Mario is facing his oldest nemesis, and I don’t mean Bowser/King Koopa. The animation studio Illumination has released a short clip – titled “Smash” – from their upcoming film The Super Mario Bros. Movie that includes and expands on the Smash Bros. sequence teased in the trailers. This gives us a better idea of what to expect from Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong, as well as the tone of the movie. The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which also stars Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Jack Black, hits theaters on April 7, 2023, and you can see the new clip below:
Based on what we’ve seen and heard so far, Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong is a lot like Chris Pratt’s Mario and Charlie Day’s Luigi in that he sounds like Seth Rogen always sounds. (Jack Black seems like the only one bucking this trend.) That doesn’t mean it’s bad – I think Rogen will work better as Donkey Kong than Pratt will as Mario – but it’s nothing to marvel about or anything. And it fits what appears to be the tone of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which is very light and silly. That’s fine; it’s a kids’ movie, and it looks like it’ll be a good one, with plenty of detail and nostalgia for the adults who want to see one of the most seminal video game franchises faithfully adapted. To that end, the “Smash” clip features some of the hallmarks from the games, like the question-mark blocks that give Mario power-ups he can use in battle. I had to look up the cat suit, which entered the lore more recently than I stopped playing Mario games; according to the internet, this debuted in Super Mario 3D World and allows Mario to climb and cling to walls and use his new claws to attack enemies. (Mario got more aggressive after my time – although, when you think about it, he was shooting fireballs at people on the NES.) Illumination has been pleasing fans with everything they’ve released so far, and if the film lives up to its marketing, The Super Mario Bros. Movie could be a huge hit.