Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. Information

Super Mario Bros. is a 1993 American science fiction fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel. A live-action adaptation of the 1985 Nintendo video game of the same name, the film stars Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper and Samantha Mathis. It tells the story of the Mario brothers, Mario and Luigi, as they find a parallel universe, where King Koopa is a dictator. They have to rescue Princess Daisy and stop Koopa from attempting to merge the dimensions so that he could become a dictator of both worlds.

Super Mario Bros. was released on May 28, 1993 in the United States. Though a critical and financial failure, the film was nominated for two Saturn Awards (one for Best Costume, the other for Best Make-up).


Mario and Luigi are two Italian American plumbers living in Brooklyn. The brothers are being driven out of business by the mafia-like Scapelli Construction Company, led by contractor Anthony Scapelli. Luigi falls in love with an orphaned NYU student, Daisy, who is digging under the Brooklyn Bridge for dinosaur bones. After a date, she takes Luigi to the dig and witnesses Scapelli's men (who, along with Scapelli himself, had previously threatened her to end her research on that specific piece of land for their own interests) sabotage it by leaving the water-pipes open. Luigi tries to stop it but he does not have his tools on him so he cannot fix it. They rush back to his apartment where they inform Mario about the incident. The three go back to the flooding and the brothers manage to fix it but are knocked out by two strange characters, Iggy and Spike, who proceed to kidnap Daisy.

Mario and Luigi awaken a minute later and head deeper into the caves following Daisy's screams and discover an interdimensional portal through which Mario and Luigi follow Daisy. They find themselves in a strange dystopian parallel world where a human-like race evolved from dinosaurs rather than the mammalian ancestry of true humans in a Manhattan-like city. Sixty-five million years ago, a meteorite crashed into the Earth and in doing so ripped the universe into two parallel dimensions. All the surviving dinosaurs of the time crossed over into this new realm. Iggy and Spike turn out to be henchmen (and cousins) of the other world's germophobic and obsessive dictator, King Koopa, descended from the T-Rex. However, the two have failed to also bring Daisy's rock, a meteorite fragment which Koopa is trying to get in order to merge his world with the real world that separated from Koopa's world during the meteor strike. It turns out that Daisy is the Princess of the other dimension but when Koopa overthrew Daisy's father (and turned him into fungus), Daisy's mother took her to New York using the inter-dimensional portal. The portal was then destroyed, killing Daisy's mother in the process, but when Scapelli was blasting at the cave, the portal was reopened. When Koopa hears about the re-opening of the portal, he sends Spike and Iggy to find Daisy and the rock to merge the dimensions and make Koopa dictator of both worlds. Spike and Iggy, however, who had grown more intelligent after being subjected to one of Koopa's experiments, decide to turn on Koopa and join forces with Mario and Luigi. Koopa thinks only Daisy can merge the worlds, but Mario and Luigi were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Daisy is eventually rescued by the plumbers, along with the help of Toad, a man punished by Koopa for performing music protesting his reign, then condemned to be "devolved" into a Goomba.

Eventually, the two worlds merge and Koopa inadvertently devolves Scapelli into a primate while aiming for Mario, but Luigi and Daisy take back the rock and the worlds separate again. Mario confronts Koopa and eventually wins when he and Luigi devolve him, transforming him into a ferocious, semi-humanoid Tyrannosaurus. Koopa then leaps out for a final attack but Mario and Luigi destroy him by devolving him further into primeval slime. Daisy's father turns back to normal and reclaims control over the kingdom stating he loves those plumbers. The citizens destroy anything involving Koopa. As the brothers return home, Luigi and Daisy admit their love for one another but Daisy cannot return to New York until the damage caused by Koopa is reversed and she spends more time with her father. Mario rephrases Daisy's words to Luigi but he does not care. A deeply hurt and saddened Luigi kisses her goodbye and the two brothers return to New York, while Daisy watches them leave. About three weeks later, Daisy returns for Mario and Luigi's help in fighting more villains. Meanwhile, Mario and Luigi's story is televised, giving them the name; "Super Mario Bros."

In a post-credits scene, two Nintendo executives talk about a video game based on their adventures but they are asking Iggy and Spike instead of the Super Mario Bros. and they decide on a title called "The Super Koopa Cousins".




The suggestion for a film based on the Super Mario Brothers was first put forward by Roland Joffé during a script meeting at his production company Lightmotive. Joffé met the Nintendo of America president Minoru Arakawa and Hiroshi Yamauchi's son-in law. He presented Arakawa with an initial draft of the script. One month after their meeting, Joffé went to Nintendo's corporate headquarters in Kyoto spending 10 days waiting to meet Hiroshi Yamauchi. After some time, Joffé received a phone call summoning him to Yamauchi's office. He pitched to Yamauchi the storyline which led to Nintendo receiving interest in the project. When Joffé was questioned about Nintendo having to sell the rights to a small studio company instead of a major company, he believed that Nintendo would have more control over the film. Joffé left with a $2 million contract giving the temporary control of the character of Mario over to Joffé.

