Home Tech Pushing Buttons: Nintendo is making a new Mario movie – and I have an idea to make it better than the last one

Pushing Buttons: Nintendo is making a new Mario movie – and I have an idea to make it better than the last one

by Elijah
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Pushing Buttons: Nintendo is making a new Mario movie – and I have an idea to make it better than the last one

WWith classic, unconscious timing, Nintendo chose March 10 — or March 10, as the company likes to call it — to announce that it’s working with Illumination Studios on another Mario movie, even though it was the Oscars that day and no one was paying attention. . Last year’s Mario movie was a smash hit, grossing $1 billion and finally ending the long run of the doomed video game movie adaptation once and for all, so it’s no surprise that Another is in preparation for April 2026.

What is surprising is that there will not necessarily be a direct sequel. Co-directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic and screenwriter Matthew Fogel will return, but neither Nintendo nor Illumination have committed to calling the new film a sequel. In a released video announcing “a new animated film based on the world of Super Mario Bros,” Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto (that’s Mario’s father) said, “This time we’re thinking about further expanding the world of Super Mario Bros.” Mario, and he will have a bright and fun story.

Despite its meteoric popularity, the Mario film did not impress film critics, who were often extremely unkind towards it. Jack Black, who turned in an undeniably spirited performance as Bowser (the same can’t be said for Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong, alas), was moved to defend him in a recent interview with Total Film Review: “They showed it to me a month before its theatrical release. I laughed and smiled throughout this film. And then it came out and got horrible reviews. I was like, “What movie did they see?” »

I thought the movie was GOOD – child-friendly, safe, commercial, and slightly boring entertainment that at least managed to avoid actively ruining the legacy of the games it was based on. It’s very far from terrible, and I speak as someone who has suffered through more terrible video game movies than most. But there’s still a lot that could be improved, and I hope a sequel will be an opportunity to build on the first film rather than ripping out the same old Mario iconography and nostalgic sound effects until they are as dry as possible. Kalimari Desert.

Detective Pikachu. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures/AP

There’s a lot of Mario Expanded Universe – forgive me – that we didn’t see in the first film; for one thing, there was no Yoshi or Wario (and, if we’re going for deep cuts, no Birdo). But another parade of characters and references is not what we need in the next film. I’d love to see something that’s a little more like Detective Pikachu, set in the recognizable world of Pokémon but doing its own thing there. You know, something with a plot.

Mario isn’t exactly known for its plot – as a game it’s almost entirely vibration-based, and for decades Miyamoto and Nintendo’s other core creators were extremely wary of cutscenes and other non-playful storytelling techniques borrowed from the film industry. . But Mario’s lack of craftsmanship could be an advantage, as it gives filmmakers the opportunity to bring something new to it, something more suited to linear media. Many terrible video game movies are awful precisely because they get bogged down in plot or background details that players have 30 hours to delve into. Mario has none of that, and one would hope that it wouldn’t be too difficult for Illumination and Nintendo has come up with a good story set in the Mario universe that isn’t just an excuse to introduce 35 different Mario characters long lost in the blink of an eye.

There’s also the possibility of taking Mario out of the Mushroom Kingdom, as games have been doing for a while: a film based on Mario Galaxy could result in a real visual spectacle. But there’s still plenty to explore in Mario’s land. With such success behind them, I’m cautiously optimistic that they’ll be a little more ambitious next time around.

What to play

Expeditions: a Mudrunner game. Photo: Steam

A recommendation from Keith this week, as I’m currently playing something I’m not allowed to talk about.

He says: “Are you tired of driving games that force you to move at breakneck speeds? The funny name Expeditions: a Mudrunner game is the simulation you need. Here you drive a selection of rugged off-road vehicles through swampy woods and muddy quagmires, lowering your tire pressure or using a winch to get the most buys possible. Unlike the previous two games in Saber Interactive’s slow-moving series, you don’t go on endless fetch quests, but explore larger landscapes, trying not to disappear into a bottomless bog first. It’s ridiculously difficult in places, but also fun and rewarding, offering a far more cerebral challenge than that of your average arcade road racing game.

Available on: PC, PS4/5, Xbox, Switch
Estimated reading time: 30+ hours

What to read

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Realm. Photography: Nintendo
  • The WSJ reports that the former boss of Activision Bobby Kotick trying to bring together a group of investors buy TikTok, in case American lawmakers force its Chinese owners to sell it. Why can’t a nice person ever be at the helm of mass communication channels?

  • Some Toyota workers did a rideable Pokémon in real life. Their robotic version of Pokémon Scarlet’s motorcycle mascot, Miraidon, is, alas, unlikely to make it past the prototype stage, but It doesn’t look like a vehicle straight out of a 90s anime?

  • Nominations for this year Bafta games awards are out: Last year was full of highlights, but no one will be surprised to learn that Baldur’s Gate 3, Alan Wake 2, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (pictured) and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 are all here in largely, alongside smaller-scale successes. like Dave the Diver, Viewfinder and Cocoon.

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What to click on

Block of questions

A customer owning a PS5 on its release day. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte/REX/Shutterstock

Reader John has a question regarding Sony and Microsoft, following this issue of Pushing Buttons on the console wars:

The PS5 has many more exclusives than the Xbox, which means it’s prevent more players from profiting more games. SO Why Is Microsoft considered a greedy megacorporation, but Sony is not?

Sony is also a company with many twists. Ultimately, no company is friends, no matter what their diehard fans think: they exist to make money, and as gamers, we hope they do that by creating things that are wonderful and succeed by being enjoyable pieces. art and entertainment. When it comes to Microsoft and Sony, for me it’s about scale.

Sony’s total business is worth $109 billion, and its gaming business is part of it. Nintendo is worth $65 billion, for context, and its only business is gaming. Microsoft is worth more than $3tn. This creates an uneven playing field, giving Microsoft the opportunity to take losses or buy out the competition on a scale that none of its competitors could dream of. It would be the same with Meta, Amazon or Google: any company that is so incredibly rich that it is immune to failure is a company that has the potential to upset the balance of an industry, creative or other.

If you have a question for the question block – or something else to say about the newsletter – click Reply or email us at pushbuttons@theguardian.com.

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