There’s a new animated film on Netflix that’s capturing the hearts of kids and adults alike, thanks to its star-studded ensemble cast and unexpected musical element.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie has secured its place at ninth on the global top ten list of films. Grossing $1.36 billion worldwide, the animated wonder has broken multiple box office records, including the biggest worldwide opening weekend for an animated film and the highest-grossing film based on a video game.
Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic and written by Matthew Fogel, The Super Mario Bros. Movie was released early in April this year. The film features an origin story for the iconic Mario (voiced by Chris Pratt) and Luigi (voiced by Charlie Day), transporting them to an alternate world where they become embroiled in a battle between the Mushroom Kingdom and the Koopas, led by the notorious Bowser (Jack Black). The ensemble voice cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy (who voiced the iconic Princess Peaches), Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Fred Armisen and more.
One of the standout moments in the film is Jack Black’s performance of the emotional piano rock ballad “Peaches” as Bowser. This Grammy-winning School of Rock star co-wrote and delivered the memorable rendition of the song, which almost never made it into the film. When Black initially signed on, music wasn’t part of the plan, but a late idea to have Bowser sing added a unique emotional layer to the character, and some good ol’ Jack Black silliness to the film.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Black spoke about how he fleshed out a small demo to an entire song, “We fleshed it out and made it more of a song with more lyrics and melody and stuff. And I was like, ‘Ooh, this hits, this slaps.’”
Black was almost sure this would get a rejection, but it ended up being a hit. He recalled a conversation with the directors, saying, “It stops being a little family cartoon for a second. It felt like it went into some other realm of deep, painful love that [Bowser will] never have—this deep yearning. It’s too real.”
“Peaches” became a viral hit, gaining popularity on TikTok and reaching No. 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
You can watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie for Jack Black’s musical magic or pure nostalgia, but first, check out the trailer here: