Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts On: Super Mario Bros Movie

Why was this movie a Ba-Bomb?

See the original review of the Super Mario Bros movie here –

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Rerez did a really interesting Positives video on this movie a while back. There were actually a lot of hidden references to the games, but not exactly presented well.

    This movie was quite an anomaly when it came out. I was semi excited to see it and didn’t really like it. I think the post apocalyptic setting of the movie sure as hell didn’t fit something as goofy and lighthearted as Mario. I think Pixar should take a shot at doing a CG Mario movie after what they did with Wreck It Ralph.

  2. hay, great video I wanted to ask you if you knew “Mario Warfare”. I think you would enjoy it

  3. Really, a Mario movie seems doomed to fail; the games (like most of Nintendo’s work) are carried almost entirely by their gameplay, which is lost when you transfer it to film.

    Maybe a TV show or movie based on/inspired by the Paper Mario series of RPGs, because the writing in those games is very clever and entertaining, but that all came after the movie was made.

    • At risk of sounding like a nerd diving into the “complex lore” of Mario (snicker), there actually were kings back in Mario 3 (they all got turned into frogs or something). Though more recently Peach is the defacto leader of the kingdom.
      Maybe her dad’s bedridden, or she just never had time for a coronation between all the kidnappings, world savings, sporting events, demonic possessions, and assorted disasters.

  4. This movie came out about a year or two before I was born. I still haven’t seen it. John Leguizamo is Colombian. I liked him as Sid in the very first Ice Age and I liked him in Moulin Rouge and… that’s it… I know how you feel, Doug. As a kid, I grew up in family where Master of Disguise was a masterpiece. Oh, little impressionable me. 😀

  5. Oh my… Mario is easy and for 2 years old… I am speechless. I am pretty sure those early mario games are far more difficult than any complex strategy game to finish. They are really really really hard.
    Of course a little kid can finish the first few levels but he will never finish them.

  6. The Mysterious M

    Magical kingdom. Tiny people called Toad with mushroom hats. Mushroom-like goombas. A giant evil turtle-dragon…

  7. Can you imagine a better Mario movie being made at that time? How else would it have worked? If it was just like the game: some plumbers running around spitting fireballs, jumping on things, eating mushrooms and sliding down tubes against a colourful background; it would be even worse.

    You can look at it this way: it’s the first and best video game movie of the 90s.

    • I can. They could’ve done it as an Alice in Wonderland type thing. Keep the alternate dimension bit, lose the pseudo-science.

      Hell, they had tons of movies with the heroes going to magical places then, too. Neverending Story, for example.
      It’s not hard to imagine Mario and Luigi breaking into the magical mushroom kingdom with special powers, and amazing creatures, a princess, King Bowser.
      Hell, the story is pretty much a modern day fairy tail, not especially hard to visualize.

      The problem was, the makers thought they had to make it dark and gritty and they didn’t.
      They just had to make it decent.

      • So, do you mean animated, costumes or CG?

        I think the real problem with this film is that they assumed kids would go and see it, so they made it with the intent of pleasing adults who would take them. Kids were confused, the plot was overly complex for a kids film. Adults thought it was goofy. But hey, it’s the Super Mario Bros film! If it wasn’t goofy it would be even worse!

        • Any of the above. Of course, it’s goofy, but I think they felt they had to make it as un-goofy as possible, at least for half of the fllm and it backfired. I feel they should’ve embraced how silly and light the mythos was.

          Make Bowser a huge monster, keep the princess-and-castle theme. I agree, they ended up making a double-dose of fail by trying to please two groups with two different approaches, more specifically, two radically different ones.
          Honestly, there were parts I found genuinely disturbing,
          such as Koopa turning people into those Goombas, and nearly gouging out Luigi’s eyes, and Lena… well, everything about Lena. *shudder*

          I think it would’ve worked a lot better if they went with an approach everyone could enjoy. Like Beauty and The Beast. It got dark, and it could be light and silly, but it didn’t go to such far extremes to do what it wanted.

          An overall goofy film that had it’s dark-but-not-too dark moments seems more like a recipe for success, than the gruesome spectacle we got.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym

      As Doug said, they could have just made a slightly higher quality, 90 minute or so version of the then current cartoon and released it as a feature film, and boom: that’s how you would have gotten a movie that was better than this live action turd.

      For reference, look at the original 84 minute animated Transformers movie that was released in 1986 which was just a slightly higher quality version of the then current cartoon, and then compare that to the CGI/live action Michael Bay fecal matter that passes for Transformers movies today. Same thing. An hour and a half long episode of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show (or SMB3 or SMW or whatever was current at the time, I think it was SMW) on the big screen would have been amazing compared to this toked up dreck.

  8. The Mysterious M

    Doug, if you’re trying to look for a good John Leguazamo movie, I suggest “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.” Great great, funny movie.

  9. Mario and Luigi are the Mario brothers in the same way that Doug and Rob are the Walker brothers. Applying Doug’s logic to his own family, Doug and Rob would be collectively called the Doug Brothers or the Doug Duo. The movie didn’t make their surname up, its been in the game’s title since 1983.

  10. I have to say my favorite Koopa line wasn’t “Monkey!” or “B-Bomb!”, though those were hilarious. I liked “PLUMBEEEEER!” best of all.
    Dennis Hopper with that ridiculous haircut, brandishing a flamethrower and screaming “Plumber” at the top of his lungs. Pure gold. God, he and Raul Julia should have been in a bad movie together. They would’ve rocked it.

  11. As someone who lives near Gary, I’m gonna have to steal SJWAC’s line about Detroit.

    “Its a shithole full of people who steal ♫”

  12. Not sure if I want to see the movie. On the one hand, Rob says it’s dumb fun and a guilty pleasure, much like how I feel about Tank Girl, on the other hand, I might not feel the same way if I see it.

