King (film character)

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It has been suggested that this page be moved to The King. (discuss)

This article is about the king of Dinohattan. For the king of the Mushroom Kingdom, see Mushroom King.
King film 1.png
Full name King Bowser
Species Dinohattanite
Latest portrayal Lance Henriksen
“I'm back... I love those plumbers.”
The King, Super Mario Bros.

The King (as his role is credited) appears as a character in the Super Mario Bros. film. He is Daisy's father, husband of the late queen and the king of Dinohattan prior to the film's plot where President Koopa overthrows his government. For the entirety of the film, he appears as a giant sentient fungus after having de-evolved by President Koopa. After President Koopa's defeat and the re-splitting of the dimensions, he is shown returning to Dinohattanite form briefly, where he is played by Lance Henriksen.



The King served as royalty of Dinohattan, ruling with his wife. Then, General Koopa overthrew his government, setting himself up as dictator and turned the King into a sentient fungus using his de-evolution inventions. The "heart" of this fungus was situated above the King's throne in a room that became to be known as "Devo 4" in Koopa's Tower. This fungus slowly spread throughout the city in a matter described to by Toad and Koopa as "choking the city". Koopa, a germophobe, frequently expressed disgust at the expanding fungus throughout Dinohattan and instilled a Fungus Unit to "de-fungus" residents. This sentient fungus is able to manipulate itself in certain ways and is shown assisting the main characters throughout the film. Its central part located above the King's throne is shown to pulse like a heart, with a head-like ball that emerges in and out at will.

Super Mario Bros. film[edit]

“Trust the fungus.”
Luigi, Super Mario Bros.
Mario & Luigi are saved by the fungus.
The King's fungus form saving Mario and Luigi from falling to their deaths in a police car

Early in the film, Toad explains his theory to Mario and Luigi that the fungus is a de-evolved version of the King. This sentient fungus form is shown helping the brothers in countless ways throughout the film, first offering them a Bob-omb in their escape from prison. A dismissive and skeptical Mario nudges Luigi away from the offer, and the two continue their escape. After the brothers drive off a cliff of an unfinished tunnel, the overgrown fungus takes hold of the police car they are in and gently takes it close enough to the floor for the brothers to jump off safely. Luigi mentions to Mario that the fungus saved them, but Mario arrogantly dismisses the claim, stating that it was his driving that saved them. At some points during the film, Lena and President Koopa allude to the King's fate to his daughter, without clarifying what they mean.

During the brothers' escape from the Boom Boom Bar, the King's sentient fungus form offers them a Bob-omb again and Luigi takes it this time. Back in Koopa's Tower, President Koopa has a short conversation with the King's fungus form in Devo 4, saying all of his rebellion will have been in vain once he successfully merges Dinohattan and Earth. A reformed Iggy and Spike encounter Daisy trying to escape from Koopa's Tower, and take her in to Devo 4 to properly explain and introduce her to her father. They leave the room to give her time alone with him.

Meanwhile, also at Koopa's Tower, Mario jumps into a seemingly bottomless pit after witnessing Luigi do it first and seemingly flying (he had actually been caught by an overhanging hook). As Mario falls, the King's fungus expands and takes a trampoline-type form, helping Mario bounce back up and down. Luigi catches him on his second jump and the two swing to safety. As they continue deeper into Koopa's Tower, Luigi believes that the fungus is trying to communicate to him, and picks a shiny, growing Mushroom off the fungus. Mario is still unconvinced at this point. The brothers' enter Devo 4 where Daisy is at, and Daisy properly introduces Mario and Luigi to her father. Luigi is taken aback but tells The King's fungal mass that it is an honor to meet him. The two brothers realize that Luigi had been right and the fungus is in fact trying to help them.

Later at Koopa Square, Luigi advises Mario to "trust the fungus". Mario takes note of this, and uses the fungus to help him climb up onto higher ground over Koopa Square to begin his fight with Koopa. After Koopa's defeat, and the removal of the meteorite piece from the meteorite to re-split the dimensions, the King is shown returning to his Dinohattanite form. He takes some time to cough, before stating that he loves the brothers. Daisy cites her father as her reasoning for wanting to stay in Dinohattan and not return to Earth, saying she wants to have time to get to know him.

Super Mario: Makai Teikoku no Megami[edit]

In the manga adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. film titled Super Mario: Makai Teikoku no Megami, The King is mentioned but never directly seen. A resident of the Koopa Kingdom city (the manga's equivalent of Dinohatten) mentions that there exists a theory that the fungus plaguing and spreading throughout the city is the revenge of The King for his dethronement by Koopa. It is never confirmed whether that is the case in this alternate storyline. The fungus growing throughout the city is capable of growing exploding mushrooms, which Mario uses to defeat Koopa. The exploding mushrooms leave behind a residue of fungus which disgusts Koopa, much like his film equivalent. The King and Daisy are also not mentioned to be related in this alternate re-telling of the film events, and as such, Daisy returns to Earth at the story's conclusion unlike her film equivalent.



  • The King is identified by Toad in an early draft screenplay with the name King Karma.[1] In a later revision, he was called King Murphy.[2] While the film was being shot, further rewrites renamed him King Bowser.[3] None of these names ever made it on screen.
    • The Todd Strasser novelization of the film and other promotional material relied on the final drafts and identified the character as King Bowser.[4]


  1. ^ Super Mario Bros. Movie Archive, 19th February 1992 draft synopsis
  2. ^ Super Mario Bros. Movie Archive, 17th April 1992 draft synopsis
  3. ^ Super Mario Bros. Movie Archive, shooting rewrites 1
  4. ^ Todd Strasser, Super Mario Bros., Fantail, 1993, ISBN 0-14-090037-3.