Super Mario Bros. Movie redesigned Donkey Kong for only the second time ever

Super Mario Bros. Movie
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Super Mario Bros. Movie has a redesigned Donkey Kong for the first time since the character's jump to 3D.

Yesterday on November 30, Nintendo and Illumination debuted a second Super Mario Bros. Movie trailer, giving viewers a glimpse at characters like Luigi, Peach, and Donkey Kong. Near the conclusion of the broadcast just below, Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto appeared to give a brief message about Donkey Kong's brand new look.

"It's been over 40 years since the release of the original Donkey Kong game, which was also my debut title. We've also changed his design for the first time since he became a 3D model in the original Donkey Kong Country game," said Miyamoto. "Some of you may have noticed, but for this movie, we've seized the opportunity to give him a comical personality and design reminiscent of the original character."

At first glance, Donkey Kong appears to have a very similar design to his video game counterpart, even wearing the same tie with the same font. There's a few distinctions for the new version of the ape though, in particular his face - Donkey Kong's eyes are now closer together, and he also has a more rounded brow, generally giving him a slightly more humorous look, especially when viewed from the front.

If it was the movie's goal to give Donkey Kong a more "comical personality," then this redesign has certainly set the character on the right path. We can see the big monkey smacking around Christ Pratt's Mario in the trailer, and several shots in the trailer also hide other DK-related characters, including Diddy Kong, Cranky Kong, and the fan-favorite Funky Kong.

Meanwhile, the new Super Mario Bros. Movie trailer received a positive reaction from the internet at large, for a change. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.