Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros.

Synopsis of Movie

“This ain’t no game!”

An American film about a Japanese video game starring two Italian plumber brothers. If that ain’t multiculturalism, we don’t know what is.

For those unfamiliar with Mario Mario and his brother Luigi Mario, here’s a brief history: Mustachioed plumber Mario started out as the little guy who hopped over barrels to rescue girlfriend Pauline in the classic 1981 video game Donkey Kong. Mario first teamed up with brother Luigi in the plumbing disaster video game Mario Bros. in 1983. Super Mario Bros. (the video game, not the movie yet) made the pair stars when Nintendo’s NES home system hit the market in 1985. Several game sequels followed, and soon Mario was as recognizable as Mickey Mouse himself.

A 1989 cartoon series, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, only enhanced the plumbers’ popularity. Soon enough, somebody got the bright idea of putting the boys in their own feature film. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo were cast as Mario and Luigi, respectively, with Samantha Mathis as an underground princess and Dennis Hopper as chief bad guy King Koopa.

The film introduces a parallel world several miles beneath our own, where man descended from dinosaurs. In the city of Dinohattan, King Koopa has staged a coup against the rightful ruler and now has his eyes on the world above the crust. Meanwhile, college archaeology student Daisy (really the daughter of Dinohattan’s deposed ruler) is defending her dig against the greedy Scapelli brothers, who want to build a high-rise on the site. Mario and Luigi, rivals to the Scapellis, come to Daisy’s aid (though the spirited girl is quite capable of taking care of herself, thank you very much).

Unbeknownst to the plumbers, Daisy wears around her neck a shard of meteorite, which, if placed back with its meteoric source, would unite the above- and below-ground worlds, allowing Koopa to take over. Koopa dispatches goofy henchmen Iggy and Spike to capture Princess Daisy, but Luigi (who has fallen for the fair princess) and Mario come to the rescue, traveling down to the subterranean world themselves. Down below, the two come face to face with the familiar video game characters Toad, the Goombas, Bob-omb and the like, heading for the final showdown with Koopa himself.

Call it the curse of Tron, but video game movies have traditionally been a tough sell, with a few notable exceptions. Super Mario Bros. did little to reverse the trend. A few loyal Nintendophiles raved, but the general public waited until the following month’s Jurassic Park to get their dino thrills. Mario’s popularity went on unabated, however, with the continued success of his videogames on the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64.

Movie Release History

1993 - Super Mario Bros.

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio

Buena Vista


Mario Mario Bob Hoskins
Luigi Mario John Leguizamo
King Koopa Dennis Hopper
Princess Daisy Samantha Mathis
Iggy Fisher Stevens
Spike Richard Edson
Lena Fiona Shaw
Daniella Dana Kaminski
Toad Mojo Nixon
Scapelli Gianni Russo
Bertha Francesca Roberts
The King Lance Henriksen
Old Lady Sylvia Harman
Angelica Desiree Marie Velez
Brooklyn Girl Andrea Powell

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