Four drafts of the script were made. The first draft written by Jim Jennewein and Tom S. Parker focused on a comedic take on fairy tale themes on a story focusing on Mario and Luigi attempting to rescue a princess named Hildy from Koopa.

Joffé visited Harold Ramis to offer him the job of being the director of the film. Ramis took up the meeting as he was a fan of the Super Mario Bros game but declined the offer. Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel were hired to direct based on their work on the television series Max Headroom.


After securing the rights to the film, Lightmotive went to work finding the casting for the characters. Danny DeVito was approached to play Mario and direct the film but wanted to read the script before signing. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Keaton were both approached to play the part of King Koopa. All three actors decided not to accept the offers. Lightmotive managed to secure Tom Hanks as the role of Mario with some film executives believing that Hanks was worth more than the studio could afford. Hanks was later dismissed and Bob Hoskins was hired, who was believed to be a more profitable actor.


Critical reaction

Super Mario Bros. received negative reviews upon release. As of May 2013, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 16% of critics gave positive reviews based on 32 reviews. The site's consenus states: "Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two thumbs down on the television program Siskel & Ebert At the Movies, and was on their list for one of the worst films of 1993. Michael Wilmington of the Los Angeles Times disapproved of the film's script. However, Hal Hinson of the Washington Post gave a positive review, praising the film for its spirit and later went on to say, "In short, it's a blast." Janet Maslin of The New York Times gave another positive review, but said that the film "doesn't have the jaunty hop-and-zap spirit of the Nintendo video game from which it takes " ahem " its inspiration."


In the Nintendo Power 20th anniversary retrospective issue, as they chronicled the games and other related releases over the magazine's life span, the film's release was listed, to which the issue stated that, while neither the film, nor its cast and crew won any awards, the fact that the film was made shows how much the game series has impacted popular culture.

Bob Hoskins has spoken critically of Super Mario Bros., saying that it was "the worst thing I ever did" and that "the whole experience was a nightmare" in a 2007 interview with The Guardian. In another interview with The Guardian, Hoskins answered Super Mario Bros. to three of the questions he was asked, "What is the worst job you've done," "What has been your biggest disappointment," and "If you could edit your past, what would you change?"

John Leguizamo also admitted in 2007 that he too disliked his role as Luigi in the film, and expressed dissatisfaction with the film's direction. He also said in his biography that both he and Bob Hoskins did not enjoy working on the film, frequently getting drunk to go through it, knowing that it would turn out bad.

Dennis Hopper was also disparaging of the production, "It was a nightmare, very honestly, that movie. It was a husband-and-wife directing team who were both control freaks and wouldn't talk before they made decisions. Anyway, I was supposed to go down there for five weeks, and I was there for 17. It was so over budget."

Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario's creator stated, "[In] the end, it was a very fun project that they put a lot of effort into," but also said, "The one thing that I still have some regrets about is that the movie may have tried to get a little too close to what the Mario Bros. video games were. And in that sense, it became a movie that was about a video game, rather than being an entertaining movie in and of itself."

The film appeared in second place on Gametrailers countdown of the worst video game movies ever. The reviewers from Gametrailers said that the film "left a dark stain on the genre that mars it to this day."


|rev2 = Entertainment Weekly |rev2Score = D }}

The soundtrack, released on Capitol Records, featured two songs from Roxette: "Almost Unreal" which was released as a single. The music video for "Almost Unreal" was inspired by the film, featuring scenes from the film and a de-evolution theme. "Almost Unreal" was originally written for the film Hocus Pocus but was never used and ended up attached to the Mario film instead. The change angered Roxette co-founder Per Gessle. The film's score was composed by Alan Silvestri. It has not been officially released, though bootleg copies do exist.

George Clinton (who covered the Was (Not Was) song - "Walk The Dinosaur") released a single in 1993 that contained various other versions of the same song, including a Club Remix, a "Funky Goomba" Remix, a "Goomba Dub Mix" and an Instrumental version.

Track listing

  1. "Almost Unreal" - Roxette
  2. "Love Is the Drug" - Divinyls (cover of a song by Roxy Music)
  3. "Walk the Dinosaur" - George Clinton & The Goombas (cover of a song by Was (Not Was))
  4. "I Would Stop the World" - Charles and Eddie
  5. "I Want You" - Marky Mark
  6. "Where Are You Going?" - Extreme
  7. "Speed of Light" - Joe Satriani
  8. "Breakpoint" - Megadeth
  9. "Tie Your Mother Down" - Queen
  10. "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)" - Us3
  11. "Don't Slip Away" - Tracie Spencer
  12. "2 Cinnamon Street" - Roxette
NOTE: "2 Cinnamon Street" (sung by Marie Fredriksson) is an alternative version of "Cinnamon Street" sung by Per Gessle in Roxette's "Tourism" album.

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