characters, and that's what Nintendo want. They don't want kids running around in minion tee, eating minion Haribo, with their minion plushies poking out their minion bag ... they want that to be Toads or Yoshi!
Hopefully it'll be a success and allow Nintendo to branch out with their other IP. Like they did on mobile. I'd love a Pikmin shorts series or a proper Kid Icarus anime! A Fire Emblem tv series or Animal Crossing cartoons. But for that to happen it's gotta start with Mario realistically.
Make a movie with the rpg stories and I'm a happy camper.
@DiggerandIndy It was certainly a new world, but it totally had Nintendo's DNA. Fix-It-Felix Jr. was DK (heck, it was clearly a DK cabinet for that "TobiKomi" game). Hero's Duty (with it's female hero fighting angry bugs in a dark landscape) looked A LOT like Metroid. Sugar Rush apes pretty much everything from MK.
So not an OFFICIAL Nintendo movie, but...
video game movies are so bad they are good so why not. i would never spend a dime on them, but someone will i guess. I remember being a Garbage Pail Kid card collector a gazillion years ago and was SO excited for the movie and when it came out and i saw it it bordered on surreal to me.
@GC-161 Jokes on you because Disney is progressively getting better at animated movies in this decade and The Weinstein Company isn't even good with them to begin with
@chiefeagle02 Now why you gotta mention that movie?
What an awesome craptastic movie the live action one was. Time for a sequel lol
I bet it's Wreck it Ralph that inspired this movie. Mario+DK = Fix it Felix, the movie is essential a Mario Kart film and they even featured Bowser in it so Nintendo would've signed a consent for that movie.
Miyamoto must've been pondering about a movie ever since.
An animated Zelda would be cool too, or even a Smash Bros movie that copy the Marvel superheroes concept.
Surprised at all the hate towards Illumination. They aren't Pixar or Studio Ghibli. But their movies are decent and can have a ton of heart at times.
I'm also not sure why some are overly concerned about the idea of a Mario movie. Sure, the live action one didn't work. And maybe you can site the ridiculous animated shows from the 80's and 90's. I think we need to keep.in mind when those were released and how much more sophisticated the audience has grown. Say what you want about the Minion movies. But they aren't (and a ton of animation) is made with adults/parents in mind as well. While I'm sure some of the cute aspects of Mario will be showcased, I can't imagine Nintendo or Illumination would be naive to not realize that a good chunk of the audience who grew up with Mario and Nintendo have certain expectations.
And Mario needs to speak.
TBH, Illumination is not a bad studio. It's not an amazing studio, either, but they've made good things with Despicable Me and Sing, and the Secret Life of Pets wasn't terrible.
Really, what are the other options? You can forget about Disney and Pixar, they won't do a licensed movie because they want all the merchandising money for themselves.
Blue Sky are a terribly uneven studio with a couple of decent movies and a whole bunch of dreck. Their Metacritic scores generally hover around 50-60, and they are much much worse than Illumination about milking franchises until they die horrible deaths in the Walmart bargain bin.
Dreamworks have some very good films but also a ton of truly wretched ones. They are big fans of using topical humor that is outdated by the time the movie hits home media, and they love inserting "adult" jokes that are often pretty mean-spirited as well as inappropriate for kids. Again, they have made good movies but I don't think they're a good match for Nintendo's mascot.
So who else is going to do this? Sony's animation arm?
I get that every adult person is good and tired of the Minions - me included - but aside from overusing their mascots I think Illumination are pretty solid and could do something great with Mario. At least it couldn't possibly be any worse than what's happened to the Smurfs, the Trolls, and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
It also couldn't get any worse than the live-action Mario Bros. movie we already have, so there's hope.
@Snow-Dust Hate to break it to you, but Dreamworks was bought by the same company that owns Illumination and is now heading in the same direction.
But yeah, the moment I read "Illumination" I pretty much lost interest. I actually love Despicable Me, but after that their movies have all been either meh or just bad. I was able to tell Sing was made for the sole purpose of making money the moment I saw the first trailer, and I can't stand seeing the minions everywhere... Oh gosh, I just realized, Mario + Minions could actually be a thing now...
@GC-161 Perspective. If my expectations are set incredibly low, then Mario might actually be okay.
I've watched the movie a few weeks ago and kinda liked it.
Nintendo is going to mess with perfection?
This is just going to go down as one of those examples where the sequel has no chance of living up to the greatness of the original.
Super Mario animated feature? I'm fine with that if Yoichi Kotabe is heavily involved.
I guess it can only be better than the previous one.
@bimmy-lee Ah, that's right. I own a copy of it but it's been a few years since I read it. I couldn't remember if it was all one over-arcing story or not. I know there were some more episodic side-stories like one where he visits Wario that weren't really part of the main plot.
Yeah, and the overall “zany whackiness” of it makes it seem a little choppy at times. I enjoyed revisiting it though. I loved Adventures and the Zelda manga when they originally ran in NP. I’d have to double check, but I think the back cover states that this is the first appearance of Wario. I’ve always thought this material was ripe for an animated movie though.
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