Nintendo gives us a peek at the moment Mario arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom for the very first time.

It was all the way back in 2018 that Nintendo and Illumination Entertainment announced that they were working on a CG animated Super Mario Bros. movie. Then they were pretty much completely silent about it for the next three years, until the reveal of the voice cast in September of 2021, which was pretty much the last public update on the project (aside from that oddly phrased delay announcement).

But now, after years of waiting, we finally have our first look at the Super Mario Bros. Movie, with Nintendo itself posting the first trailer on its YouTube channel.

Though Nintendo is a creative partner in the movie’s creation, it’s Illumination that’s producing the animation. Video game characters don’t get much more iconic than the Mario cast, so there’s some understandable concern as to whether anyone but Nintendo can do them visual justice, so it’s reassuring to see Bowser looking so familiar as he menaces a castle of penguins.

Things don’t feel quite as close, though, with leading man Mario.

There’s nothing technically wrong with his facial expressions, but after decades of seeing the plumber’s unabashedly stylized in-game appearances, it’s kind of startling to see his face contort with this much detail. It’s also a little unsettling to see him in an environment with such photo-realistic lighting, since it imparts a sort of plasticky effect on his skin.

Then again, part of why Mario’s mannerisms might seem a little off is that the Super Mario Bros. Movie is apparently starting from the very beginning of the story. “What is this place?” Mario murmurs while standing in what each and every fan already knows is the Mushroom Kingdom, and if this is his first time there, it stands to reason that he’s not going to be brimming with the same energetic confidence, and associated body language, that decades of adventuring in mysterious lands has given him in the game series.

Aside from the face of the franchise and his arch-nemesis, the video also gives us a look at Toad

…and Luigi, who it looks like we’re going to see develop his fear of ghosts.

Tonally, it’s a little hard to tell how serious the movie wants audiences to take it, as we get both silly slapstick and genuinely impressive destruction in the trailer.

We do know, though, when it’s coming out, with the English-language video saying “Only in theaters April 7,” while those in Nintendo’s home country are going to have to wait another three weeks, as the Super Mario Bros. Movie doesn’t debut in Japan until April 28.

Source, images: YouTube/Nintendo (1, 2)
Top image: YouTube/Nintendo
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