Animated movies are huge money-making machines in the film industry. With studios like Disney and Pixar animation, Dreamworks, and Illumination, we've seen just how successful an animated movie can really be. We've also seen some obscure stories come to life, like Big Hero 6, an essentially dead Marvel comics from a long time ago, become revived in the film industry. No one ever thought about that movie being made because most didn't even know what Big Hero 6 was and I'm a comic book guy.
But one of the things that I've been saying for so long is that they need to create a Super Mario movie. Some would say, "They've already tried that in the 90s and it sucked." and they'd be right, but that's because Hollywood felt the need to explain and make sense out of Mario when in actuality, you don't need to and really shouldn't. It needs to be fun, kiddish, and animated. Let's talk about three biggest aspects of the film that need to make this movie successful.
Have Fun with the Characters
Mario has some of the most fun and colorful characters of any video game ever. Characters like Mario, Luigi, Bowswer, Yoshi, Peach, the list goes on. They really need to put on display the best things about each of these characters and have fun with them. I want watching this movie to feel as exciting as playing any Mario game. I want to see Mario get a Tanooki suit powerup, and a Fire Flower, etc, I want to see Luigi scared silly (literally), and Bowser be the big, mean, bully of a bad guy he always has been. I also want to see them throw in fun side characters like Yoshi, Baby Bowser or maybe even the Koopa Kids, Wario, Captain Toad, and maybe even Donkey Kong as an easter egg or cameo somewhere.
It would be truly fascinating to see these characters interacting with one another by actually speaking to each other for the first time, and it would be fun seeing the crazy antics and the silly high-jinks that go on between the lot of them, even the bad guys.
Be Adventurous and Explore the World
The title of this segment says it all, but I'll say it again: Be adventurous and explore the world that embodies everything we love about the Super Mario franchise. The Mario games have always been large and elaborate with its settings, whether you are in the frumpy land of Mushroom Kingdom, the hot deserts, tropical beaches, chilly ice-lands, or the red hot fire-lands that Bowser has made his home.
Don't be afraid to bring life to it either. I want to see things moving as if it were natural for that location, not just a big blank canvass. I want to see Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Shy-Guys walking around, I want to see Boos in the haunted mansions, I want to see the Bullet Bill's anger in his eyes as he's charging towards our heroes. I want to see little Toads and Toadettes walking around.
Would that make Princess Peach a Disney Princess?
If you want the perfect example of how life should flourish in this movie, go look at the Paper Mario franchise. The silly atmosphere is hilarious and fun, there's so many things going on in the background that are hilarious if you notice them. I want that kind of fun in my Mario movie.
Get the Right Creative Team
Wreck-it-Ralph was an amazing film that introduced a lot of big worlds and showed us a very fun and colorful adventure that felt video-game-ish. For that reason, I think the team at Walt Disney's Animation Studios who created Tangled, Wreck-it-Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6 should put their minds together for this amazingly potential-filled movie. They could team up with Nintendo and put something out that hasn't really happened yet, the first majorly successful video-game adaptation.
Disney already has used Bowser in the Wreck-it-Ralph movie and so I'm sure they'd love to get with the team and really put together a movie if they already have some of the rights to these characters' on screen appearances.
Seriously though, making a proper animated Super Mario movie is almost as huge as putting Batman and Superman on the same screen. The characters in this franchise are legendary, everyone loves them or they wouldn't have lasted this long, kids of every generation fall in love with them. You make this movie and you are making probably the highest-selling, animated movie of all time.
Make it happen, Disney!