New Super Mario Movie Trailer Shows Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong

Image for article titled Mario Movie's Donkey Kong Voice Is Just Seth Rogen

Screenshot: Illumination

It’s weird that one of the things people have been most interested about as far as the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie is concerned is how everyone sounds. I mean, we know who the cast is, have known that forever, but what we haven’t known is the extent to which each actor was going to ham it up.

It’s why everyone has been so obsessed with Chris Pratt’s Mario, and why Jack Black seems perfect as Bowser because…he’s done that voice 1000 times and he was born for the role. One major voice we haven’t heard yet, though, is Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong, and it was also one that could have gone in any number of directions.

As this Thomas Game Docs video below explains, Donkey Kong’s voice has been all over the place over for decades. While Charles Martinet’s Mario is Mario to successive generations, there’s been zero consistency as far as Donkey Kong is concerned.

Why doesn’t Donkey Kong sound like he used to?

Which means, I guess, that this movie was free to go in whatever direction it wanted with the character, and that’s exactly what has happened. As this short new trailer released during the Eagles v Niners game tonight shows, Seth Rogen has been hired to…just be Seth Rogen.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie | Smash

Much of that trailer has been shown before, with Mario getting the absolute shit beaten out of him, but obviously that end section with Donkey Kong speaking is new. Also great to see the cat suit make an appearance, because the more this movie can lift from Super Mario 3D World—which more than any other Mario game plays like a big budget animated film—the better.

Not that any of this talk about Donkey Kong’s voice even matters, since it’s not like that’s the characters main appeal anyway.

Super Nintendo World’s Mario Kart Ride Only Accepts Thin People

Super Nintendo World, the latest addition to Universal Hollywood’s theme park, is set to open in just a few weeks, giving Mario fans the opportunity to step into a vivid recreation of the Mushroom Kingdom, packed with sights and sounds they know and love. Not all of them, however, will be able to experience the featured attraction Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, as it has a very specific requirement: Your waistline must not be 40 inches or larger.

An elaborate “3D and 4D ride,” according to the official page for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, the single-user ride takes attendees through a variety of Mario-themed settings brought to life with “cutting-edge technology.” On the ride, you’ll individually or collectively team up to foil Team Bowser’s plans to grab that golden cup before Mario and friends do. But as The Wall Street Journal observed in an article highlighting the limiting weight requirements, (which can be found on the official app for park navigation and line management) “Guests whose waistline is at least 40” or greater may not be accommodated on the ride.” The app’s copy indicates that there’s a test seat available to gauge whether or not an attendee meets these requirements. Given that the average waist circumference in the U.S. is just around 40 inches, this certainly seems likely to exclude a good number of folks.

Universal Studios Hollywood

“Nothing but wonderful things to say about Super Nintendo World except this,” opens one tweet from YouTuber and “Food influencer,” Rocco Botte, “the body size limitations on the Mario Kart ride are absolutely ridiculous.

Another popular tweet calls out the absurdity of such a strict waist limitation. “A 40” waist line is about a [women’s] size 20.”

According to CDC statistics cited by Healthline, the average clothing size for adults assigned female at birth hovers between 18 to 20. As many replies to the tweet above indicate, a 40-inch waist is a “very normal and common size to be for many body types.” And Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge isn’t the only ride with such strict limitations. At least four other Universal Studios rides, including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Revenge of the Mummy — the Ride also cite the same 40-inch limit, with suggestions that attendees ought to use the test seat to determine if the ride can accommodate them.

As The Wall Street Journal found out, such test seats are hardly accurate and aren’t terribly private. “Visitors say the tryouts can be awkward [and] less forgiving than the actual seats on the ride,” the paper reports.

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Universal Parks & Resorts provided Kotaku with the following statement:

“We are always listening to our guests and seek to balance their needs against our strong focus on the safety of our attractions. We have a company-wide task force actively working with this community to make changes that can help them safely increase access to our experiences.”

The company also said that it values accessibility and will be reconfiguring some existing rides, starting with Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Universal Orlando.

The waistline requirement particularly stings as Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is the only ride to be featured at Super Nintendo World, yet it’s not designed to accommodate average or plus size attendees’ physical dimensions.

Update 2/2/23 2:30 PM: The story has been updated to include a comment from Universal Parks & Resorts.

The Last Of Us Episode 5 Out Early Thanks To The Super Bowl

Joel and Ellie prepare to place their bets.

Image: HBO

The Last of Us TV show will officially cross the halfway point of its first season a little earlier than expected thanks to Super Bowl LVII. HBO clarified that episode 5 will be released on Friday this week instead of the usual Sunday drop so that Philly fans will have the time and space they need to celebrate the Eagles’ second-ever championship win. How thoughtful.

