Mario to Release Anime

Nintendo has announced its partnership with Illumination Entertainment, the company responsible for animations like Despicable Me, and Sing, to produce an animated movie for Super Mario. Illumination founder and CEO, Chris Meledandri, and Nintendo Director, Miyamoto Shigeru, will both be in charge of production while Universal Pictures will be handling its distribution.

Since its release in 1985, Mario has enjoyed success and popularity, and we can still find Mario games on the latest machines i.e. Nintendo Switch. While I am intrigued as to how the movie will turn out, I’m partly worried that it could destroy the Mario Sanrio-style, when the latter announced that Hello Kitty isn’t a cat but an English girl named Kitty White who loves her cat so much, she began to look like one. Creepy.

I’ve enjoyed many Mario games and do think it is something they should continue to produce as long as they can. However, I sometimes find Nintendo relying too much on Mario. When I was considering getting a Wii, looking at the shelf of games available at game stores stopped me from doing so because 80% of the shelf is usually some Mario-based games. That doesn’t look like there are many options even if there really were. The image of Mario on Nintendo is a bit overwhelming, and that brought the company some criticism some 3 years ago before the Switch was announced; when foreign gaming companies were having a blast at the Tokyo Game Show.

Foreign companies pour huge amounts of money into developing new games, taking huge risks and producing awesome graphics. While I am not one to be too picky on graphics as I believe gameplay is more important, Japanese companies tend to squeeze something as dry as they can. So, when they find a successful franchise, they will keep producing games based on it. And until they hit a new successful product, the amount of money put into games development is usually not comparable to the foreign companies.

Thankfully, Nintendo hasn’t lost creativity in producing innovative consoles and as long as they continue to provide the platform, I guess we can still count on independent game development companies to churn out quality content for the consoles.

Let’s hope the movie will be a good one.

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