NCL PR - Illumination & Nintendo Begin Development on Animated Film Based on the World of Super Mario Bros.

Illumination (HQ: Santa Monica, CA USA) and Nintendo Co., Ltd., (HQ: Kyoto Minami-ku; Representative Director and President: Tatsumi Kimishima) today announced a partnership to develop a movie starring the Mario character.

The project will be produced by Chris Meledandri, Founder and CEO of Illumination and Shigeru Miyamoto, Representative Director, Fellow of Nintendo.

The film will be co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo and distributed theatrically worldwide by Universal Pictures.

With this project, Nintendo will pursue its goals of effectively leveraging its intellectual properties in mediums outside of video games, and of bringing smiles to people around the world.

With this project, Illumination will continue to fulfill its mission of infusing joy and discovery into every property, allowing worldwide audiences of all ages to connect with the beloved characters and story from one of the world's most popular franchises.

Categories: Top Stories, Media
Tags: super-mario


Top Rated Comment


Wed Jan 31 18 09:55pm
Rating: 3

Partnering so closely with the company that once tried to sue the pants off of them over Donkey Kong and lead directly to the pink puff being named Kirby. Neato.

You know, the "Why Illumination?" answer is probably because they are already working with Universal on theme park stuff and have a good relationship going there. All those delicious cross promotions.



For people going "why the studio that made Minions?" I'll remind you all about Mario+Rabbids. Stupid idea when you first hear about it, but actually amazing execution (and I feel this comparison fits given I've seen people say rabbids are to gaming what Minions are to movies). I'm pretty sure with Nintendo having a heavy hand in the project they're going to make damn sure Illumination doesn't screw it up.

That’s different, Ubisoft business model isn’t “make games for as little money as possible.”

But that is precisely what Illumination’s business model. Is. Which means the movie will be low budget and full of lame pop culture references.

Illumination's last movie had an $80 million budget. So...

Which was less then half of Toy Story 3 ($200 million), Cars 3 was about the same (Around 150 million).

$80 million is NOTHING for an animated feature. Especially when you consider how much the actors get.

Wed Jan 31 18 11:25pm
(Updated 1 time)

I see what you're saying but it's not like they are doing machinima. $80 mil might not be Pixar money but Pixar is Pixar.

Nintendo is funding this movie, so you can forget about it being low budget.

I agree. There is no way in hell that Nintendo would let this get screwed up.

I think hope this is going to be a blue sky studio case...i mean remember The Peanuts Movie? everyone was freaking out because of that movie, and even worse then the guys behind it were the "ice age/rio" guys, and that studio didn´t have the best track record....and you know what happend? They threatd the IP with SO MUCH respect, the movie was lovely and imo better that "inside out" (yeah i said it), i think we can at least give them the benefit of the doubt and see what happen...i mean you have miyamoto in the proyect and his pikmin shorts were good

Peanuts was a fantastic movie, but better than Inside Out? Blasphemy. I agree with your premise though.

Well yeah, but we saw how Illumination Treated Dr. Suess’ The Lorax with such little care to the property. Who’s to say they won’t do the same with Mario?

Wed Jan 31 18 10:31pm
(Updated 1 time)

Was the Suess Estate a producer on that? Not trying to be flippant: I honestly don't know. Miyamoto being producer isn't just a nominal thing. Nintendo expressly said they wouldn't do this without a fair measure of control. If the Suess Estate were producers on Lorax, Is be surprised. Also, a faithful adaptation of a Suess book would be thirty minutes tops.

EDIT: Wow, his widow was a producer on the Lorax. It made $350 mil on a $70 mil budget, so there's that.

Thu Feb 01 18 03:33am
(Updated 2 times)

The thing about Blue Sky movies is that anything they make for children that is NOT their Ice Age movies (and Rio, somehow) becomes some kind of sleeper hit. Even their adaptation of the Captain Underpants book series has swayed me over!

I'm having little faith in this Illumination Animation joint though. Already expecting the most production-costs-dodgy final output...

For the haters:

Will see this movie at day 0

Wed Jan 31 18 10:07pm
Rating: 2

Could be worse.... could have been Sony Pictures.

The studio that is making a Venom movie outside of the Marvel universe instead of just being patient and waiting for Spider-Man to get the black costume so it all makes sense and fits together beautifully. Sony Pictures.

Wed Jan 31 18 10:35pm
Rating: 1

Considering how picky Miyamoto is regarding Mario these days, I have a feeling Illumination will be treading lightly on this project and making sure it's to Miyamoto's liking. Frankly, I'm not too worried.

Wed Jan 31 18 10:41pm
Rating: 1

Alright, FINE. This is really happening.

Hopefully Illumination has learned a thing or two from Secret Life of Pets and Sing (BOTH OF WHICH ARE ALREADY GETTING SEQUELS??). Please... as someone who's pursuing a career in animation, please do good with the Mario franchise. I've been waiting all my life for a modern animated Mario movie. I don't want to have the same, disgusted, disappointed look on my face when I watched Pets and Despicable Me 2. PLEASE, Illumination.

Man, I can second that sentiment. I feel like Illumination can make something good, but their track record is so spotty that I'm actually nervous. I don't want Nintendo to keep their properties out of the movies for another few decades just because Illumination mess it up.

