Princess Peach Has the Spotlight in the New Mario Trailer!

When I heard that Illumination was teaming up with Nintendo to make a Super Mario Bros. movie,  my first thought was "Well, it can't possibly be worse than that live-action one." I'm far from a hardcore Mario Bros. fanatic, but I have cosplayed as Princess Peach and recently reviewed her game, so there is some interest there. Unfortunately, the initial teaser trailer did not show the classic pink and blonde princess at all, so I had little interest in learning more about it. All of that changed when the second trailer released yesterday, and Peach was all over the place. She has significantly more dialogue in this trailer than Mario himself, so there's a lot to dive into. Let's get started.

Right off the bat, I love that this movie keeps the brightly colored cartoony feel of the games, something that is impossible to capture in live-action. Illumination is not exactly known for their stellar animation, but their comical designs are a good match for the Mushroom Kingdom. Everyone looks on model with the games with only the slightest touch of additional detail on their costumes and accessories to make it look more theatrical. The trailer features all of the beloved characters from the video game franchise, and none of them have been horribly altered. We see Mario, Peach, Luigi, Bowser, and all of the cute little mushrooms that Peach reigns over. The bright colors and whimsical landscapes feel like the same world that gamers have played in for years.

Though they look the same, the characters' personalities have clearly been modernized, which was to be expected since none of them were very complex in the first place. Peach in particular has been given the 2020s Disney Princess personality makeover. No longer a traditional damsel in distress, which was arguably her most defining character trait in the past, Peach is now a fierce leader who is determined to protect her mushroom subjects even if it means getting her gloves dirty from time to time. Halfway through the trailer, she is revealed in her Mario Cart battlesuit wielding a halberd as she joins Mario on his quest to save the kingdom from Bowser. In her final line from the trailer, she notably tells Mario "They're all counting on us," not "you," meaning that she considers herself just as crucial of a player in this game as Mario himself.

Another Peach-related throwback comes about two thirds of the way through the trailer when she touches a flower and wields fire-like powers from her hand, similar to the "angry" power that she uses in Super Princess Peach. This implies that she may have some similar superpowers in this game, though her iconic umbrella is nowhere to be seen. The end of the trailer also features a not-so-subtle nod to Mario Cart as the characters drive over a giant rainbow. It's clear that this movie is made for genuine fans of the games instead of trying to do its own weird experimental thing like the live-action one from 1993.

There's a lot to like about this trailer. It pays loyal homage to the Mario games of the past and their fun brightly-colored worlds. As a standalone movie, it does look a bit generic, especially after the updates that have been made to Peach's character which match every other princess upgrade over the last decade or so. My favorite thing about it are the visuals. The traditional good vs. evil storyline has been done a million times before, and this one doesn't look like it has anything new to add. I'm expecting more people to enjoy for the easter eggs throwback to the many past video games in the Mario franchise than for the stories and characters alone. Are you planning on seeing The Super Mario Bros. Movie in theaters? Let me know your thoughts!


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