Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!

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VHS cover for the movie.

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!, is a Mario animated film that was only released in Japan. It is a rough interpretation of the events of the original Super Mario Bros. 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. The film's running time is approximately one hour.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Mario playing the game at night.
The movie opens with Mario playing a video game. Luigi goes to bed because it's late, but Mario continues playing the game. Suddenly, the screen changes, and the player character is replaced by a girl in a dress fighting and 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, she explains that she is Princess Peach and she wants Mario to protect her. King Koopa then appears on the TV screen, and Peach explains to Mario that he's quite devilish and is causing havoc on her kingdom. Mario, fast in love with the princess, promises to defend her from danger. King Koopa 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 set with Peach.
Mario holding the princess's emerald.

Before Mario could chase after him, King Koopa 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 dismisses Mario before going back to bed. Mario thinks that might be the case, but then notices an emerald pendant on the floor– the same one that the princess was wearing around her neck. He now knows what he saw was definitely real, but has no idea what he can do about it.

Kibidango

The next day, Mario and Luigi 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 crystal in Mario's hand, greedily recognizing it as a visionary gem that can guide the owner to the Mushroom Kingdom, a land of untold riches. They resolve to seek out the kingdom and Mario calls the author, who immediately knows Mario's name and says he'll send for him. Suddenly, a strange blue dog known as "Kibidango" enters their store and steals the illusory jewel, causing the brothers 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.

Mario and Luigi greeted by Kinoko Sennin.

They land in a cave, and are greeted by Kinoko Sennin, a wise old man in a white robe. He reveals himself as the writer of the book, and explains that the evil King Koopa of the Turtle Tribe has conquered the Mushroom Kingdom since Princess Peach rejected his proposal. King Koopa used his magic to turn the realm's mushroom-headed citizens into bricks and plants. Princess Peach believed in the prophecy of faraway, mustachioed, temperamental twins in attractive, colorful, rich overalls coming to her rescue, but when she sought Mario she was kidnapped by King Koopa, who plans on marrying her on Friday the 13th. Mario is furious (even putting on a Mexican bandit's outfit to show off his rage in an anime gag) and vows to defeat King Koopa and rescue Peach. The wise man tells Mario he will require the assistance of three mystical power-ups: the mushroom, flower and star, which were scattered throughout the world by King Koopa's minions. Mario goes on ahead, with Luigi inquiring about a reward and being told that he may collect any of the many gold coins and treasures he will come across. Kibidango also accompanies the brothers, encouraged by Kinoko Sennin to keep a watchful eye on their progress, who then mysteriously vanishes as he wishes them good luck.

Luigi dancing happily in the field.

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 famished he is (even thinking Kibidango would make a fine roast). The two Goombas arrive, claiming to be mushrooms, and lead the starving 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 accidentally eats more and starts crying. Mario figures that there are "laughing" and "crying" mushrooms, so he feeds Luigi what he thinks is a "laughing" mushroom in order to cancel out the effect - and Luigi loses his temper and punches him several times, losing control of his emotions. Suddenly, an adult Paratroopa mother picks Mario up and takes him to her nest. He throws his mushrooms at the chicks, distracting them with its weird effects. The Paratroopa then picks up Luigi and Kibidango, and Mario convinces them they they also taste bad. From their odd position, the brothers spot a mushroom frozen in a block of ice, which Mario believes is the one he's seeking. 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 and Kibidango with him.

Mario and Luigi surrounded by the mushroom people.

Upon landing in the field below thanks to the chicks breaking their rapid descent, Luigi picks up one of the coins, which starts shining brightly. After a flash of light, the coins are replaced with mushroom people, and a tall, soft-spoken person stands before them. The being formally identifies himself as Toad, a close personal servant of Princess Peach. Toad explains that King Koopa turned them into coins, and thanks the brothers for rescuing him and his friends. The brothers are presented with the mushroom power-up (calling it the Super Mushroom) as thanks, and they now have one of the three powerful items. Behind them, the freed citizens wave their goodbyes - even the Paratroopas, who had grown affectionate towards the rag-tag team.

They continue walking onward, meeting challenges such as humongous bullets and a gargantuan turtle, which Mario uses his mushroom's powers to fight against. Finally, they reach a fork in the road. The two Goombas appear again from atop a giant boot. Mario asks for the best path to head eastward, and is recommended about the garden course. While it looks peaceful at it, it turns out to be a field of man-eating plants. Once the plants start attacking, the three struggle to escape, narrowly dodging the attacking flowers. Behind them, the plants tangle themselves together, and they all tumble down.

The Spinies about to start attacking Mario, Luigi, and Kibidango.

