Saturday, 20 August 2011

Super Mario Bros: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!

Super Mario Bros: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! (translated as Super Mario Bros: The Great Mission To Rescue Princess Peach!) is a 1986 Japanese anime. Loosely based on the first Super Mario Bros. game on the Nes, this adaptation is definitely a crazy viewing. "Loosely" based is an appropriate term for this animation though, as in all honesty, I was a little perplexed on more than one occasion during the 60 minute duration.

The film begins with Mario playing his Famicom game. Suddenly, the game fades out and Princess Peach appears on the screen begging Mario for help. Bizarrely, Peach, Bowser and Bowser's army of minions jump out of the television screen, and whisk Peach away during the chaos. Although at this point he has only just met her, Mario vows to save Peach from Bowser. Enlisting the help of his brother Luigi (clad in bright yellow instead of his trademark green here), the Mario Brothers set off on an adventure through a strange land full of the typical Mario enemies, slapstick cartoon fun and lots of quirkiness.
Bowser gets sentimental. 
For the most part, the film follows the "rescue the Princess" storyline that is evident in the Mario games. However, the main problem I had with Rescue Princess Peach! is that not much of it makes sense. At all. One particular scene which springs to mind long after viewing the film is when Peach is convincing Bowser to change into something "funny" to amuse her. From here, Bowser changes into a scarecrow, a very disturbing looking ballerina and a teddy bear. And why exactly? Purely to win the affections of his love, Princess Peach.
Scarecrow Bowser...fair enough.
Bowser as a ballerina. Yes, seriously.
There are plenty more odd moments in the film however. Another one comes in the form of Peach's "dad", who looks far too young to be her father, and would much better fit the role of "younger brother." Many incidences in the film are never fully resolved, and instead the film cuts to a completely new event. I was left bewildered at a scene involving some red Koopa's who were circling Luigi. I never did understand how exactly Luigi got out of that scrape, neither did I figure out where the Koopa's disappeared to. 
Ballet dancing opens Oysters...apparently.

Fans may not find this an incredibly faithful adaptation at times, especially in relation to Mario and Luigi. For starters, Luigi looks somewhat different, and secondly, they're not plumbers here-the Mario Bros. work as grocery store clerks. The duo have no idea about Mushroom Kingdom, it's inhabitants, or Bowser and his cronies. It turns out that they're also rather oblivious to the ever-so-familiar Mario power-ups, such as mushrooms, the star and the fire flower.
Overall, Super Mario Bros: The Great Mission To Rescue Princess Peach! may seem a little strange most of the time, but in all honesty, I enjoyed this film to some extent. The film borrows sound effects from the Super Mario which I enjoyed. Also, the bizarreness definitely helps to create a sometimes hilarious anime. Whilst it may not be the most faithful adaptation at times, Rescue Princess Peach! is often funny, and, if you overlook the oddities, is somewhat enjoyable. However, it is not something that I am rushing to watch again any time soon. 
Peach's "Dad", folks.
Blooper makes an early appearance!
Super Mario Bros: The Great Mission To Rescue Princess Peach! was never released on DVD, and only got a limited VHS release in Japan. To this day, it has remained incredibly rare to get hold of. Sought after or not, there is no denying that this is one bizarre Mario anime.

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