The New Super Mario Bros. Movie

This entry contains non story related spoilers.


About 12 years ago I got my Wii that bundles with NSMBW, along with Wii Sports Resort it is my first experience in gaming that isn't just angry birds or some low quality mobile games back in the days. Mario has a pretty iconic figure - red hat that has the letter "M" printed on it, thick yet clean moustache, a chubby and short body, with a plumber suit. It's a character that even your presumably 100 year old grandma may know about, despite how seemingly normal the character is.

Growing up with Mario definitely does shape me as the way I am now, especially with the way Mario games are made. The controls of the games, especially since the Wii era, are all easy to learn yet hard to master. You have a list of controls that all are easy to remember, but as the game goes on and on you realise simply knowing what the buttons do isn't enough, and that's because of the level designs of the games.

The way Mario levels works is that they would put a bunch of stuff that are scattered around the level and then make you clear obstacles that are aeemingly random one by one. It's like that from 1-1 to the entirety of Bowser's Fury, so basically there's a sandbox that allows you to do things in a rather limited set of tools, and players uses these tools to meet their objectives.

But isn't this a movie review?

Exactly! And after I've finished the movie, my first impression is that "the movie is about Mario game players, not Mario himself". Sure, there are scenes that talks about the character's intentions and whatnot, but everyone who has finished 1 Mario game knows that Mario has never been mainly about the story, even series like Paper Mario or Mario RPG isn't mainly about the story. The stories may get interesting, but at the end of the day, Mario is about the gameplay.

So how does that relate to the movie itself? If you've paid some attention to the critics who mostly dislikes the movie/found it passable, you'd realise that they have a vastly different view on the movie. The critics mainly cares about the story, while the average viewer is just there to experience the fun that Mario offers.

And remember when I said about Mario games being about the gameplay? Well, the Mario movie is also about the gameplay, except they made it in a way that viewers can relate to as a movie instead of as a game. The character development of Mario in the movie is actually resembling the character development of the viewers themselves, the people who have enjoyed playing a Mario game, going through challenges over and over until they've finally accomplished their own goals to the games, and the sheer excitement and joy of the experience. This is what the movie mainly offers to the audience, and it did an excellent job at it.


This is still a movie directed towards kids after all, and it's only fair if the jokes in the movie are for kids. Some of the jokes in the movie may seem pretty bland, but overall they are trying their best to expand the appeal to not just kids, because after all, everyone was once a kid, and everyone has the right to be a kid again, at least in a superficial way. I also appreciate that they mixed both original songs and some absurdly well known music to the movie, just to add up the randomness.


There are a ton of these that appears pretty much everywhere in the movie. An average 10 year old who watches the movie in guidance of their parents may not understand many of them, but for someone who invests their time into this one franchise, you can see a lot of them just appearing and alpearing and appearing to you, and it's a fan service, but a good one.

About the rating

Someone asked me to give the movie a rating, but since I still don't know how to rate it after I typed all this, I ran

echo $((RANDOM % 11))

and it gave me a 9, so ash thinks it's a 9/10 movie.


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