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NBC Insider The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Heroes & Villains In The Mushroom Kingdom: Who Are The Super Mario Bros. Movie Characters?

Prepare for The Super Mario Bros. Movie and get acquainted with the characters who are confirmed to appear.

By Brian Silliman
Super Mario Movie Characters Mario2

Are you ready to take the pipe with Mario to the big screen once more? The Super Mario Bros. Movie brought animated life to the Mushroom Kingdom, and gaming fans the world over are still pumped. But if you’re new to the world of Mario, then you may benefit from a short briefing as to who all of the leading players are.

Let’s go through all of the main characters that will be involved in the new movie, recounting what their roles usually are, and what they may be moving forward. There’s no need to dodge that blue shell for spoilers, you wouldn’t have much luck even if you tried.


Mario (Chris Pratt)

Super Mario Movie Characters Mario3

Mario Mario (yes that is his full name) is the protagonist of the franchise. He’s a plumber who has become the unlikely hero of the Mushroom Kingdom, the location where most of the Super Mario games take place. That’s where they usually begin, at least.

He uses mushrooms to grow in size, if he gains the aid of a flower he can throw fireballs with his hands, and he can fly with the aid of various raccoon-based attachments. Super Mario Bros. 2 found him throwing vegetables, so if you see him doing that in the new movie, there’s precedent.

He is also the star of the Mario Kart series, a Super Mario spin-off game that focuses on go-cart racing. (It also focuses on ruining real-life friendships.) Based on trailers, the new movie will feature Mario doing some laps. Take that, Toretto

One catchphrase to look out for is, “It’s-a-me, it’s-a-Mario!” The other: “Let’s-a-go!”

Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy)

Super Mario Movie Characters Peach

Her highness originally went by the name “Princess Toadstool,” but that has been changed to “Princess Peach” over the years. The ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom is usually the damsel-in-distress that Mario has to rescue. She got in on the action in the first sequel; players could play as her and take advantage of her ability to float. That’s not the norm. Usually she’s being captured and shouting for help.

The new movie looks like it isn’t going to follow that trope. We expect Princess Peach to be more of an action star, as trailers have featured her ditching her gowns and breaking out the battle attire. She’s going to make the transition into being a warrior, and with Anya Taylor-Joy in the role, we expect her to be lethal. She can fix her own pipes, thank you very much. 

Luigi (Charlie Day)

Super Mario Movie Characters Luigi

Mario’s fraternal twin brother is Luigi Mario, and once again, that is his full name. He's the "Player 2" character in the games, and in the early installments he was just a Mario copy in green clothes. The sequel let you choose to play as him from the start, and he was the highest jumper in the game.

He’s still an afterthought, though he’s gotten a spin-off franchise with the Luigi’s Mansion series. He’s grown into a character who is portrayed as being timid and full of fear. The new movie features Charlie Day in the role, so we expect some Day-style screaming from him.

RELATED: "If the Mario Bros. Are Really Brothers, Are Their Full Names 'Mario Mario' And 'Luigi Mario'?"

Bowser (Jack Black)

Super Mario Movie Characters Bowser

This spike-backed dinosaur thing is the perennial villain in the Super Mario games. He sits out the first sequel, but he’s in it to win it for pretty much every game afterward. He’s always capturing Princess Peach and forcing Mario to go on a long quest to rescue her. He always returns. Sometimes he escapes into a multiverse, and sometimes he’s in outer space.

Why is he always so plunger-bent on the Princess and toppling the Mushroom Kingdom? He just is. He needs a psychiatrist. 

He has an array of children (Koopalings) who assist him in some of the games. Larry, Morton, Roy, Lemmy, Iggy, Wendy, and Ludwig could get in on the movie action, we don't know yet. Bowser also has a fleet of flying pirate ships, a clown propellor vehicle, and an endless horde of “Koopa Troopas,” “Goombas,” and more at his disposal. Jack Black is going to nail it.

Toad (Keegan-Michael Key)

Super Mario Movie Characters Toad

The denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom go by this moniker. The original game featured several “Toad” characters as Princess Retainers, and they were known for saying, “Your princess is in another castle.”

A singular “Toad” has since risen above the rest. Players of the first Mario sequel were given the chance to play as Toad and use their superior strength, and things have continued apace since then. The Toad species come in all sorts of colors, but Toad Prime usually has a blue vest and red spots on his mushroom head.

Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen)

Super Mario Movie Characters Kong

Mario’s first appearance was in the 1981 Donkey Kong, but he wasn’t Mario yet. He was “Jumpman” and he was trying to rescue his girlfriend Pauline. Donkey Kong was a big ape who threw barrels at Jumpman to stop him.

The “Kong” part of the name is borrowed from King Kong. We have no idea what any part of him has to do with a donkey. He spun-off into his own series of games called Donkey Kong Country. His young relative Diddy Kong featured there, and went on to dominate every sequel.

Both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong have appeared in the Mario Kart games as well as Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series. He battled Mario in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, and he also appears in Super Mario Odyssey. We don’t know what purpose DK will serve in the new movie, but he has our interest.

Cranky Kong (Fred Armisen)

Technically, this is the actual Kong family member who appeared in the 1981 game. The Kong of Donkey Kong Country is his grandson, and Cranky Kong (or DK Senior) is his elder. He’s a mainstay of the Donkey Kong Country games, and he recently popped up in Super Mario Odyssey.

We expect the bearded and cantankerous elder Kong to be badgering (or guiding) his grandson in the new movie.

Spike (Sebastian Maniscalco)

There are a couple of options as to which “Spike” this character could be. A certain version of the Koopas went by this name, and they threw spiked balls at Mario. They were true to their name! A more interesting choice would be if this character was “Foreman Spike,” a character who served as the boss of Mario and Luigi in the game Wrecking Crew.

Kamek (Kevin Michael Richardson)

This wizard-koopa is one of Bowser’s most powerful servants. He was originally called “Magikoopa” but was eventually given a name. When Mario’s loyal dinosaur friend, Yoshi, received his own series of spin-offs, Kamek was his main enemy.

Fans should be on watch for Yoshi himself, as well as possible Easter egg appearances from Wario and/or Waluigi. Who are they? They’re the wicked “bizarro” versions of the brothers. If Mario’s hat becomes sentient at any point, that would mean that Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey is coming in. If Princess Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy appears, then things will get cosmic.

If someone named “King Wart” makes a surprise visit, then the movie is acknowledging Super Mario Bros. 2 as well as that game’s antagonist. It also means that Mario (and possibly the audience) is dreaming.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is streaming exclusively on Peacock starting Aug. 3.