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Super Mario Animated Movie Cast and Release Date Revealed

Movies based on video games do not exactly have the best reputation. One of the earliest efforts was an infamous flop with both audiences and critics- 1993's Super Mario Bros. As a result of that failure, Nintendo wouldn't even consider licencing movies based on their popular games for decades afterwards.

Today, Nintendo have opened up again to the idea that maybe movies based on their games might not be the worst thing ever, but this time they wanted to be involved with the productions themselves. For the first such co-production, they've decided to give Mario another chance on the big screen. Wisely, this time Mario will be starring in an animated movie.

Nintendo invited various parties to pitch their concepts for the movie. Ultimately they ended up going with Illumination Entertainment, the studio responsible for the Despicable Me movies, The Secret Life Of Pets and Sing.

This week as part of their Nintendo Direct presentation, the big N revealed the first concrete details for the movie. Most significantly they revealed the all-star voice cast who will be giving life to the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom.

Guardians Of The Galaxy star Chris Pratt will be voicing Mario himself and Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia) will be voting his lanky brother Luigi. This will be a reunion for the two actors, having previously appeared together in The LEGO Movie and its sequel. Mario's love-interest Princess Peach will be voiced by Anya Taylor Joy (The Queen's Gambit) and Jack Black will be returning to animation to voice the villainous BowserToad (Mario's mushroom buddy) will be voiced by Keegan Michael Key (Toy Story 4). Bowser's kids will also apparently be appearing as Sebastian Maniscalco has been cast as Spike, and Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek. 

Intriguingly, it appears that other Nintendo characters will also be featuring- Seth Rogan will voice Donkey Kong and Fred Armisen Cranky Kong. Should we expect appearances from characters from elsewhere in Nintendo-land? Might we see Kirby, Link, Zelda, Fox McCloud or any other Ninty faves?

Charles Martinet, the actor who has been voicing Mario (It's-a-him) in the games since he first began talking will apparently be cropping up in a "series of fun cameos."

Really, the one thing that should give Mario fans reassurance (no matter how they feel about Illumination) is that the legendary game designer (and Mario's Dad) Shigeru Miyamoto is heavily involved. The teaser posters we've seen so far suggest that the film is sticking faithfully to the originals design-wise at least.

Nintendo and Illumination aren't sharing anything else just yet, but they have announced that the film will be released in  North America on December 21, 2022. Release dates for elsewhere will be revealed at a later date.

[source: Nintendo Direct]