There are now two distinct eras in human history. Before we had all seen the Super Mario Bros. Movie trailer, and now. The first look at Nintendo and Illumination’s joint venture that will bring an animated Mario to the big screen for the first time is now out in the world. Jack Black as Bowser is terrific, the Mushroom Kingdom looks great, and even the brief glimpse we got of Luigi and the noises he made already has me convinced Charlie Day has nailed the role.
Shigeru Miyamoto introdcued the trailer, and afterwards he mentioned the movie, which will hit cinemas on April 7, 2023, will be packed with Easter eggs from throughout Mario’s history. Turns out there were quite a few in the trailer alone, some of which we’ve managed to pick out. Everything we spotted during our countless viewings of the trailer is listed below, and it paints a promising picture for the kind of stuff that will be in the full movie next year.
The Super Mario 64 Penguins
Let’s start with an obvious one, providing you’ve played Super Mario 64, of course. The trailer kicks off with Bowser and his army facing off against a group of very brave, but pretty helpless, penguins. The designs are modeled after the penguins you meet in Super Mario 64. More specifically, the infamous mission in which Mario has to retrieve a mama penguin’s baby for her, receiving a star in return. It’s infamous because right after your daring rescue, you can take the baby back and drop it off the edge of a cliff. Imagine the mixture of cheers and gasps at the cinema if that moment is recreated for the movie.
The Koopa Army’s Bowser Flags
Sticking with that opening scene, although Bowser does most of the work himself melting those poor penguins’ castle, he has an army of Koopas right behind him. As well as there being a good mix of various Koopa types from throughout various Mario games (watch out for the one with the blue shell, Mario Kart fans), some are also holding Bowser flags. Long triangles with a skeletal version of Bowser’s face on them. Iconic in the Mario world as they have been used throughout the series from the very beginning. Most synonymous with goal poles (did you know that’s what they’re called? I didn’t) in the very first games which Mario jumps on and replaces the Bowser flag with one of his own, indicating the level is complete.
The Super Mario Pipe Sound Effect
Once Bowser has melted an entire castle using only his breath (Tic Tac, anyone?) he questions who could possibly stop him. Well, that’ll be Mario, of course, and we get our first look at the movie version of the plumber as he is being fired out of a pipe. If you were anything like me, you heard the snippet of iconic Mario music and started squeaking. If so, that would have meant you missed the pipe sound under that music that plays when Mario first appears. Check out the trailer above ten more times (because why not?) and you’ll hear it at the 1:34 mark.
Before we get our first official look at Movie Mario’s face, the plumber faceplants a mushroom before rolling onto the grass. As he’s lying there, a yellow butterfly appears in shot and briefly obscures Mario’s face. Not only is it a nice-looking shot, but it almost definitely appears to be an ode to Super Mario Galaxy‘s ending. It’s not exactly like-for-like, but it’s quite the coincidence if not. Not to mention the numerous butterflies that can be seen throughout the rest of the trailer (barring the Luigi part) making the Mushroom Kingdom reminscent of the area outside Peach’s Castle in Super Mario 64.
There’s More Than One Castle
A better look at the Mushroom Kingdom a little later in the trailer shows its crown jewel is Peach’s Castle, way off in the distance. Before that though, as Mario climbs to his feet and gets his bearings, a shot panning over some of the mushrooms reveals Peach isn’t the only castle-owner in the kingdom. Just to the left of Mario’s arm in the screenshot above, you’ll see another castle off in the distance. One that appears to be based on the designs of the castles in the very first Super Mario Bros. games. The very same ones you’d find those aforementioned Bowser flags sticking out of.
Toad’s Poison Mushroom
At that point, Mario is startled and then greeted by Toad. The movie’s hero gets startled because as he reaches out to touch a blue mushroom, Toad screams at him, warning Mario that the it’s poisonous. Toad then chuckles, realizing he has actually made a mistake. This might well be a reference to the poison mushrooms that have appeared in various Mario games over the years. Purple with pink spots, it’s possible Toad mistook the blue and white one Mario attempts to touch for the poisonous kind. Then again, blue and white mushrooms are supposed to make Mario tiny, something also worth being wary of.
That’s Not Luigi’s Mansion
Just when you might have thought you were all Mario’d out, we got to see one more character who will be brought to life on the big screen next year. Luigi was shown sprinting through a far darker kingdom, a gaggle of Dry Bones snapping at his heels. The green Mario Brother gets what will likely be little more than a split second to relax by retreating into a building and tries to close the door behind him. Twitter seems to think that building is Luigi’s Mansion, but the lava around it and yes, another one of those damn Bowser flags on top reveals it is actually Bowser’s Castle. Or perhaps one of many castles Bowser calls his own dotted throughout the movie.
Chris Pratt’s Isn’t Doing An Italian Accent
Since this is an animated movie, the trailer was more of a first-hear than a first-look when it comes to famous actors playing some of the best-known video game characters in the world. I’ve already shared my love of Black’s Bowser and Day’s Luigi, and Keegan Michael-Key makes a great Toad. Now, Chris Pratt’s Mario. Did you notice he isn’t doing an Italian accent? It’s quite hard to miss. In fact, the Guardian of the Galaxy isn’t doing much of an accent at all, just a trace of New York flair in there. Watch the trailer again and if you listen closely, you’ll notice it’s basically just Pratt speaking in his normal voice. Remember when he promised it would be like nothing we have ever heard before? Maybe he was speaking specifically to people living in the Mushroom Kingdom because in the movie’s universe, Mario appears to be new there.