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May 28, 1993

Super Mario Bros. (also known as Super Mario Bros.: The Movie) is a 1993 adventure comedy film loosely based on the Mario video game series by Nintendo. It is the first feature-length live-action film to be based on a video game. The film was directed by the husband-and-wife team of Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, written by Parker Bennett, Terry Runté and Ed Solomon and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures through Hollywood Pictures. Its story follows brothers Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Leguizamo) in their quest to rescue Princess Daisy (Samantha Mathis) from a dystopic parallel universe ruled by the ruthless President Koopa (Dennis Hopper).

Given free creative license by Nintendo, the screenwriters envisioned the film as a subversive comedy with a "weird and dark" tone, with influences from Ghostbusters (1984) and The Wizard of Oz (1939). The setting was primarily inspired by the game Super Mario World (1990), with other elements drawn from fairy tales and contemporary American culture. The production innovated and introduced many filmmaking techniques now considered pivotal in the transition from practical to digital visual effects, including the use of Autodesk Flame. Filming took place from May to July 1992.

Released on May 28, 1993, the film was a critical and financial failure, grossing $38.9 million worldwide, against a budget of $42–48 million. The film was met with generally negative reviews from critics who criticized the confusing narrative, perceived lack of faithfulness to its source material and inconsistent tone, but praised the innovative special effects, creative artistic direction, and the performances of its actors. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto felt the film tried too hard to replicate the games instead of being a good film.

Despite a poor reception, the film gained a cult following in later years and has been recently regarded as a cult classic. In 2012, a webcomic sequel was produced in collaboration with Bennett. It remained the only live-action film based on a Nintendo game property until Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019). As of 2018, a new animated Mario film is in development by Universal Pictures through its Illumination division, with Miyamoto serving as co-producer alongside Illumination founder Chris Meledandri, with the film's theatrical release planned for December 21, 2022 in North America.

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  • Super Mario Bros. (1993) (Trailers)

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