List of Mario references in film
- This article is about references to the Mario games in film. For films based on the Mario games, see List of television series and films.
Due to the popularity of the Mario games, they have been commonly referenced in pop culture. Below is an incomplete list of times Mario or anything relating to the series has been mentioned or seen in a movie.
Upon the 3 Ninjas' arrival in Japan, a montage is shown of various attractions, including a giant Mario statue.
In one early scene, sound effects and music from Donkey Kong can be heard in the background.
In one scene, Alvin says to Ian, "It is on like Donkey Kong!"
At one point, Stifler says "It's on like Donkey Kong".
In one scene on the beach, Ronnie is seen wearing a T-shirt based on the Donkey Kong arcade game.
In one scene, Ted is seen playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES. A copy of Donkey Kong Classics can also be seen on a shelf.
The Warp Pipe sound effect can be heard when the Boogey Man enters the pipe.
During a scene in the lunchroom, Billy (played by Adam Sandler) and one of his first grade peers get into a debate over Mortal Kombat and Donkey Kong.
- Kid: Mortal Kombat, on the Sega Genesis, is the best video game ever.
- Billy: I disagree. It's a very good game, but I think Donkey Kong is the best game ever.
- Kid: Donkey Kong sucks!
- Billy: You know something? You suck!
- Kid: Mortal Kom-
- Billy: SHUT UP!
At a synagogue, Marty asks a Rabbi how to say "It's a mess" in Hebrew, to which he replies "Donkey Kong?"
A Mario cosplayer can be seen walking around the convention center at the start of the film. The cannonball the chimeric Sweet Pete shoots from his weapon (which resembles a Bill Blaster) has a face that resembles that of a Banzai Bill.
Sounds and music from Super Mario Bros. 3 can be heard while Kathy Winslow's brother plays their NES.
When challenged by Gru to a dance fight, Bratt responds by saying "It's on like Donkey Kong!"
In the scene where Rodrick plays Rock Drummer, a girl next to Greg can be seen holding a Yoshi plush.
The protagonist, Sawyer Nelson, is seen playing Mario Kart DS on a Nintendo DSi towards the beginning of the film.
The name Mario is mentioned in the middle of Michol's song, with Dooly costumed as Mario.
A parody of Super Mario Bros. was shown in this movie, called Super Mustachio. The game design looks a lot like New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Also, the song that plays sounds like a vague parody of the theme from Super Mario Bros. There is also a parody of Mario Kart.
When Ernest is told by Old Lady Hackamore about how he is responsible for the release of Trantor the troll and how he must defeat him, Ernest says, "Yeah, but, I'm me, and he's he, and we're talkin' real danger here. Stand and deliver, firing line, moment of truth, end of the line, eighth-level Mario Brothers!"
The film starts out at a Halloween party where one of the guests is dressed up as Luigi. The main characters are later seen playing Mario Kart 64.
Johnny Storm has a Fire Flower keychain on his car's rear view mirror, foreshadowing his transformation into the Human Torch.
On the elevator to the race, Twinkie asks Sean what DK (Drift King) stands for, to which Sean replies "Donkey Kong?"
Shane has a Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga poster in his bedroom.
While talking about how much he spoils his stepson, Frankie, Gabriel states that he is at the point of spoiled where he walked up to Gabriel saying, "Hey dad, I'm bored with my Nintendo Wii, can I give it to my friend, Angel?" After Frankie told him that his Wii was not broken, he had it for four years, and he has over 300 games on its hard drive, Gabriel tries his best to tell him that he is so lucky with the new modern technology, but to no avail. He even explains to his audience that he had experiences with the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the difficulties of having to play a game on it. He makes an analogy saying that getting an NES to work, is like performing an operation at a hospital. Then, he states, "And, if you were lucky, IF you were lucky, you'd hear the magical sound," and he hums the first few seconds of the Super Mario Bros. overworld theme.
An advertisement for the unreleased game Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers was going to appear in the film, as it can be seen above some of the aisles, as shown in the theatrical trailer, but this was removed from the actual film, as the hard drives containing this early version of the movie were reportedly stolen.
