40 years after the original Nintendo Entertainment System powered him to icon status, Mario is back on the big screen. And by “big screen,” we mean whatever sized television or computer you have, because starting today, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now available to rent on DISH.
Since its release in April, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has collected more coin than a bonus level on Super Mario 3; with a worldwide gross of $1.2 billion and counting, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is not only the biggest movie of 2023, it’s the fourth highest-grossing animated film ever. You don’t need to be a gamer to solve the puzzle as to why; with vibrant animation, an inspired voice cast, and Easter Eggs galore, The Super Mario Bros. Movie will satisfy fans of the video game, especially the younger ones.
The plot of the movie is about as simple as it gets. Brooklyn plumbers Mario and Luigi are sucked into a pipe that whisks them away to a variety of kingdoms, all of which are under threat from Bowser, King of the Koopas. But what the film lacks in story (which has never been a strength of the games) it makes up for in charm. Simply watching the basics of gameplay – smashing power up boxes, mushroom boosts, jumping on enemies – feels like a reward for longtime fans who were traumatized by the utterly ill-conceived 1993 adaptation.
In fact, fan service is one of the greatest things about The Super Mario Bros. Movie. With dozens of cameos from characters who have appeared throughout the games over the years, truly not a scene goes by in which there isn’t a callback that fans will recognize. This is especially true of the music; hearing the games’ iconic scores performed by a full orchestra, one realizes that the soundtrack was integral to Mario’s game-changing success.
Lastly, we have to give bonus points to the film’s voice cast. Somewhat understandably, Chris Pratt took a lot of Goombas when he was cast as Mario, but his performance – which borrows from Charles Martinet’s much-loved take on the character – is much better than skeptics might expect. The real scene-stealer, however, is Jack Black as Bowser. Not only does he invoke the original character’s gravelly rasp, Bowser seems to borrow from Black as well, particularly in his love of music and knack for earworms you’ll be singing for a week.
Although The Super Mario Bros. Movie may not be a creative success on par with HBO’s recent adaptation of The Last of Us, it’s hard to imagine fans feeling defeated. Parents and kids have bonded over Mario for decades, and Illumination has finally delivered a movie that will do the same. Cue the flagpole music.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now available as a $24.99 premium rental.
Here’s a list of other new releases now available to rent:
Guy Richie’s The Covenant
To Catch a Killer