There was a Good Super Mario Bros. Movie. Let's Watch it!

When someone talks about the Super Mario Bros. movie, you'd be forgiven for assuming they're talking about the 1993 live-action flick starring Bob Hoskins. But there are actually two Super Mario Bros. movies, the first one - a feature-length anime - having been released in Japan in 1986.

It was called スーパー マリオ ブラザーズ ピーチ姫救出大作戦! (The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!) and, compared to both the 1993 movie and its home-grown syndicated sibling, wasn't too bad!

The plot of the film is pretty standard stuff. Two plumbers (who for some reason are working at a grocery store) get sucked into a video game world, starring just about every bad guy from the franchise you can think of, and have to save a Princess (and kick Bowser's ass) while they're in there.

Spoilers: they save the day. Fun fact: the movie also foreshadows perhaps Mario's greatest ever boss encounter, as Mario 64's "grab Bowser by the tail" move actually makes its debut in Great Mission. It had decent animation, a nice "covers all bases" plot (in terms of getting all the game's characters and locations in) and some pub-trivia-esque voice actors, including Mario being Sega Rally 2's narrator and Luigi being, awesomely, Telemachus from Ulysses 31.

What's more interesting is what's become of the movie in the years since. Despite being released at perhaps the peak of Mario-mania, featuring renowned voice actors and doing pretty well during its theatrical run in Japan (it even had its own extensive line of cash-in products), by 2012 the film way as well have never existed.

It was released once on VHS in Japan, and that was it. No international release. No DVD release. Nothing. Unless you want to pay a mint for a Japanese video cassette, in fact, the only way you're going to be able to watch it at all is on YouTube (and, well, right here, right now).

So thanks, Akua1997, for not only uploading the movie, but for providing English-language subs so we can actually understand what the hell is going on!

[via MarioWiki]