Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!
Super Mario Bros.: Pīchi-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! (Japanese スーパー マリオ ブラザーズ ピーチ姫救出大作戦! Sūpā Mario Burazāzu Pīchi-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!), in English, roughly Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach!, was a Mario anime movie that was only released in Japan on video tape (VHS) on July 20, 1986. Directed by Masami Hata, written by Hideo Takayashiki and produced by Masakatsu Suzuki and Tsunemasa Hatano, it was produced by Grouper Studios (in co-operation with Nintendo) and distributed by Toei Company/VAP Video. The film's running time is approximately 1 hour.
The movie opens with Mario playing a videogame that appears similar to Super Mario Bros., though it has a few notable differences, such as the hero using a bat. Luigi goes to bed because it's late, but Mario continues playing the game. Suddenly, the screen changes and Princess Peach is seen fleeing various Mario game enemies. In a panic, she leaps out of the television, to Mario's great surprise. After narrowly dodging a mob of enemies, Peach explains that she is the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser then appears on the TV screen, and Peach explains to Mario that he's evil, and trying to take over her kingdom. Mario was, at this time, in love with the princess, and promises to protect her from danger. Bowser emerges from the television, and he and Mario have a brief confrontation. He knocks Mario through a hole in the floor and escapes back into the TV with Peach. Before Mario could chase after him, Bowser and Peach vanish, leaving a Game Over screen. Mario cries out for Peach, which awakens Luigi, who asks what's going on. Mario explains what happened, and Luigi laughs and tells Mario that he must have been dreaming before going back to bed. Mario thinks that might be the case, but then notices a pendant on the floor– the very pendant that the princess was wearing just before. He now knows what he saw was definitely real, but has no idea what he can do about it.
The next day, the Mario Bros. go to work at their grocery store. Mario daydreams about Princess Peach, feeling very distressed over her sudden disappearance. As a customer unsatisfied with Mario's absentmindedness leaves, Luigi noticed the pendant in Mario's hand, greedily recognizing it as the Visionary Jewel from the Country of Treasure. Suddenly, a strange blue dog known as Kibidango enters their store and steals Peach's pendant, causing the Bros. to chase after it to a field full of pipes. Chasing the dog into the pipes, they vanish along with the pipes (which then fall down) themselves.
They land in a cave, and are greeted by the Mushroom Hermit, a wise old man in a white robe. He explains that the evil King Koopa has attacked the Mushroom Kingdom and kidnapped Princess Peach, planning to marry her on Friday the 13th. The Mushroom citizens have been turned into useless objects, and all seems as though the kingdom is doomed. Mario is furious (even putting on a Mexican bandit's outfit to show off his rage in an anime gag) and vows to defeat Bowser and rescue Peach. The wise man tells Mario of three powerful items: the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Star Star, saying that they will need them in their quest. The Mario Bros. set out on their adventure, accompanied by Kibidango.
Walking through a strange field, the team progresses, seeing various new and strange sights. Soon, they're spotted by two Goombas, who sneakily observe them from a distance. Eventually, they find a rest stop, and Mario goes to sleep. Luigi, however, is too hungry to rest, and complains about how hungry he is. The two Goombas arrive, claiming to be mushrooms, and lead Luigi to a field of strange Mushrooms before departing. Mario awakes, and hears Luigi laughing hysterically due to the strange mushrooms the Goombas led him to. Luigi then starts crying, and finally gets angry, but then calms down when, suddenly, a giant Koopa Paratroopa picks Mario up and takes him to her nest, followed by Luigi and Kibidango. From their odd position, the Bros. spot a Mushroom frozen in a block of ice. Mario climbs up some rocks to reach it, and in addition to getting it, uncovers a hidden rock that starts shooting out coins. The sudden surprise, however, causes Mario to lose his footing, and he falls, taking Luigi with him.
Upon landing in a nearby field, Luigi picks up one of the coins, which starts shining brightly. After a flash of light, a Toad stands before him. Soon, other coins turn into Toads. One of the Toads explains that Bowser turned them into coins, and thanks the Mario Bros. for rescuing them. The Bros. are presented with a Super Mushroom as thanks, and they now have one of the three powerful items.
They continue walking onward, meeting challenges such as Bullet Bills and a giant Koopa Troopa, which Mario uses the Mushroom to fight against. Finally, they reach a fork in the road. The two Goombas appear again, and give the Bros. directions– the wrong directions, leading them into a field of Piranha Plants. Once the plants start attacking, the Mario Bros. struggle to escape, narrowly dodging the attacking flowers.
When they finally do manage to escape, they run into an even greater danger. Lakitu looms overhead, and throws several Spiny Eggs at them. They remain in spiked ball form on the ground, and the Bros. laugh at how he "missed" hitting them. Lakitu then presses a lever on his cloud, raining on them and causing them to grow into full-grown Spinies, which begin to surround Mario, Luigi, and Kibidango and attack them. Luckily, Mario stumbles upon a Magic Vine and is shot into the air along with it. He grabs on to Lakitu's Cloud and manages to tear off a piece before Lakitu escapes into the sky. Mario fiddles with the controls, causing various weather effects, and finally gets it to snow, freezing the Spinies. When the snow clears, the Spinies are nowhere to be seen. The Lakitu's Cloud that Mario used turns into another Toad, who rewards Mario with a Fire Flower.
