The Hilariously Bizarre ‘Super Mario Bros’ Anime for Free on YouTube

The First Video Game Adaptation: Super Mario Bros

Today, video game adaptations for the big screen are a sad (or happy, depending on who you ask) routine. From ‘Detective Pikachu’ to ‘Uncharted’ through ‘Mortal Kombat’, ‘Sonic’ or even the future ‘Gran Turismo‘, the cinema has been slow to find the key to press to make a coherent and respectful version far from those ‘Street Fighter’, ‘Double Dragon’ or ‘Super Mario Bros‘ that caused so many nightmares in the mid-90s.

However, few remember that this boom began in 1986… exclusively in Japan. With the new Mario brothers movie about to hit our theaters, it’s the perfect time to get to know the heroes’ first foray onto the big screen, a milestone that is at the same time the first audiovisual version of Super Mario Bros, the first movie based on a video game and first isekai in a virtual world.

‘Super Mario Bros: Peach-hime Kyūshutsu Dai Sakusen!’

Its title, ‘Super Mario Bros: Peach-hime Kyūshutsu Dai Sakusen!’ or, what comes to the same thing, ‘Super Mario Bros: The great mission to rescue Princess Peach!’. In 1985, ‘Super Mario Bros’, the original platform game we all know, debuted on the NES. It was such a success that in just one year Nintendo developed the much more complicated ‘Super Mario Bros 2’ (known internationally as ‘The lost levels’) for the, let’s call it that, NES (Famicom Disk System) “floppy drive”.

The Film’s Plot

All the creators knew was that Mario and Luigi saved Princess Peach, trapped by Koopa, killing different enemies and going through various phases. Our heroes could modify their bodies with the mushroom, the flower, and if they were lucky, the star. And with this, they had to put together an hour of the film.

In the opening scene, Mario plays the NES all night until a kidnapped princess pops on the screen by the evil Koopa with intention of forcing marriage. The princess leaves behind only a brooch that the future plumber, in love with her, uses to keep her continually in her mind.

The next day, in the grocery store that he runs with his brother, who is dressed in his classic purple jumpsuit, Mario makes the decision to go to the world of the video game and save Peach with the help of Luigi and a kind of worm that acts as a pet.

Is it Good?

Don’t be surprised if it’s the weirdest piece of video game history you’ll see in 2023. No, under no circumstances. If you are a fan of the saga, do you have to see it? Of course, especially since it was uploaded to YouTube in 4K (I’ll tell you more about this later). Never has a more mediocre product received such stellar treatment?

The First Video Game Movies

It premiered on July 20, 1986, in Sochiku theaters in a double session together with, believe it or not, a video guide to passing ‘The lost levels’. This promotion thing still had to be perfected. On the same day, ‘Running boy: Star Soldier no Himitsu’, an adaptation of ‘Star Soldier’, whose first game came out that same year, was released. Both are, for two years, the first movies based on video games. The honor of next going to ‘Mirai Ninja’, a live-action direct-to-video Japanese film adapting Namco’s arcade.

Cool Trivia Facts

Throughout the film it is curious to see how there is absolutely shameless advertising for other products of the character: Mario and Luigi hit a block, Mario ramen comes out and they eat it saying “This is very good, guys” while winking to the camera.

Perhaps, seen now, what shocks the most about the film is that, in the end, Peach does not have an affair with Mario, but with a generic anime prince named Haru who has his own medallion. For whatever reason, Nintendo has never mentioned it again.

The film was released exclusively on VHS and BETA for rent and was never released or republished beyond 1986. Fortunately, and although there are ripped versions directly from VHS with subtitles, Norwegian YouTuber Carnival got hold of a 16-inch version. mm, and the fan group Kineko Video was able to restore it to full 4K, a version that has been available online for a year now.


It’s nice to see that, as much as Illumination is going to grab the headlines in the coming days, the Internet can make it so that the smallest and most insignificant thing in the world, a footer in history, will never disappear. It’s a movie, Mario!

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