Normally airing each week during HBO’s coveted Sunday primetime slot, episode 5 will instead go live at 9:00 p.m. ET on February 10. That will give it plenty of clearance from the Super Bowl which starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on February 12 on FOX. In fairness, parts of Philly will no doubt look like The Last of Us minutes after its’ showdown with Kansas City concludes.

The HBO adaptation will then go back to its regular schedule for the remaining four weeks. With nine episodes total, the season finale will take place on March 12. The title for it hasn’t even been revealed yet. And at the rate things are moving, the show is on track to hit all of the pivotal climaxes from the first game before season one wraps up next month. (You can watch the first episode for free over at HBO’s website).

The series has already been renewed for a second season, which will likely pick up around where The Last of Us Part II starts. Co-creators Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin have already been upfront about wanting to avoid any filler, though Part II sounds like it will span multiple seasons. In the meantime, the PC port of The Last Of Us Part I will arrive just in time to tide fans over. Originally scheduled to launch on March 3, Naughty Dog announced it had to be delayed until March 28 to make sure it was in the “best shape possible” for new and returning players.

Madden Has Gotten Very Bad At ‘Predicting’ The Super Bowl

It’s Super Bowl week, which means the sporting news cycle is full of the same old shit it is every year. Empty interviews, retrospectives on Super Bowls past, endless predictions on who is going to win on Sunday…and one prediction in particular, which comes around every season like clockwork.

I get it, the Super Bowl is the biggest game of the season, and pundits have two whole weeks of anticipation to build up to, so trying to work out which one of two teams will emerge victorious is an easy ratings pull/pageview generator. Most of those calls are made by men and women making some calculations in their own head, though; only Madden tries to do it via the art of simulation.

As they have done since Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2003, EA Sports has run the teams and rosters for the big game through its system, played out a game and got a result. That result was a 31-17 win for the Eagles over the Chiefs.

Before you go taking that to the bank, though, either because you’re an Eagles fan or you have a devout belief in the sanctity of Madden’s player ratings and matchday authenticity, you should know that for all the attention EA Sports likes to lavish on these simulations, and for all the attention paid to them—this year’s prediction has its own trailer—the game’s track record isn’t much better than flipping a coin.

Since that first public attempt back in 2003, Madden has successfully predicted the winner of the game 11 times, meaning it has got it wrong on eight occasions (you can check out a full rundown of each score here). That 11-8 record is over .500, you might say, enough to at least make the playoffs and surely more accurate than most flesh-based pundits. Especially when you consider the game’s Super Bowl XLIX prediction was very accurate, nailing not just the winner but the exact score as well (NE 28 – 24 SEA).

But in recent years the wheels have fallen off! For the first decade of its simulations Madden nearly always got the winner right. For four of the last five years, though, and six of the last nine, its predictions have landed in the L column, meaning it simply cannot be trusted to be predicting the winner on Sunday with any more accuracy than tossing a coin, rolling some dice or asking an octopus to crawl towards a flag (actually, to be fair Paul was very good at his job).

All of which is to say, based on this 31-17 prediction I look forward to seeing the Chiefs win 24-10.

Super Mario Bros. Super Bowl Ad Brings Back ‘Mario Rap’

Another new trailer for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie has been released today, part of the onslaught of expensive and lengthy Super Bowl commercials, and while that’s usually enough to rot the brains of even the most online among us, I can assure you, this one is fantastic.

Unlike every previous trailer, which are actual trailers featuring snippets from the movie, this is a new take on the Mario Rap, the classic intro from the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, the live-action series that ran from 1989-1991.

Here, in case you need a refresher, is the original:

Super Mario Brothers Super Show Intro

And here is the 2023 version:

Super Mario Bros. Plumbing Commercial

I haven’t called that number because I’m not the in the US, but that website is indeed up and running, and is everything you would hope it would be from a struggling small business servicing the Brooklyn and Queens areas. There’s excessive animation, broken image links, a careers page (still under construction, sadly) and even a novelty mouse cursor.

UPDATE: Hahahaha the number works:

Best of all, though, are the testimonials, including one from Spike, who is actually the brothers’ boss, and who is making an appearance in the movie (he’ll be played by comedian Sebastian Maniscalco).

Image for article titled 'Mario Rap' Makes Comeback In Super Mario Bros. Movie Super Bowl Commercial

Screenshot: Illumination


Image for article titled 'Mario Rap' Makes Comeback In Super Mario Bros. Movie Super Bowl Commercial

Screenshot: Illumination

It’s weird that one of the things people have been most interested about as far as the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie is concerned is how everyone sounds. I mean, we know who the cast is, have known that forever, but what we haven’t known is the extent to which each actor was going to ham it up.