One of the characters played the game Donkey Kong.
Soon after being sucked into a NES game by Freddy, Spencer enters a red colored Warp Pipe. Later on, in order to combat Freddy in the game, Spencer eats a fruit (resembling the ones from Super Mario World) to power-up and become "Super Spencer".
To promote the film, the official Free Guy Twitter account released eight pieces of poster art parodying different video games, one of which is based on the cover art of Super Mario 64 and titled "Free Guy '21" (a reference to 2021, the year of the film's release), and depicts the main character Guy with wings flying over Free City, the film's main setting, similar to Wing Mario flying over the Mushroom Kingdom.
At some point, Ti Man and Chun May enter an arcade machine similar to Super Mario Bros.:
- Ti Man wears a red cap with an "M" upside-down, similar to Mario's; Chun May wears the same in green, similar to Luigi's.
- Ti Man wears a green shirt under blue overalls, similar to Luigi's; Chun May wears a red shirt similar to Mario's, with a blue skirt.
- A man wearing a green cap, a white shirt, and blue overalls can be seen in the background.
- There are Brick Blocks, Warp Pipes and ? Block with stars on them in the background.
- A turtle tries to run into them but they jumped over it; Ti Man later says that if it bumps into a big character, he will become small again.
- That's what happens near the end.
- The overworld theme from the game can be heard.
- Ti Man hits a kind of ? Block à la Mario; however, he does so with his head, rather than with his fist.
- When they smell flowers, they become big, the flower having the same effect as a Super Mushroom.
- They get out of the arcade machine when the Time Limit reaches zero.
At one point, when Janine and Louis are babysitting Oscar, Louis suggests that they could play Super Mario Bros..
The Girl Who Cries Blood
In one scene, the girl in the documentary is seen playing a Mario game on an unknown device.
The second scene showing the new batch of Gremlins has the Coleco Donkey Kong machine being played by Stripe, with artwork of Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pauline visible on the side.
Near the end of the film, two men dressed up as Mario and Luigi appear during the '80s-themed party.
In one scene, an ice-cream truck has a Mario ice-cream pop.
During a montage of songs being played on a banjo, a character plays the Ground Theme from Super Mario Bros.
When Adam, Nick, Jacob, and Lou unwittingly travel back in time to 1986, they notice a lot of technology and media that was popular at the time, including someone playing an arcade cabinet that displays the logo for New Super Mario Bros.. While VS. Super Mario Bros. was an arcade game released in 1986, New Super Mario Bros. was a Nintendo DS game released in 2006. The artwork featuring Mario and Luigi was also pulled from different sources, with Mario being from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (released in Japan in 1986, albeit not for an arcade cabinet), and Luigi being from the Super Mario Bros. pinball machine (released in 1992). The Red Band trailer for the film also features a deleted scene in which the main characters are playing a Super Mario Bros. arcade cabinet, with a Mario Bros. cabinet to the side. The game can be clearly seen, and the Game Over jingle is audible. The artwork on the side is also anachronistic, displaying the same art of Mario and Luigi, as well as Princess Peach and Bowser (who use their modern designs, which first appeared in 1986, but in illustrations from more contemporary games), and Yoshi (a character who did not materialize until the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game Super Mario World, released in 1990).
The film sometimes shows footage of the original Super Mario Bros., and the Mario series itself is often referenced.
When Gadget discovers he has tools on his figures, his face resembles Donkey Kong.
When asked about her driving skills, Kaye says that she learned from "Mario Kart".
This film is a 2007 documentary based around the classic 1981 arcade Donkey Kong. The film revolves around an unassuming high school teacher named Steve Wiebe and his struggle to attain the world's highest score in Donkey Kong. After being obsessed with the game for many years, Steve is suddenly thrust into the competition for the world's high score. He runs afoul of then-current record-holder, Billy Mitchell, a successful entrepreneur.
