The Super Mario Bros. Movie Blu-ray Review

Mark Pacis

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

When I reviewed The Super Mario Bros. Movie in April, I said that the film relied too much on nostalgia and not enough on the storyline. After watching the film a few more times, my thoughts on the film have changed. Although the film’s storyline could use more work, the film’s charm and entertainment value are incredibly high. The colorful and vibrant world of Super Mario Bros. is perfect for animation. Whether karting down Rainbow Road or traversing the haunted dark lands with Luigi, there are many nostalgic moments in the film that’ll make every Mario gamer’s heart sing.

Even the addition of Chris Pratt, although controversial before the movie’s release, fits the story that Illumination is trying to tell. Pratt is a dependable lead when he’s playing the everyman underdog that audiences love to root for. It’s just a shame that Charlie Day’s Luigi isn’t featured as much. I get that’s Luigi’s MO in the franchise’s history, but Day’s Luigi gives the film a lot of heart and laughs. 

The rest of the voice cast is spectacular as well. Anya Taylor-Joy, Keegan-Michael Key, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, and Fred Armisen’s voices are perfect for their respective characters. Seth Rogen was the biggest surprise because, just like with Pratt, his voice fits comfortably with the character. He gives the iconic character a humorous interpretation but can also showcase the character’s rage and short temper when needed. Also, Seth Rogen gives Donkey Kong some heartfelt emotion.

The one that completely stole the show was Jack Black as Bowser. He fully embraced the role and was perfect casting as the King of the Koopas. He made the iconic antagonist terrifying when the narrative asked for it. On the other hand, he also brought in his comedic talent when it calls for humor. Let’s not forget Jack Black also brought in his musical talents with the incredibly popular “Peaches.” You won’t find a single weak link in this voice cast.

While it would’ve been nice to see the movie elevate the subject matter, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is still a fun and enjoyable animated romp that pays a loving tribute to the franchise’s decades-old legacy. Even though I didn’t think so then, it finally feels as if the film and TV industry has learned how to adapt video games to the screen appropriately.

Movie Review: 3.5/atoms

The Super Mario Bros. Movie - Jack Black

The Super Mario Bros. Movie hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC HD presentation with a 2.39 aspect ratio. This HD presentation of The Super Mario Bros. Movie is terrific. The bright areas are luminous, with zero bloom found. Also, the black levels are inky with no issues at all. Not a surprise since seemingly every animated movie on Blu-ray looks pristine. The color palette here is vibrant, with all colors on the spectrum popping perfectly off the screen. The detail clarity is impressive as this presentation reveals excellent textures with environments, facial features, hair, and clothes in the animation.

Video Review: 5/5 atoms

The Super Mario Bros. Movie - Chris Pratt and Charlie Day

The Super Mario Bros. Movie hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos or a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio presentation if Atmos is not supported. This review will cover the Blu-ray’s Dolby Atmos mix. This release comes with quite an impressive Dolby Atmos track. Tons of sound effects transition smoothly and effortlessly through each speaker, creating a sound field that sucks its audience in like a green pipe in the game. The height speakers subtly but perfectly bring down debris, fire, and other sound effects. At the same time, the atmospheric effects create a general sense of atmosphere that is all finely tuned and perfectly integrated into the mix. Brian Tyler’s score is chock full of nostalgia, and each instrument fills up the entire soundstage. The fronts do most of the work, but the surround channels provide a full-sounding and complementary array of musical elements. The dialogue clarity is perfect as well.

Audio Review: 5/5 atoms

The Super Mario Bros. Movie - Anya Taylor-Joy
Special Features

The Super Mario Bros. Movie hits Blu-ray with the following bonus features on the disc:

  • Getting to Know the Cast
    • Chris Pratt as Mario
    • Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach
    • Charlie Day as Luigi
    • Jack Black as Bowser
    • Keegan-Michael Key as Toad
    • Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong
    • Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong
    • Juliet Jelenic as Lumalee
  • Leveling Up: Making The Super Mario Bros. Movie
    • Inspiration
    • Design
    • Music
    • Locations
    • Power Ups
    • Easter Eggs
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie Field Guide
  • “Peaches” Lyric Video
  • Leadership Lessons from Anya Taylor-Joy
Features Assessment

Getting to Know the Cast is an EPK-style series of featurettes. Here, the cast talks about their respective characters, their desire not to mess up for the massive fanbase, and their time on the film. Leveling Up is a fantastic six-part featurette that thoroughly covers the different facets of Mario Bros.’s production. The Field Guide and Leadership Lessons are catered more for the kids. With Field Guide, Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Keegan-Michael Key, and Seth Rogen tour the movie’s different locations, characters, and Easter eggs. Leadership Lessons features Anya Taylor-Joy talking about the leadership lessons she learned while playing the iconic princess. Of course, with the massive popularity of Jack Black’s “Peaches” (it currently has over 76 million plays on Spotify), Universal provided us with a lyric video for the song.

Special Features Review: 3.5/5 atoms

Overall, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a delightful—albeit thinly plotted—movie that gamers and non-gamers should appreciate. The video and audio presentations are astonishing, and the bonus features are robust and compelling.

Overall Review: 4.5/5 atoms

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now available in stores on Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for review purposes.