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The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach

When it comes to movies based on video games getting crapped out from Hollywood, there's a whole mess of loose comparable story that goes with it. Though, as it seems with Japan, it's almost, if not, nearly the same deal. So today I'll be giving a summary of a little known Super Mario Bros. anime from 1986 titled, "The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!"

To begin, I wasn't even aware that a feature length animated film of this franchise even existed. Of course we didn't get a movie with Super Mario Bros. slapped on a movie until several years later, but this obscure little film has a bit of a charm, despite how corny it is.

The film starts abruptly as we see Mario playing a Famicom game a liiittle too close in front of the television, but it's interrupted by Princess Peach as she escapes from a barrage of Koopa Troopas and other familiar enemies. But then the impossible happens as the Princess gets launched out of Mario's television set, as well as the enemies following her. She takes a breath of fresh air, only to see that King Koopa pops out of the screen to do the usual kidnapping business.

Unfortunately for our short plumber, King Koopa escapes with her through the television, as she leaves a pendant behind that was worn around her neck. Mario sighs in failure as the scene fades out, leading to a rather long opening credits scene.

Following that goes directly to the next scene, as Mario and his brother Luigi run a grocery store (Yeah, your guess in them switching jobs is as good as mine) as Mario thinks about Princess Peach by looking at the pendant some more, but it catches his brother's eyes as he says from a mythology book that the very same pendant leads to the Mushroom Kingdom, also said to be full of diamonds, but Luigi only mentioned that last bit because he's played out as a greedy treasure collector. To the brother's dismay, a strange blue dog runs into the store and runs off with the pendant, as they chase after him to an unfamiliar location.

Getting led into a dimensional warp pipe from the dog, the brothers stumble into what looks to be a wizard, who then tells them about the business going on with King Koopa and how he plans to marry the Princess and rule the Mushroom Kingdom while destruction is caused upon it. Mario and Luigi are excited to make the trip, though Mario himself is worried about the marriage proposal. Before they leave, the wizard mentions three "power-ups", easily known as the mushroom, fire flower and star. So with the dog following them, they set out to find the Kingdom, and eventually settle down to rest near a campfire.

And this is where the film starts to really follow loosely on its source. A good 30 minutes after feels like filler with Mario and Luigi discovering odd mushrooms that change emotions, a Koopa Troopa that happens to also be a mother bird (?) and even discovering the presence of female Toads. Yes, female Toads. Much like the Toads in the game, they confirm that they're servants of Princess Peach and were imprisoned by King Koopa's magic.

The two eventually find themselves captured by the King's troops, while Luigi finds a way out through burrowing a hole and commandeering a flying ship (which strange enough this movie came out three years prior to Super Mario Bros. 3, which introduced the flying ships) as the two crash King Koopa's wedding with Peach and crash the ship right above the King's castle. Koopa, already big in size rises from the rubble of his own castle surprising Mario before rescuing Peach, and a battle ensues with the two.

By eating the three power-ups mentioned by the wizard, Mario gains superhuman strength a la Popeye bringing a crushing defeat to King Koopa, and the final scene begins with Mario, Luigi and Peach back in the Mushroom Kingdom. Of course before brushing off the brothers as they part ways with her, she sends her thanks and her pendant begins to glow along with the blue dog, revealing his true identity as the prince.

Seeing it as a disappointment in trying to gain Peach's love, Mario faints but eventually accepts the turn in events, and the film ends from there.

Or does it??

After the closing credits, a scene follows with King Koopa now working at the same store that the Mario Bros. were working at at the start of the movie, it isn't explained why but it's likely for him to use his earnings to save up to rebuild his castle.

The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach is pretty much its own movie compared to the Hollywood movie we got. Both have weird and bizarre scenes, but I think the 1993 movie wins in that area. Overall, this is still worth checking out if you haven't heard or ever got the chance to see it. Even if it's not entirely focusing on the source material, it still has a charm in my book.

It can currently be watched in clear quality with captions turned on if you'd like to watch it with subtitles, found here:

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more articles from me!

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Benjanime Posted on Oct 09, 2017 at 05:20 AM

coincidentally my older brother watched the gyver anime and he actually has a dvd box set! i'll have to check out that series myself since i've never watched it before after hearing about it here and there.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Oct 09, 2017 at 01:06 AM

This kind of Japanese release fascinates me. Thanks for sharing. It reminds me of this anime film of The Guyver I found in the 90s called Out of Control that was a wacky one off story changing some key plot points and characters. Luckily there was also an anime TV series that was much closer to the original manga.

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