Illumination used unreleased Nintendo sketches to flesh out Mario's family in the Super Mario Bros. movie
All in the family
This story is a bit hard to report on without spoilers, so instead, we’ll just jump right into the specifics. If you’re okay with hearing those details, you can hit the jump and have a read!
The Super Mario Bros. movie features all sorts of classic Mario characters, but it also introduces a lot of brand-new faces. Among those fresh creations are some of Mario and Luigi’s family members, including their Mom and Dad.
In an interview with Polygon, Super Mario Bros. Movie director Aaron Horvath opened up on where these designs came from. Instead of them being a completely original creation, Illumination actually referenced never-before-seen documents from Nintendo where the Big N themselves had sketched possibilities for Mario and Luigi’s parents.
“Nintendo were completely open to it — they were fully on board with this cinematic representation of Mario and knowing that he’s not just going to be a guy who appears from a pipe and says ‘Wahoo!’ and then he’s off on his adventure. We needed to do a little more work to believe that he’s a real guy with a real life and real problems. So they were totally on board with creating this family for Mario.
They did send us character sketches that that they had done years ago that they had never used; Mario’s dad is almost like a one-to-one design adaptation of [Nintendo’s] original Mario’s dad design that they provided us. That was really great to be able to get that in the movie.”