Steve Wiebe actually plays the game Donkey Kong, but he plays it in a Donkey Kong Jr. cabinet. In 2018, Mitchell was found to have used modified software, and all of his records, including in Donkey Kong, have since been revoked.
One scene shows a real-life parody of Mario Kart, with several characters dressing up as characters from the Mario franchise and throwing water balloons and pies in the same manner as the items from the games.
During the scene where Emmet explains the plan to get in the Octan Tower, there is a piece of paper with a Mario-like minifigure on it.
At one point in the movie, the Once-ler makes a reference to Donkey Kong while speaking with Ted.
In the scene where Anakin, Padmé, C-3PO, and R2-D2 are in the droid factory in 16-bit form, the characters' jump sound resembles Mario's. Also, R2-D2 hits blocks with coins, stomps on battle droids the way Mario stomps on a Goomba, and goes into what appears to be a Warp Pipe while hovering.
A Nintendo 64 box with a picture of Mario on it can be seen in the background of Jackie Dee's store.
The gas pedal inside Ronald McDonald's (the film's main antagonist) truck is a 1-Up Mushroom sprite from Super Mario Bros. 3.
This 1995 Filipino parody film features two characters named Mario (played by Smokey Manaloto) and Luigi (played by Eric Fructuso) as main characters.
John Grogan mentions that before he went into college, he had no expectations for himself, having spent his time doing bong hits (inhaling marijuana through a bong) and playing Donkey Kong.
After the credits it is revealed that a midget dressed up as Mario, minus the cap, and sporting a mustache (referred to as the Slapping Dummy Man) has been controlling the "Slapping Dummy".
In the scene where Megamind (disguised as "Space Dad") is training the newly created "Tighten", Minion is seen stomping in place at the top of a construction site throwing flaming barrels down at Tighten (in a similar manner to Donkey Kong), who jumps over them, trying to get to the top of a 25m-like stage.
In the scene of Leyla's birthday party, there is a child attending the party on a toy slide who is dressed as Luigi; however, the letter on the hat is not positioned properly and instead rotated 170 degrees to the left, nearly bearing resemblance to Waluigi's emblem on his hat.
At one part, one of the students of Haunted High can be heard saying "they want to suck us in vacuums", referencing the Luigi's Mansion series.
During the opening scene, a Mario figurine can be seen on the desk.
In the scene where Teddy and Pete come up with rhymes for the phrase "bros before h*es," Teddy says "Mario and Luigi before Thelma and Louise-y" at one point.
In one scene of the Oscar-winning short film, Alli and Jacob eat breakfast together. A Yoshi plush can be seen on the table alongside the other disorganized toys left by their children.
When the students have to put their electronic devices into the sombrero, one of the students can be seen putting a Super Mario-edition Nintendo DS Lite inside of the hat.
In a brief shot with Ruth in the RV, an SNES with Super Mario World in the cartridge slot can be seen.
According to IMDb, Super Mario Galaxy can be seen in one of the stores.
When the heroes go to Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, a Mario Bros. arcade cabinet and a Donkey Kong one can be seen among other arcades.
- Main article: Pixels
Donkey Kong makes an appearance in the film in his original form from Donkey Kong. Early in the film, Mario as he appears in Super Mario Bros. can be seen on Ludlow's shirt, and later on in the film during the final battle scene, Mario can be seen chasing a man across the screen (in his original Donkey Kong form).
Mario was originally going to appear in the post-credits scene as the last surviving Pixel standing on top of a damaged Washington Monument, but this was later cut out from the released version of the film.
In one scene, while Charlie is looking at the Playmobil figurines in the toy convention, a ? Block from Super Mario Bros. can be seen in the background.
8-bit ? Blocks with designs based on those from Super Mario Bros. can be seen in J.P. Spamley's base of operations as well as when Ralph is searching for his medal. An icon resembling a Super Mushroom also appears.
Near the end of the movie, after Ralph obtains an insecurity virus named "Arthur" from Double Dan to try and sabotage the game Slaughter Race to try to persuade Vanellope to leave the Internet and return to the arcade with him, just right before Arthur finds Vanellope and scans her insecurities to destroy the game, Vanellope briefly sees an inflatable gorilla resembling Ralph. This could be a possible reference to Donkey Kong, whom Ralph appears to be based off of.