They continue walking along, meeting more enemies, such as giant Buzzy Beetles, which Mario defeats with his Fire Flower (despite them being one of the few enemies who couldn't be defeated with fireballs in the games, though it is possible that it was hit on the skin). Luigi hits a block and gets a bunch of coins. Mario hits another box, causing a bunch of ramen boxes (labeled with the Mario Brothers' faces) to pop out. Excited at seeing food for the first time in awhile, the two take a quick lunch break.
The Goombas realize the Mario Bros. are getting dangerously close to Bowser's Castle, so they attempt to trap them by planting a trail of coins leading up to a cave. Once inside, rocks fall and block the exit. The Goombas arrive on the other side of a barred window and taunt them, explaining that they're trapped. They leave them at this point, and a lone Hammer Bro. guards the exit to prevent their escape.
Meanwhile at Bowser's Castle, Peach sadly waits on the balcony. Bowser enters the scene, trying to convince Peach to love him. Peach sees this as an opportunity and tries to trick him, saying that she'd like Bowser if he was cute. Bowser uses his magic to turn into a bizarre scarecrow, a dancer, and finally a teddy bear. Peach picks it up and locks it in a box, thinking she's succeeded in defeating Bowser. However, Bowser simply reverts back to his normal form and destroys the box, laughing at Peach for thinking it would be that easy to defeat him. Bowser then leaves, locking Peach in her room.
Back in their cave prison, Mario thinks about Peach and has a brief daydream in which he (dressed in a suit) dances with Peach in a garden. Luigi interrupts this by digging through the floor, explaining that he's found a way to escape. They leave, initiating a brief battle with the Hammer Bro. Once they get away, Luigi sees that the gold he got from the cave was fake and angrily throws it into the ocean. Mario notices that among the fake coins was a Starman, which also falls into the water. He quickly jumps in after it.
Underwater, they get attacked by a giant Cheep Cheep and finally find the Starman in a big clam. They manage to get it back and then escape from the pursuing fish by going to an old sunken ship. The ship is home to a giant Blooper, however, and they frantically try to pilot the ship up to the surface to escape.
They escape the ocean and take to the skies in their ship, managing to shake off the Blooper and drop it back into the ocean. They press onward to Bowser's Castle.
Back at the castle, Bowser has his wedding ceremony planned. The Priest begins the ceremony, but it gets interrupted by the Mario Bros. arriving in the flying ship, which crashes into the castle. Bowser grabs Peach and escapes, with the minister following them. The Mario Bros. and Kibidango give chase, and Mario soon arrives in a room filled with lava, Podoboos, and elevator platforms. The two Goombas rest on a control panel, explaining that in order to clear the area, Mario must jump across the dangerous platforms. Mario jumps onto one and is almost burned, but Luigi, who was mining for coins, accidentally causes a water leak in one of the walls, which floods the entire room.
They finally reach Bowser and the movie's climactic battle begins. Mario doesn't stand a chance at first, but then thinks to use the Starman. Though the item would seem to have worked had he used it, he accidentally drops it, sending it falling into a hole in the floor. Mario takes a severe beating and Peach begs Bowser to stop, saying that she'll marry him if he spares Mario's life. However, Luigi digs up through the ground, retrieving the Starman, and gives it to Mario. Mario, now with super strength, begins pummeling Bowser, finally grabbing him by the tail and tossing him into the horizon. With Bowser's evil magic broken, the Koopa Castle reverts to Peach's Castle and the dark landscape turns into a green lush field. Kibidango turns into a human, revealing himself to be Prince Haru, the prince of a land known as the Flower Kingdom and Peach's fiance. (Upon hearing this connection to Princess Peach, Mario faints out of jealousy.) Peach thanks Mario and Luigi for saving them, and the two heroes go home. The movie ends with a scene in their grocery store, where Bowser and some Koopa Troopas now work as employees of the Mario bros. and another Game Over screen appears.
Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! was a production of Grouper Studios as tie-in to the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (Lost Levels). The film was released theatrically on July 20, 1986 and screened exclusively at Sochiku theaters, where it was shown as part of a double feature alongside a video guide for Lost Levels. Merchandises were released such as phone cards, rice containers, Nagatien-brand ramen noodles and a soundtrack. The VHS release was distributed by VAP sometime after its theatrical release. However, the movie has never been republished since then, not even in newer home video formats such as DVD or Blu-ray, causing the official VHS tapes to become sought-after collector's items, with prices reaching as high as US$600 on auction sites. Moreover, the movie has never released internationally, remaining a rare production that has never been released outside Japan or in any language besides Japanese. This is because Toei Company, the company that distributed this film, does not operate outside Japan.