When they finally do manage to escape, they run into an even greater danger. Lakitu looms overhead, angered that they teased his so-called delicate flowers, and throws several Spiny Eggs at them. They remain in spiked ball form on the ground, and the brothers laugh at how he "missed" hitting them. Lakitu then pulls a lever on his cloud, thundering rain and sun on them to cause them to grow into full-grown Spinies, which begin to surround Mario, Luigi, and Kibidango. Luckily, a beanstalk sprouts under Mario, shooting the three into the air along with it as the Spinies collide. Lakitu thinks he's destroyed them for a moment and is pleased to feed them to his plants, but in a delayed reaction flees from Mario, who grabs on to his cloud and manages to tear off a piece before Lakitu escapes into the sky. Mario fiddles with the controls to save Luigi and Kibidango, causing various weather effects, and finally gets it to snow, causing the Spinies to hibernate and the cloud piece to disappear. When the snow clears, the Spinies are nowhere to be seen. A fluff of cloud turns into another Toad subject, who rewards Mario with the flower.

They continue walking along, meeting more enemies which Mario defeats with his flower (including what appear to be huge Buzzy Beetles, which couldn't be defeated with fireballs in the game). Luigi hits a block and gets a bunch of coins. Mario hits another box, causing a bunch of ramen boxes (labeled with the brothers' faces) to pop out. Excited at seeing food for the first time in awhile, the two take a quick lunch break.

The two goombas taunting Mario.

Luigi eventually leads the three on a trail of gold coins leading up to an enriched cave which they don't find suspicious in the least, much to Kibidango's chagrin. Once inside, rocks fall and block the exit. The Goombas arrive on the other side of a barred window and taunt them, explaining that entrance into the gold mine is a crime. Mario asks for forgiveness and tells them that he has to save Princess Peach, but the Goomba tell him that the wedding is tonight and that they expect King Koopa to reward them for putting a stop to the brothers' quest. They leave them at this point, and a lone Hammer Bro. guards the exit to prevent their escape.

Bowser having transformed into a scarecrow to amuse Princess Peach.

Meanwhile at the castle, Peach sadly waits on the balcony. King Koopa enters the scene, asking what wedding dress she'd prefer and trying to convince Peach to love him. Peach sees this as an opportunity and tries to trick him, saying that she'd like King Koopa to transform for her amusement. King Koopa uses his magic to turn into a bizarre scarecrow and a dancer, which Peach says are beautiful. Then she tells him to transform into something petite and cute like a teddy bear, so he finally appeases her by becoming one. Peach picks him up and locks him in a box, thinking she's succeeded in defeating King Koopa. However, King Koopa reverts into his normal form from the box itself, laughing at Peach for thinking it would be that easy to defeat him. After gloating at her with the news he heard that Mario had been captured by one of his troops, King Koopa leaves and shuts the door.

The Star falling from Luigi's bag.

Back in their cave prison, Mario leans against the bars 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. Kibidango tries to snap Mario out of it, but Mario turns his head and sleepily kisses the unamused Hammer Bro. They quickly leave, initiating a brief chase with the agitated Hammer Bro. Once they get away, Luigi sees that the gold he got from the cave was fake and angrily throws it into the nearby body of water. Mario notices that among the fake coins was the star, which also falls into the water. He and Kibidango quickly jumps in after it, with Luigi splashing and exclaiming that he can't swim.

The giant Cheep Cheep ramming into the ship.

Underwater, they get threatened by an angler fish and attacked a large puffer fish that split into multiple smaller ones, and finally find the star in a big clam. Mario and Kibidango try distracting the clam to open it up, but it closes down on Mario. Kibidango manages to get Mario and the star out of there, and they escape from another pursuing fish (which Mario calls Cheep Cheep) by going to an old sunken ship. Like the other fish, it explodes into multiple copies when it rams the ship, but for the moment they are safe. The ship begins to move to the surface, revealing a giant squid underneath that tries to pull it back down. Mario and Kibidango frantically blow on the sail to steer the ship upwards. They escape the waters in the resurrected ship, which floats in the air and shakes off the Blooper. Reuniting with Luigi (who was sitting under a palm tree on a tiny island), they press onward to King Koopa's stronghold. When they spot it against the moonlight, Mario remarks that he thought it was supposed to be a full moon tonight, so it inflates into a round blood-red moon to spite him.

Bowser and the princess sitting at the ceremony.

Back at the castle, King Koopa has his wedding ceremony planned, much to Peach's distress. Shisai begins the ceremony and King Koopa waits with bated breath over Peach's "I do", and she finally says she's happy and that she feels like she was waiting forever for this moment. King Koopa thinks that she's giving her oath, but looks in the direction Peach is gazing and spots the heroes rowing the floating ship outside. It soon crumbles onto the cannon that was being readied, taking it out. King Koopa yells at the Goombas and grabs Peach, telling Shisai that they'll continue the wedding uninterrupted in the next room. The room seals behind them, so Mario, Luigi and Kibidango hurry to find a way around. Mario and Kibidango go through a crack in the wall and catch a glimpse of King Koopa, so they give chase as they dodge a vanishing row of flames and Luigi digs for more treasure. After moving through some gears, the two arrive in a chamber with a lava pit and a few openings on the other side. The two Goombas rest on a control panel, explaining that in order to clear the area, Mario must jump across dangerous elevator platforms. They pull a stick (with their arm) on the mechanism they're sitting on, and rising fireball obstacles are added to the mix. Mario is almost burned as things heat up, but Luigi, who was mining for coins, accidentally causes a water leak in one of the walls, which flushes him out and floods the entire chamber. While this stops the moving platforms, Mario expresses worry for his fallen brother - who is comically shown to be relaxing in the steaming liquid as a hot spring.

