Verbal Diorama - Episode 261 - Super Mario Bros. (1993) - Verbal Diorama

Episode 261

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

Published on: 27th June, 2024

Last year, Super Mario Bros celebrated its 30th anniversary. It was a fairly muted celebration, but its acknowledgement for the most part came with the release of the new Super Mario Bros Movie, an Illumination animation starring Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy & Jack Black, with many websites also acknowledging the movie that came thirty years before.

It's well documented that this is a movie with problems, but what it really was, was the true definition of "creative differences". It would have a young directing team with previous experience of futuristic dystopia, an Academy Award-nominated producer, and would take inspiration from Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Everyone involved agreed they wanted something different to the light, fluffy games, but at least eight different scripts would confuse the tone, switching between serious brotherly drama, to The Wizard of Oz style fantasy, to Blade Runner and Mad Max inspired action, to something more family-friendly.

The producers didn’t want to work with the directors, the directors were getting the blame for everything (and they continued to get the blame for thirty years), the writers were being told one thing by producers and another by the directors - no-one was talking to each other. Threats were being thrown around, the set was chaos, no-one knew what was going on, no-one knew what they were going to be filming.

But while the producers, directors and stars were at metaphorical war, literally everyone else was stepping up and going above and beyond on this movie, despite all the problems, including the terrific special effects teams, set designers and production designers.

What we ended up with was something brave, bold, innovative, pioneering and special; most definitely not the bob-omb everyone has been led to believe it is...

The entire Super Mario Bros: The Movie Archive - a comprehensive fan site detailing everything you could ever want to know about the making of Super Mario Bros. - can be found at

I would love to hear your thoughts on Super Mario Bros. (1993) !



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About the Podcast

Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.
Are you interested in how movies are made? Do you wonder how a film went from conception to completion? If so, Verbal Diorama, hosted by Em, is the podcast for you!

Movies are tough to make, and Verbal Diorama is here to celebrate the coming together of teams of extraordinary cast and crew, bringing us movies that inspire us, delight us, make us laugh, make us cry and frighten us. This podcast discovers the stories behind the scenes, and proves how amazing it is that movies actually exist!

Welcome to Verbal Diorama. The podcast all about the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't! Subscribe on your favourite podcast app, and enjoy new episodes every week.
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About your host

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Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

Episodes are audibly book ended by Jess. She sadly passed away in March 2022, aged almost 18. She featured in many episodes of the podcast, and that's why you can hear her at the end of every episode. The role of official feline producer is now held by the comparatively quieter Evie.

I love podcasts, and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.