While most Nintendo Directs don’t reveal anything that isn’t completely gaming-related, the September 2021 Nintendo Direct does feature one exception. Nintendo is collaborating with Illumination, the company behind Despicable Me and Minions, on a full-length animated feature film based on their flagship game Super Mario, which will serve as the film’s title for the time being.
Mario and Luigi, the game’s primary characters, aren’t particularly chatty. Super Mario’s dialogue is mainly reserved for side characters like Toad and Bowser, but in the next Super Mario film, the two — Mario in particular — will be talking a lot. As a result, Nintendo decided to unveil the voice cast for some of the characters in the video, and if Mario chatting up a storm wasn’t weird enough, the guy behind his voice surely is.
Mario will be voiced by Chris Pratt in Nintendo’s forthcoming Super Mario film. Jack Black will voice Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key will voice toad, and Donkey Kong will be voiced by Seth Rogen, who has strong links to Mario. Despite Mario’s typical voice actor, Charles Martinet appears in the film in unexpected surprise appearances, Pratt will play Mario. The following is the currently announced voice cast:
- Chris Pratt as Mario
- Anya Taylor as Peach
- Jack Black as Bowser
- Charlie Day as Luigi
- Keegan-Michael Key as Toad
- Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong
- Charles Martinet as various cameos
This voice cast makes it very simple to tell what type of tone Nintendo has intended for the film, even without any footage or explanation of the plot. Nearly all of the performers in the cast are known for their comic performances, with Anya Taylor of Queen’s Gambit standing out. Her background is more drama-oriented, but given her colleagues in this picture, it’s possible that her role as Peach will be her big comedic debut.
It would be an understatement to say that the voice cast is intriguing. It’s difficult to picture Chris Pratt’s voice coming from Mario and arguing that it sounds natural. However, the comic skill behind the voices may prove to be a nice surprise. Because the last Mario-helmed film was a complete catastrophe, the bar for this Super Mario film to be good is set rather low. Nintendo should release spoken promotions for it shortly, hopefully.