Mario rising from under Bowser's foot.

The foundation of the castle starts to give away due to the instability, which is observed in the private room where King Koopa is presenting his oversized ring to Peach in front of Shisai. Mario and Kibidango see Peach pushing some rubble over her, but King Koopa also rises from the wreckage and grasps Peach, initiating the climactic battle. Mario doesn't stand a chance against King Koopa's strength and firepower, but Kibidango barks at him, somehow reminding him to use the power-ups. Mario swallows the mushroom and flower, but drops the star when he becomes distracted by another meal, sending it falling into a hole in the floor. Mario is tossed around and King Koopa announces that he will utterly extinguish Mario with his next move, but Peach begs King Koopa to stop and tells him that she'll do anything if he spares Mario's life - even willingly marry him. This makes King Koopa slow down and ponder, but he replies that Mario already ate the mushroom and flower, so he has to put an end to the hero before he takes the star someday and overthrows his reign. At the same time, Luigi digs up through the ground, wondering why Mario's laying down on the job as his brother tells him to hurry up and toss the star in his mouth. King Koopa seemingly squishes the heroes, but Mario rises from under his foot and begins pummeling King Koopa with super strength, finally grabbing him by the tail and tossing him into the horizon. King Koopa is seen waving a white flag on a parachute from far away.

Bowser standing and serving in the grocery store.

With King Koopa's evil magic broken, the light of dawn pierces the dark landscape, turning it into a lush green field and restoring the ruins of the castle into Peach's castle. Mario returns Peach's pendant, which Peach says is a sentimental Brooch she has had her entire life, and she kisses him on the nose. She puts it on while reciting a legend that she will meet an upstanding prince one day who wears the same thing. When Mario declares that he will find the matching half, Kibidango reacts to it and is turned into a human. He is wearing the Brooch's twin, and reveals himself to be Haru, a prince of a neighboring land known as Flower-koku. He came to the Mushroom Kingdom to find the person who wore his matching half, but was cursed by King Koopa's spell. Upon hearing this connection to Princess Peach, Mario nearly faints out of exasperation. Peach thanks Mario and Luigi for saving them, and the two heroes go home after promising that they'd gladly come back to the rescue if their services are ever needed. After they leave, Kinoko Sennin reappears and offers his musings on the plucky heroes to the recent royal couple. The movie ends with a scene in the grocery, where King Koopa and three other members of the Turtle Tribe now work as employees of Mario and Luigi's store as the true Game Over screen ensues.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! was a production of Grouper Studios as a tie-in to the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (later known as The Lost Levels). The mushrooms that cause ill effects in the film may even be a reference to the Poison Mushroom.

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. A few commercials done by the same animation company and cast were done for tie-in merchandise for Mario-brand Furikake (rice topping) watches, cameras and phone cards, and there were two instances of product placement in the film itself. One scene shows Mario hitting a block and Mario-brand ramen noodles come out. The brothers even break the fourth wall, as Luigi says it's delicious and Mario winks at the camera. Later, right before Mario can use the star, he gets distracted by Mario-brand furikake. Mario is also shown playing a Family Computer in the beginning of the film.

The VHS release was distributed by VAP Video 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.

References in later games[edit]

  • This is the first instance in any media of Luigi depicted as taller than Mario and Toad shown to be his own character - traits often attributed to the worldwide release of Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Larger counterparts of enemies from the video game series appear in this tale. This may have inspired the same starting with Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • At one point, the two Goomba characters are seen atop a giant shoe. This may be a precursor to Kuribo's Shoe.
  • Mario controls a part of the cloud of Lakitu, which vanishes when it's had its use. This concept was utilized in later games.
  • This is the first appearance of a ship that sails the skies, although later appearances show such vehicles in the hands of the Koopa.
  • Mario's method of battling King Koopa - picking him up by the tail and throwing him - was later used in Super Mario 64.
  • Another scene that appears to have been reused in Super Mario 64 is Princess Peach kissing Mario on the nose.
  • Luigi's yellow and blue overalls appear as an alternate costume for the plumber in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.

Trivia[edit]

  • This is one of the few animated works to show Princess Peach with blonde hair (reflecting her concept art). The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and related cartoon shows depict her as red-haired, like how she originally appeared in the original game due to the NES only being able to handle four colors (counting transparency) per sprite due to the Picture Processing Unit (PPU)'s limitation.
  • Kinoko Sennin explains that King Koopa plans to marry Peach the next Friday the 13th, a reference to a symbol of bad luck in many cultures.
  • This is the only time in Mario series history so far that Peach has a relationship with someone other than Mario (or, at least, an impending one).

Notable errors[edit]

  • Luigi has yellow and blue overalls in the movie but on the VHS tape cover, his overalls are red and blue, while in the games his overalls are green and blue.
  • When Mario chases Kibidango, they go through gray pipes instead of green pipes.

External links[edit]