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Super Mario Bros.: The Movie - 20 most ludicrous moments, 20 years later

Sweet stash, bro... not!

Luigi fares better than most characters in the movie. Sure, hes pretty much a goof, but you could say the movie is really his story--Mario is kinda just along for the ride. At least hes likable, and hes basically the one that gets the girl. But the one thing we cant forgive is the distinct lack of his trademark mustache. Cmon--there are even games in which the bros are rated for their staches! Clearly this lack of stache is why Luigi has been playing second fiddle to Mario for the last two decades.

Lets Dance, part 1

In his games, Mario is known for defeating foes by squashing them flat. But in the movie, Mario conquers his foes through the power of dance. (Well, when hes not smashing their brains out with wrenches, anyway.) When the going gets tough, middle-aged Mario--wearing a leisure suit--sweeps Big Bertha off her feet in an attempt to retrieve a stolen pendant. Not only does Mario succeed in taking the pendant, but his sweet dance moves charm Big Bertha into becoming an ally. Also: during the dance, Mario sticks his face into Big Berthas cleavage.

That's Toad?

You know Toad, right? The cheerful little guy with a mushroom on his head whos always there to tell Mario that the princess is in another castle? Well, he makes an appearance in the SMB movie, but not as the princesss loyal retainer. This time hes a street musician, hes a full-grown man, and in lieu of a mushroom hat he just has a really silly haircut. Much to Marios chagrin, this version of Toad sings the bros an awful song (Got no resources / In a great big stupor / All because of the evil King Koopa!), which causes him to get arrested and mutated into a Goomba.


Speaking of Goombas, it probably comes as no great shock that in this movie they in no way resemble the diminutive, waddling, brown, mushroom-or-chestnut-inspired creatures from the games. These Goombas are oversized humanoids sporting tiny little reptilian heads. Its bad enough that these Goombas are nothing like their in-game counterparts, but its even more irritating when you consider that the Mario series already has reptilian grunts--Koopa Troopas--that would have fit the design slightly better. (According to some reports, the characters were indeed originally intended to be Koopa Troopas, but were switched to Goombas sometime during production.)

Lets Dance, part 2

When Mario and Luigi invade King Koopas skyscraper to rescue Daisy, the brothers find themselves trapped in an elevator with evil Goombas. Fortunately the plumbers know just what to do: they start gently rocking the Goombas back and forth from behind, causing the big oafs to start dancing with each other and ignore the heroes. Maybe this is where the idea for DDR Mario Mix began to take shape.


A photorealistic Yoshi? You better believe it. You might think of Yoshi as Marios cute, cartoony dinosaur steed who swallows enemies and poops eggs, but in the movie he was a fairly realistic animatronic puppet that kinda resembled a miniature Tyrannosaurus Rex. Yoshi got off easier than most of the characters--at least he remained the same species, still used his super-long tongue as an offensive weapon, and even tried to consume one of his foes--but were betting he gave nightmares to at least a couple kids in the audience.

The Super Scope

A significant part of the movies plot deals with King Koopas de-evolution weapons, which he plans to use to invade our world and turn all of humanity into mindless beasts, or possibly puddles of primordial ooze. Whatever. Whats important is that these weapons are designed to look an awful lot like the Super Scope, the light-gun peripheral that Nintendo released for the Super NES in 1992. So if you have a Super Scope lying around in an old-game bin somewhere, make sure you dont accidentally use it to transform yourself into a mass of fungus.

Gangster style

Early in the movie Mario and Luigi arent fighting King Koopa. Their main rival is Anthony Scapelli, who is apparently so much better at business than the Mario Bros. that hes on the verge of driving the plumbers into bankruptcy. Hes also a big jerk with evident gangster ties, and hes got some major hate for Daisy since her archeological work is interfering with his construction plans. But by random chance during the movies finale, Mario and company wind up back in Brooklyn for a minute or two, giving Koopa the chance to accidentally devolve Scapelli into a monkey, which everybody watching finds hilarious. Harsh, man. Maybe he became the movies version of Donkey Kong?


Bob-Omb, the walking bomb enemy that first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 2, is surprisingly authentic in the movie. Its awfully small, sure, but otherwise its almost a dead ringer for the game version--a wind-up bomb with eyes and feet. The odd part, though? The Bob-Omb is wearing Reebok stickers on the soles of its feet. We suspect that somebody wants his product-placement money back.

King Koopa

We forgive the films big baddie for going by the name of King Koopa rather than Bowser, considering that Koopa has always been the characters name in Japan. We find it much harder, however, to reconcile his appearance (or his nonsensical plan to merge dimensions and conquer the world). Instead of a big, spiky turtle with flaming red hair, we get an old guy with blond cornrows. (No offense to Dennis Hopper.) Throughout the movie we see hints of Koopas game origins--his eyes and tongue briefly become reptilian, for example--and during the final confrontation with the bros, he even winds up in a dangling piece of construction equipment that kinda-sorta pays homage to his flying clown car from Super Mario World. At the films climax, Koopa transforms into a dinosauric monster reminiscent of his game character--but only for a second before Mario and Luigi kill him with his own de-evolution Super Scopes. We kinda pitied him at that point.