I'll agree with you on Pets. That movie sucked. Looked good, had a decent cast, but was crap. They just need good writers.

Thu Feb 01 18 12:30am
(Updated 3 times)

Of all studios...

Nintendo goes with the most artistically and creatively bankrupt, lowest-effort-for-maximum profit abuse of the animation industry studio in existance.

This movie is going to be both unbareable to watch and heartbreaking.

They went with the one associated with Universal, who is doing their theme park attractions. It's that simple.

Thu Feb 01 18 12:36am
(Updated 1 time)

That may be the case but it won't stop the movie from being obnoxiously bad, just like every movie this charlatan studio has produced.

Don't worry too much, Nintendo will be heavily involved with the making of this movie. Miyamoto himself, even. I think Illumination will be happy enough with basically whatever Nintendo would want them to do. I really doubt the movie will be obnoxiously bad at all.

Please don't pre-judge the Mario movie too much. Worst case scenario, Waluigi won't appear. Best case scenario, Waluigi appears.

Thu Feb 01 18 05:30am
Rating: 1

Mark Hamill tried to give Rian Johnson advice on how to properly write Luke Skywalker, but that didn't stop him from ruining everything.

Illumination is the Konami of the animation industry, I remain skeptical about their capabilities even with assistance.

Well, Mark Hamill is not Nintendo. Nintendo will of course be very involved and careful with the Mario IP. The real major worst case scenario, I'd say, is that the plot will be preditctable as a 'save Peach from Bowser' plot, but I really doubt it will turn out bad with how Nintendo has been lately.

Not saying you can't be sceptical, of course. To each his own. Just suggesting to not pre-judge the movie so hard that it'll make you hate it even IF it seems to turn out great. Hating it in advance could make you hate a movie you'd have liked if you hadn't already started hating it.

But yeah, let's see what happens, of course. I doubt we'll see a trailer anytime soon.

You're talking about a company who made a stink over how Bowser held a cup of tea.

And this stink was directed at Disney.

Is Despicable Me really that bad ? I thought it was pretty good.

I thought it was pretty good too, but some people seem to act like it's the worst thing that ever existed... That seems a bit misguided to me, but eh, to each their own

It's probably the Rabbid effect. They made a creature (Minions) that became massively marketable to kids and anyone who's oft not invested their time with animations or games, and thus enjoy and consume them to a point of those who are more critical be THAT much more spiteful toward it.

Yeah, it does kind of seem like spite. "This is popular and I don't think it should be because I don't like it personally, so it's the stupidest thing ever"

Fri Feb 02 18 11:56pm
(Updated 1 time)

I think it's a bad film, but It's probabaly the most watchable of their library, but as they progress from there, you can see with each successive film how they've basically been trying to refine "least effort for maximum profit" to an algorythm, with Sing being the perfect distillation of this.

I've seen Sing also and I agree it's pretty forgettable, but not bad. But I mean, in my opinion so is Wrecked Ralph for example or Coco that recently released, or Rio, Madagascar and Ice Age, etc... Or even The Incredibles or even freaking Frozen to go in Disney territorry. Despicable Me was better than all of these imo. My point is the animation film is super formulaic by design and really good animation films (well the american ones) are very far and between. I can think of a couple in the last decade but not that much. Zootopia was pretty cool, Meat Balls was very fun... In general the likes of Pixar, Dreamworks and whatnot have really been losing it after the craze of their beginnings.

I don't think Illumination is that bad a choice even though I will agree that they need an artistic awakening of some sort because they are competent technically but they tend to be very formulaic (just like the rest of them US animation studios). And because of that their narration fall flat and feel like repetitions of things we've seen a thousand times before, without any artistic value added to redeem the mix. It doesn't help either that their main success is the minions which is pretty much the perfect illustration of just that : a blatant copy of the Rabbids, without the heart. But these points you're blaming Illumination for are shared by pretty much all of this industry, not just them, and even the repetitive aspect is something that can be blamed on the industry as a whole.

Still if I can trust someone to be stubborn and demanding enough so that Illumination finds its mojo, it's definitely going to be Nintendo. I wouldn't say this news is that bad, Illumination have strong points going for them. They are competent technically and on the marketing front they've proven that they know how to appeal to certain demographics so that's good. I hope the collaboration with Nintendo will really be a collaboration because they can complement each other.

Sat Feb 03 18 07:44am
(Updated 1 time)

IHE's review of Sing on YouTube does a far better job than I could of explaining in great detail just how Illumination is deliberately cheap and formulaic, perfecting the concept of lazy pandering is exactly what the studio is trying to do. Left to their own devices they have no interest in animation as an art form.

Not saying others don't take shortcuts now and then but no other successful studio does this to anywhere close to the level of Illumination.

Please there better not be a ****ing Minion in the movie

I predict the movie will start like they usually do. A Minion appearing (but with Mario Hat/Stache) saying "Illumination!"

Then a Toad walks on screen, saying "Nintendo!"

Then a Rabbid walks in and just stands there, staring at the audience.

Then it fades to black.

Haven't seen Secret Life of Pets or the third Despicable Me film, but Illumination's films with Minions, Sing and the first two Despicable Me's looked nice, decent script, and were animated well imo. Plus, Miyamoto is is kinda there to keep things on track.

Regardless, all Illumination films also make bank!


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