In commemoration of the upcoming 30th anniversary on September 15, Crunchyroll reports that Japan is set to mark the occasion with a celebratory screening of the 4K re-release of the Super Mario Bros. movie. This movie, known in Japan as Super Mario: Goddess of the Demon Empire, will hit cinemas there, providing audiences a chance to revisit the cult classic. Japanese data and information company Oricon has a neon-flecked poster worth checking out–even if you aren’t in Japan and can’t make it out for a screening.
The film, starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the iconic plumber siblings, still occupies a polarizing but important place in videogame cinematic history. Debuting in 1993, it took an unexpected turn by placing the Mario Bros. in the lively and distinct universe of Dinohattan–a parallel realm inhabited by humanoid descendants of dinosaurs. Samantha Mathis played Princess Daisy, while Dennis Hopper portrayed President Koopa. Despite initial criticism, the movie’s lasting charm has resulted in a global fan base for what still stands largely as a cult hit.
The newer movie hasn’t been without its detractors. Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the film opposite Hoskins’ Mario, told IndieWire that casting the voices of Chris Pratt and Charlie Day as the Mario Bros. feels “going backwards.” The animated movie caused a stir with Pratt’s involvement after the first teaser was released, with most fans citing there’s no element of the character showing through. Leguizamo critiques that the casting of the brothers doesn’t include a person of color.
It should be noted that Hoskins was English, playing an Italian man. Leguizamo is Colombian, who was also playing an Italian man. Hopper was American, and was playing a dinosaur.
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