With the new animated Super Mario Bros. Coming soon to Illumination (and unfortunately starring Chris Pratt), many fans have recently been talking about the ill-fated 1993 live-action flick. One of the key aspects of the film – aside from its abject critical and commercial failure – is how different it was from the video games themselves. Rather than being a fun, light-hearted fantasy story, it was more of a (relatively) dark, cyberpunk, and dystopian story.
However, despite this, there are some pretty funny Easter eggs from the games used by the movie, which are often difficult to spot.
11 Wigglers and other neon signs
In the Super Mario Bros. movie, there’s a bunch of Easter eggs from the original video game hidden in the many neon signs scattered around the dystopian cyberpunk town “Dinohattan” (designed by Blade runnerown production designer, David L. Snyder). This includes the names of characters, enemies, bonuses, such as Wigglers (like the name of a branded drink), Boom Boom boss SM3 (like the name of a nightclub), and The Hammer Bros. (like a tattoo parlor), and many other references as well.
ten Thwomps makes an alternate appearance
While there are no Thwomps in the movie as portrayed in the game, there are two major references to them. The first is the name “Thwomp Stompers”, which is what these weird futuristic boots (used later in the action movie Face / Off) that Mario and Luigi wear to jump higher are (essentially the sci-fi version of a power-up).
There’s also a neon sign for a store called “Thwomps” that sells the aforementioned Thwomp Stompers, which serves as the backdrop for a quick-action scene towards the end of the movie.
9 Banknotes are much smaller
In the Super Mario Bros. games, Bullet Bills were big black bullets (more like missiles) with faces painted on them that were fired from cannons meant to kill our Italian plumber heroes. In the original games they were about the size of a little Mario (or Luigi), but in later games – starting with Super mario world in 1990 – they were actually huge and took up most of the screen.
However, in the movie, not only are they tiny (they can fit in the palm of your hand), but they’re not weapons at all and instead are energy cartridges for Mario Bros.’s weird Thwomp Stomper boots. And, as mentioned in the previous two entries, there is also a neon sign for a bar called “Bullet Bills” seen in the background as well.
8 Fire Flower Guns are the ultimate power-up
In the Super Mario Bros. In game, the Fire Flower is a bonus that Mario (or Luigi) can use. They change their blue overalls to white and grant them the power to shoot fireballs from their hands. It’s honestly one of the most effective power-ups in the game.
In the movie, the flamethrower’s weapon – called the “Fireball Gun” – is pretty much a sci-fi / cyberpunk version of the aforementioned fire flower from the video game. Not only does the tip of the gun form a spiral in the shape of a flower, but the flames shoot out like, well, fireballs, which is much closer to how Fire Flowers work than a standard flamethrower.
seven The Koopahari Desert is the kingdom of Koopa
The Koopahari Desert was the second world players visited in Super mario 3 (also sometimes known simply as “Desert Land”). In it, they fought some of the game’s rarest enemies, such as Angry Sun and the Fire Brothers (a flame-based variant of The Hammer Brothers).
In the movie, the Koopahari Desert is what makes up most of the desolate Koopa Kingdom (where Dinohattan is the only truly functioning civilization on the entire planet). At one point, the Mario Brothers find themselves briefly stranded there, after an explosive car chase eludes the corrupt Koopa Police Force.
6 Big Bertha wears Cheep Cheep Red
Cheep Cheeps are those annoying redfish enemies of the first Super Mario Bros. game that jumps out of the water, often in swarms, or attacks players during even more boring underwater levels. Big Bertha, meanwhile, was the nickname given to the big Cheep Cheep introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3.
It is not clear why this name was given to the character in the film, played by actress Francesca Roberts, since she is not a fish at all. But she is all in red, which is at least the same color as its video game counterpart.
5 Mario Kart appears with a car chase
Mario Kart, the classic Mario Bros. racing game, released for Super Nintendo a year before the Super Mario Bros. The film was released in 1993. And in the middle of the film, there is an explosive and prolonged car chase. There’s even a scene where the police use “power-ups” by shooting fireballs at the escaping Mario and Luigi (the police accidentally detonate themselves in place). Now, while the film was in development for a long time prior to 1992, there have also been plenty of stories of constant script rewriting on set throughout the troubled production. Plus, the cars in Dinohattan seem to run on electric wires – like bumper cars at an amusement park – where you can also find people going karting.
4 The king is turned into a mushroom
In Super Mario Bros. 3, King Koopa uses magic to transform all the kings of the different lands of the Mushroom World (like the Desert Land mentioned earlier) into things like insects, animals, and plants. It then becomes Mario’s (or Luigi’s) mission to transform these kings into their original human forms.
Thus, the fact that the king in the Super Mario Bros. the movie is turned into a mushroom (similar to Pipe Land King from SM3 transform into a plant), and must be transformed back into human form by the end of the film draws heavily on SM3‘s scenario.
3 The characters come down from the pipes
Traveling through pipes is probably the most iconic Super Mario Bros. thing ever. In fact, it is even earlier Super Mario Bros. and was a main feature of the Mario Brothers. arcade game from 1983. So it makes sense that it appears in the Super Mario Bros. film to some extent.
In the film, Mario saves a group of missing Brooklyn women (who were mistaken for King Koopa’s henchmen as Princess Daisy) and uses a mattress as a bobsleigh to bring down a large air conditioning pipe, pursued by Goombas and Koopa. Troopers. However, the most notable thing about the scene is the way the whole sequence is written on the song “Breakpoint” by famous metal band Megadeth.
2 Tower walls with castle designs
One of the most criticized aspects of the Super Mario Bros. The movie is that the art direction is inspired by cyberpunk rather than the more medieval / fantasy aesthetic of the original games (especially during Bowser’s Castle levels). This includes King Koopa’s lair in the movie, which is a skyscraper based on the Twin Towers (since King Koopa is more of an evil businessman, namely Donald Trump, as opposed to an evil Lizard King as in Games).
However, there are still glimmers of the level design of the games in the tower, especially the spiked blocks that line the hallways of the building, which are similar to the blocks of Super mario bros 3. It’s not much, but it is at least something!
1 Shy Guys Make An Appearance As Trash Men
The Shy Guys were first introduced to Super Mario Bros. myth in Super mario bros 2 (who in America was in fact a reskin of the Arabian nights-themed game Doki Doki Panic, since the Japanese developers believed that American players could not handle the more difficult levels of the official game SM2). But, nevertheless, subsequently, the Shy Guys began to appear in later Mario games, such as the main antagonists of Yoshi Island and the drivers in Mario Kart 7 and 8.
Towards the end of Super Mario Bros. movie, we see the Shy Guys portrayed as garbage collectors in a giant landfill, which Mario and Luigi quickly overpower and steal the masks to sneak into Koopa’s Tower. At least the heroes didn’t throw a giant turnip at them.
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