In an interview, director Rich Moore stated that if a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph were to be produced, he intended to give Mario an actual role. However, during an interview with InsideTheMagic in October 2018, story artist Jason Hand states that Mario had to be cut because the rights could apparently not be obtained, though despite this various other Mario elements can be seen in trailers. Bowser also does not reappear.
A Donkey Kong Jr. poster can be seen in a young girl's room.
During the film's climax when two IOI trucks attempt to crash Helen's van, Wade asks her what is going on, to which she responds sarcastically, "Just practicing my Mario Kart! What do you think? IOI's trying to kill us, man!"
The Super Mario Bros. main theme plays at one point.
In the beginning, when Jamie and his friends are having a snowball fight, a snowman that resembles Mario can be seen.
Dennis has a Donkey Kong arcade cabinet in his office; at one point early in the film, Lonny plays it briefly, and upon losing shouts "Nobody puts Donkey in the corner!"; this doubles as a reference to the film Dirty Dancing.
The way Jeane Claude's Robo-Snail mech swings the Reptar mech is similar to Mario swinging Bowser from Super Mario 64.
Young Neil is heard playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on his Nintendo DS at one point. As in the graphic novel the film is based on, the band Scott plays in is named "Sex Bob-omb", and Super Mario 64 was the inspiration for the star-emblazoned doors that Ramona uses to enter subspace (similar to Super Mario Bros. 2).
A turtle belonging to the "Flushed Pets" is capable of curling inside his shell and bouncing back and forth, hitting anyone in his path, much like a Koopa Troopa, even making the Koopa shell sound from the Mario games.
Si Maryo at si Goko (Super Mario vs Son Goku)
There is an unauthorized Filipino movie from 1995 where Super Mario battles Goku from Dragon Ball Z.
In the Thai dub of the film, when Sonic the Hedgehog and Tom Wachowski are in a hotel room, Tom says, "At least you can have a mushroom forever." to which Sonic responds, "No. I'm not Mario." The original English dialog, where Tom says "At least you won't be the only "fun-guy."" and Sonic responds "No. Don't ever do that again.", is hard to translate in the Thai language, so the joke was changed into a reference. In context, they are referring to a subplot in the film where Sonic needs to use one of his rings to escape to a mushroom planet. Sonic's disdain of mushrooms may itself be a reference to Nintendo and Sega's rivalry in the '90s, when Mario and Sonic were in direct competition as leading video game mascots.
During the scene where LeBron James' son shows him the game that he built, the jump sound from Super Mario Bros. can be heard.
During the underground scene after the gang retrieves the meteor, said meteor turns Daphne into an 8-bit version of herself that resembles Mario's powerless sprite from Super Mario Bros., and several sound effects from this game (and others) can be heard each time she runs, jumps, lands, and makes other movements.
A scene features a captured Harley Quinn, cursing at her kidnappers and continuously butchering the proper term for people descendant from the fictional country, Corto Maltese. After several attempts, she retorts: "Whatever you Mario Kart-racing d-bags are called!"
Super Mario Bros. can be seen in the background of the arcade.
Near the start, Derek describes his muscles as "Hammer Bros."
One of the villains the Toxic Avenger fights in Japan is a man dressed like Mario.
Seok-woo gives his daughter Su-an a black Wii bundled with New Super Mario Bros. Wii for her birthday, only to find out that she already received one for Children's Day.
A Mario Bros. cabinet can be seen at the arcade. Also, music from Donkey Kong can be heard as Sam approaches the Tron cabinet.
At one point, Sam's friend is seen playing Super Mario Bros.
Video Game Invasion: The History of a Global Obsession
The documentary mentions several entries from the Mario franchise among the games it covers; a polygon-to-finished 3D model of Diddy Kong walking is shown, sound effects from Super Mario World (specifically the sound of the Koopa Clown Car returning) are played, and plushes of Mario and Donkey Kong are displayed.
