Ahead of the official launch for the Super Mario Bros. film teaser trailer, it appears we may already know what Mario will look like in his animated blockbuster debut. In a recent Twitter post, streamer ConnorEatsPants seemingly posted an official character art leak, which arrived courtesy of a McDonald’s employee in his Discord server. The artwork depicts Mario leaping forward with arms raised, as in his signature jumping and cheering pose – with the resolution and style of the model aligning with the more detailed CG design of the upcoming film.
[Update: The Super Mario Bros Movie trailer has now been released, confirming the accuracy of this leak]
There are many subtle differences in this design, when compared with his classic video game counterpart – enough that fans are expressing dissatisfaction online. The backlash appears to mirror the reveal of the Sonic the Hedgehog film, which was ultimately reworked to include fan feedback.
‘They look pretty close side by side and yet so different,’ one Twitter user remarked.
The major differences being pointed out include: Mario’s face shape being wider, his moustache being thinner and lighter in colour, his eyes being a bit too realistic, his clothing having more seams and stitches, and his eyebrows sitting strangely on his face. Some have pointed out that Mario now has a likeness to voice actor Chris Pratt, while others have remarked that the alleged model just looks off.
With any new redesign like this, a varied response is to be expected. Mario is a beloved character, and many fans are already sceptical about how the Super Mario Bros. film will change the hero for a mainstream audience. That said, the upcoming film is for everyone – not just existing fans – and this new design has likely been implemented to create a loveable and kid-friendly new action star.
Given this leak allegedly came from a McDonald’s employee, it’s fair to assume this design will be heavily merchandised and marketed, likely via toy tie-ins, advertisements, and other partnerships. This could be the Mario we see in future, and for a long time to come.
At this stage, the leaked design is yet to be confirmed – however, it won’t be long before we learn of its legitimacy. Nintendo and Illumination are planning a big reveal of the Super Mario Bros. movie on 6-7 October 2022, in the form of a trailer reveal and Nintendo Direct presentation. Those keen to learn more about the film, and this seemingly leaked design, should tune in for the grand unveiling.