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Fans Are Dubbing Japan's 1980s Super Mario Bros. Anime

The 1986 film, released only in Japanese, has also been digitally restored

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Mario anime
Screenshot: Kineko Video

It’s been ten years since we first wrote about The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!, a 1986 film—released only in Japanese—that was the first time a movie had ever been made about a Nintendo character. So it’s cool to be able to report in 2022 that efforts are once again underway to dub the film for an English-speaking audience.

Here’s a summary if this is the first you’ve heard of the movie:

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.

Fun fact: the movie 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 niche-if-interesting voice actors, including Mario being Sega Rally 2's narrator and Luigi being, awesomely, Telemachus from Ulysses 31.


This of course isn’t the first time English-speaking fans have tried to record their own lines for this movie, as copies of varying quality have been around for years. But while previous efforts have been big on enthusiasm, as you can see and hear here in this trailer released by the Mario Radio Show, this one is really good!

Super Mario Bros. Super Animated Movie | Preview

Sure, it’s not Hollywood quality—whatever that means when it comes to Mario, anyway—but this is an anime from 1986, and I think the acting here is a solid match for any other dub you would have watched from the same era.


The cast of this project includes Mario Radio Show regulars beatlebutt (Princess Toadstool, Lady Bow and Junior), WyntonYang (as Mario, Luigi, King Whomp, Kammy Koopa and Professor Egad) and Joe Armentrout (as King Koopa, King Bob-omb and Tatanga).

Restoration work on the footage itself was done by Kineko Video (who released a cut on YouTube earlier this year), while Yang is also handling the project’s music, which like the voice acting has also been reworked into English.