The full list of Mario games that have artwork and footage featured in the film is as follows:
- Donkey Kong (arcade, Coleco mini arcade)
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Super Mario World
- Super Mario Kart
- Donkey Kong Country
- Super Mario 64
- Donkey Kong 64
- Super Mario 128
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Super Mario Sunshine
- Mario Party 4
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
- Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
At the beginning of the Le Cross match, Poppy states "This is on like Donkey Kong."
- Main article: The Wizard
The climax of The Wizard is known for featuring Super Mario Bros. 3 as the final game in the Video Armageddon tournament. Super Mario Bros. 2 is also played in the film.
The video game-inspired Wreck-It Ralph appropriately includes cameos by many video game characters, including Bowser, who appears alongside several other antagonists as part of a "Bad Guys Anonymous" group, wherein villains lend each other moral support and promote the acceptance of their somewhat difficult roles in the games. Mario is mentioned by name when Felix hears the doorbell at his party and remarks "I'll bet that's Mario! Fashionably late, per the norm." Later, while Ralph is looking through the Lost & Found, he comes across a Super Mushroom. However, he swiftly discards it.
The Mario series is also indirectly referenced a number of times, primarily in the designs of Felix and Ralph. The game that Ralph and Felix hail from, Fix-It Felix, Jr., seems to be based on the original Donkey Kong in overall design, with Donkey Kong 3-like gameplay aspects as well (like Fix-It Felix bearing a passing resemblance to Stanley), and with Donkey Kong Jr. inspiring the name. Felix's jump noise sounds similar to Mario's; when Felix is hit by a piece of falling ceiling, he jumps up, spins once and falls with his legs up, similar to Mario's death animation in Donkey Kong.
Furthermore, the gameplay of Sugar Rush bears some resemblance to the Mario Kart series, such as players potentially stalling out if they messed up a boost at the beginning of the race, and how they drive through sugar cubes to acquire items to use against other racers. The title card for Sugar Rush even has what appears to be Nintendo's logo. The camera-wielding floating marshmallows who follow the players around the track appear to be a parody of the Lakitu enemies. In addition, the font used for the "Select your kart" text is nearly identical to that used in some Mario game logos. In the movie's credits, at one point the characters (now shown in 8-bit form) move around collecting floating medals, recalling coin-filled rooms in classic Mario platformers, and in another scene, they exit an area via a large gray Warp Pipe-like structure. Coincidentally, the Sweet Sweet Canyon track, with a similar theme to Sugar Rush, would be introduced later, in Mario Kart 8.
Though it is commonly believed that Mario's non-appearance in the film was due to a high licensing fee laid down by Nintendo, it was actually because the producers could not find a way to work Mario into the story, apparently deeming him too important to have only a cameo.
In a scene early on, after a successful audition for "Nintendo Records", Adan is informed personally by Mario and Luigi that he will be taking Mario's place in the Mario series as "Awesome Adam". Throughout the remainder of the movie, Mario motifs such as Mushrooms and ? Blocks are used to represent the subplot exploring Adam's life as a video game character.
During the credits, there is an animated segment which depicts silhouettes of Yogi, Boo Boo and Ranger Smith running around in a Super Mario Bros.-inspired setting.
- TheWhoNew's Channel. (April 6, 2011). Chun Li and Vega go on a date in Super Mario World and discuss AIDS. YouTube. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
-  YouTube Channel Barcroft TV - DOCS: The Girl Who Cries Blood Retrieved October 4, 2019.
- "asskakakaka". (25 February 2010). Hot Tub Time Machine - Red Band Trailer. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
- Walt Disney Animation Studios. (September 20, 2018). Ralph Breaks the Internet | Official Trailer 2. YouTube. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
- Clevver Movies. (December 7, 2012). Mario To Appear In 'Wreck-It Ralph' Sequel. YouTube. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
- InsideTheMagic interview
- Smez Prakezz. Twitter post with English translation of Thai dub scene in Sonic the Hedgehog. Twitter. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
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