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Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Episode 26127th June 2024 • Verbal Diorama • Verbal Diorama
00:00:00 01:01:50

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Last year, Super Mario Bros celebrated its 30th anniversary. It was a fairly muted celebration, but its acknowledgement for the most part came with the release of the new Super Mario Bros Movie, an Illumination animation starring Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy & Jack Black, with many websites also acknowledging the movie that came thirty years before.

It's well documented that this is a movie with problems, but what it really was, was the true definition of "creative differences". It would have a young directing team with previous experience of futuristic dystopia, an Academy Award-nominated producer, and would take inspiration from Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Everyone involved agreed they wanted something different to the light, fluffy games, but at least eight different scripts would confuse the tone, switching between serious brotherly drama, to The Wizard of Oz style fantasy, to Blade Runner and Mad Max inspired action, to something more family-friendly.

The producers didn’t want to work with the directors, the directors were getting the blame for everything (and they continued to get the blame for thirty years), the writers were being told one thing by producers and another by the directors - no-one was talking to each other. Threats were being thrown around, the set was chaos, no-one knew what was going on, no-one knew what they were going to be filming.

But while the producers, directors and stars were at metaphorical war, literally everyone else was stepping up and going above and beyond on this movie, despite all the problems, including the terrific special effects teams, set designers and production designers.

What we ended up with was something brave, bold, innovative, pioneering and special; most definitely not the bob-omb everyone has been led to believe it is...

The entire Super Mario Bros: The Movie Archive - a comprehensive fan site detailing everything you could ever want to know about the making of Super Mario Bros. - can be found at

I would love to hear your thoughts on Super Mario Bros. (1993) !



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Verbal Diorama is hosted, produced, edited, researched, recorded and marketed by me, Em | This podcast is hosted by Captivate, try it yourself for free.

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