    Ah, one of the earliest NC reviews from the original YouTube days. I liked the jokes in that one, despite the short length it had to be.

    One suggestion I have for a future Real Thoughts video is Drop Dead Fred. I’m suggesting it for a couple reasons. One is due to the passing of Rick Mayall and I’d like to hear your thoughts on him. The other reason is that it was the newest NC episode when I first started watching the series back in 2010, so it’s a special landmark for the site for me.

    A few other suggestions for Real Thoughts episodes:

    Master of Disguise
    Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue (aka the Drug Cartoon Special)
    Scooby Doo
    The animated Titanic films.

  13. I saw this movie when I was about 12, and remember just being angry that they had a chance to make a Super Mario movie, and it was nothing like the game.


  14. John Leguzamo is Puerto Rican. If you ever watched his show, “House of Buggin” he had a segment where he “outed” other Puerto Ricans. Usually it centered around him advertising that he knew Rosie Perez, who was a big deal at the time. The show was pretty bad, but there was one sketch about being a gang banger in the theater district (modern day Cripps getting harassed by the Sharks from “West Side Story”).

    • FataMorganaPseudonym

      John Leguizamo (Seriously, can nobody spell the guy’s name correctly? I’ve seen at least three different incorrect misspellings of his name on here.) is Colombian, not Puerto Rican.

  15. Oh my goodness Doug’s face gets really really red around the 9 min mark.

  16. If you think it is wesome, there is a comic that is trying to continue this. But they are trying to use the same idea for Mario 2. Its updates are rather irregular, and it’s nowhere near finished.

  17. Not every monarchy has to be ruled by a king/queen or emperor. Look at Bavaria a bit more than 100years ago or Monaco today. And you can’t simply bequeath the honor to become a king/queen by being the son/daughter of a monarch in all cases (Japan, middle age Germany). It’s more complicated than most americans think.

  18. no, Nintendo still sucks at everything else. from FINALLY deciding to make a highly cinematic heavily story driven game – and then end up with fucking Metroid Other M, to not making even a fraction of the number of Gamecube-Wii U adapters they should have, to youtube copyright claims, Games – in fact, no, not even; a game’s Gameplay Mechanics – is still pretty much the one and only thing Nintendo know how to do right.

    • I thought they did a pretty good job with the stories/writing in the mario RPGs (though most of that was probably AlphaDream and Intelligent Systems’ doing), but boy do they SUCK at drama. Other M was an absolute cluserfuck. Probably for the best that they stick to simple plots unless they find some really talented storytellers.

      • Xenoblade Chronicles’s plot was pretty good, and it featured flesh-eating robots and gods who’s body became the ground of a notion
        Earthbound’s plot was pretty good, and in featured police brutalitya and eldritch abomination
        And hey Majora’s Mask’s plot was pretty good… And it was fucking Majora’s Mask!

        So I’d say that Nintendo also has it’s fair share of good drama

  19. SailorRustyBacon

    Oh that Super Mario World cartoon! Almost all of the characters in that show were written to be obnoxious, especially Yoshi.

    I’ll have to admit, those Mario cartoons inspired me into the fanfic comics rabbit hole, from age 10-12. Around that time, I was searching for the Valiant published Mario comics, thanks to an advertisement in Nintendo Power. It also had an ad featuring Mario-themed juice boxes, gummies and plain vanilla ice cream sandwiches with Mario’s face printed on them. Years before (about the age of 7-8), I remember trying that Nintendo cereal after seeing the commercial. It was all right; not as great as Fruit Island or NERDs cereal though.

    Now, I was the unfortunate one who never saw the “dramatic” movie trailer; we had the OTHER one instead. >:( Does anyone remember the song by Roxette that came out for this movie, “Almost Unreal”?

  20. Speaking as someone who was 4-5 years old when this film came out. Confusion is a good description for my first memories seeing this film. I should also say that this served as my introduction to the Mario Bros and Nintendo, and probably explains why I was a SEGA fan a few years later.

    My 4 – 5 year old self liked the “what if dinosaurs evolved in a separate universe” aspect of the film. I was going through the typical “dinosaur” phase at that point so that was “cool” to my 4 – 5 year old self. This film was also an introduction to the concept that “things evolve” as well, so the ray gun that caused things to evolve or de-evolve was neat. I felt bad for the Princess when she saw her father was an overgrown fungus. Everything else about the film I kinda blocked out of my mind. I didn’t realize until years later that the film was supposed to be about the Mario Bros because I didn’t associate the two as being related. I also rather liked the nonsensical stuff that they added to try and explain the world as potential ideas more than I liked the plot or the characters.

    So that’s what a 4 – 5 year old thought when seeing this film.

  21. One of Dennis Hopper’s earliest roles was an episode of the Twilight Zone, where he plays a Neo-Nazi that gets coaching from Hitler’s ghost and attempts to build a new Reich in America. Playing Koopa was just another Tuesday for Dennis. XD

  22. Are you guys seroius about John Leguizamo’s last name being Dutch or German sounding or are you freaking kidding and screwing with your online audience?

  23. You bros must be man-children screwing around with people like me who’s a real fan of you, anyway John Legiuzamo is not German or Hollandish or Dutch, he’s Colombian from Bogota, Colombia and he’s of Puerto Rican as in Latino/Hispanic, Italian, and even Lebanese origin I checked his biography on wikipedia so that’s that you lovable crazy-ass nerdy often immature especially for us New Yorkers movie critic freaks.

  24. I lost it at Doug’s closing “monkey!” comment. I should have expected it but I didn’t.

  25. Ryan Dewitt-Todd

    You should do your real thoughts on:

    “The Super Mario Bros. Super Show”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.