disclosure: I was invited to a special screening of The Super Mario Bros. Movie in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

It’s-a-here! Everyone’s favorite Italian video-game plumbers have taken to the big screen in a big animated form! The Super Mario Bros. Movie from Illumination hits theaters today(Wednesday, April 5) and Mario fans everywhere are dying to know – is it worthy?

In short, YES.

While I am not going to share any key points of this movie, I will tell you why this movie is worth seeing. But, I will caution you – if you are not a Mario fan or if your childhood did not involve playing Super Mario in any form, this may not be the movie for you.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie – Only In Theaters April 5
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I have very fond memories of playing Super Mario – the original, classic game. It frustrated me, but somehow, my kid brother aced this game. I found my happiest memories with Super Mario 3, with the Tanooki Suit. I was able to play that version without as much frustration(thank you, Super Nintendo Game Guide) and let’s face it – Mario in a raccoon suit that can fly is just adorable. My own children grew up playing different versions of Mario as well. No family get together at our home is complete without a game of Mario Kart. I was able to escape watching(or maybe I have blocked the memory?) the 90s Mario movie, so I was able to watch this movie without comparison.

It is a well known fact that Chris Pratt, the voice of Mario, did not use an Italian accent, but he sure has a Brooklyn one! The style of “Mario-speak”(Its-a-me) is there, so that comfort level was achieved. When it comes to a cast, this movie could not have chosen anyone better. Chris Pratt does an amazing job as Mario, so much that at times it is hard to imagine this is the same guy that stars in Jurassic World and The LEGO Movie franchises. Other voice actors in this film worth noting are Keegan-Michael Key(Toad), Anya Taylor-Joy(Peach), Seth Rogan(Donkey Kong), and Kevin Michael Richardson(Kamek). I would be remiss by leaving out the best performance of all…Jack Black as Bowser. His was the performance of a lifetime! Bowser is a show stealer, with Kamek taking a fast second.

Illumination did not hold back when it came to detail with this movie. Pay careful attention to the detail in this movie. You can see the stitching in Mario’s jeans, the fingerprints on Bowser’s hands & the individual strands of hairs in his eyebrows. The lands are beautiful, and the colors vibrant – especially the Rainbow Bridge! The Super Mario Movie is a labor of love that pays homage to the franchise in a wonderfully entertaining way.

super mario bros rainbow bridgeThe visuals are not the only nod of appreciation for this movie. Many Easter eggs are hidden throughout the film, touching on just about every version of Mario there is. The original Super Mario game was released in 1985, and the soundtrack plays into this nostalgia. Overall, we leave The Super Mario Bros. Movie with warm fuzzy memories of gaming as kids, with all but one question unanswered – why are they called the Mario Bros. & does Mario have a last name???

Be sure to get your tickets and take the entire family to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie.  The movie boasts a 92 minute runtime, which is perfect for everyone. There are a few instances of choice words that smaller children might gasp at(stupid, idiot, shut up), but overall, this is just plain clean, family fun. Stay through the credits until the VERY end – there are not one, but TWO end credit scenes that you will not want to miss. One is at the halfway point, and one at the very end. You will not be sorry.

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