It’s why everyone has been so obsessed with Chris Pratt’s Mario, and why Jack Black seems perfect as Bowser because…he’s done that voice 1000 times and he was born for the role. One major voice we haven’t heard yet, though, is Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong, and it was also one that could have gone in any number of directions.


This AI Makes Endless Super Mario Bros. Levels With A Few Words

A Super Mario Maker image showing Mario running away from perilous danger. While not MarioGPT, the text-to-level tool does the same thing as Super Mario Maker.

Image: Nintendo

The technology we casually refer to as “artificial intelligence” is suddenly everywhere. It’s used to “create” art, dialogue and voice, text, even video games! It’s nigh impossible to escape as we enter a dystopian future in which generative technology seeks to threaten entire livelihoods (including those of Twitch streamers). But sometimes, despite how fraught the discourse around AI can be, you’ll discover something kinda cool. So, let me introduce you to MarioGPT, an artificial intelligence tool that creates classic Super Mario Bros. levels via text prompts.

Read More: What People Get Wrong When They Think About Video Game AI

AI research began all the way back in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and it’s been a gradual climb since. Today, we plug massive sets of data into advanced generative technologies so we can adapt and shape their output.This leads us to our current discourse, with tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E becoming mainstream. Simply entering a text prompt into an AI tool such as Midjourney will produce a machine-generated result culled from hundreds if not thousands of data sets. Ethical questions around ownership arise, some even leading to lawsuits around copyright infringement, but the sales pitch is that anyone can create anything with the help of artificial intelligence. Have an amazing idea for a novel but can’t write for shit? No problem! Plug your ideas into a writing AI like Jasper, then sit back and watch as technology writes your novel for you. Why struggle with creativity when you can have a robot do that instead?

The same thing can be done for video games. Created by a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen, MarioGPT is a tool that can generate an endless supply of side-scrolling level layouts based on classic Super Mario Bros. stages. According to Sebastian Risi, an AI researcher who collaborated on the project, the trained tool uses “a fine-tuned GPT2 model” to gobble up text prompts and spit out levels that somewhat mirror what an actual human might create. Risi noted on Twitter that although MarioGPT “sometimes” fails to create levels on a given prompt, it “works well” in most other situations.

Kotaku reached out to Risi for comment.

Read More: AI Creating ‘Art’ Is An Ethical And Copyright Nightmare

The researchers posted an eight-page PDF detailing MarioGPT’s methodology, noting that the tool is probably “the first text-to-level model” in existence. The goal, according to the researchers, is to “allow for the open-ended generation of an increasingly diverse range of content” to address the challenges of making procedurally generated games. There’s a GitHub for the tech, which requires Python. You’ll need some technical expertise, but considering MarioGPT is available for free, anyone can pick it up, study the tech’s underpinnings, and use it to create their own Super Mario Bros. levels. It’s like Super Mario Maker but powered by artificial intelligence.


Final Super Mario Bros. Movie Trailer Debuts At Nintendo Direct

Today, during Nintendo’s special Super Mario Bros.-themed Direct, we got a look at the third and final trailer for the anticipated, animated Super Mario Bros .Movie .

Before the trailer rolled, we got to see the Hollywood cast, Miyamoto, and Illumination founder riff about how March 10 (which spells “MAR10″ or “Mario” when looked at a certain way) is the official day of Nintendo’s plumber. But Jack Black then butted in, arguing that it should in fact be Bowser Day. Black’s word is law, so happy Bowser Day. Then, the final trailer gave us a better look at Mario tearing up fools on Rainbow Road, as well as Bowser’s legion of Koopa. You can watch the trailer below.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie Direct – 3.9.2023 (Final Trailer)

After the trailer, Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, the film’s directors talked about how they worked hard on making Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road and the vehicles racing down it authentic to Nintendo’s games. Finally, Miyamoto announced that Mario’s silver-screen shoes will be available to view at Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood.

While Jack Black’s Bowser featured prominently today, the previous Super Mario Bros. Movie trailer gifted us with a closer look, or listen, to Seth Rogan’s performance as Donkey Kong. Rogan is implementing Mario portrayer Chris Pratt’s method of using his regular human voice (stoner edition) in the Donkey Kong-focused trailer, where DK continued to put paws on an unfortunate Mario. It spawned a bunch of memes where fans repurposed the clip of Donkey Kong winding up to sock Mario with scenes from other popular tv shows and video games. Whether the movie turns out to be spectacular or god-awful, you can’t deny how meme-worthy its ad campaigns are.

Read More: Everyone Sounds Awesome In The New Mario Movie But Mario

Shigeru Miyamoto stunned the world back in 2021 with the one-two-punch that Nintendo and Illumination Studios (the folks behind The Minions movies) were working on an animated Mario movie with a bizarre-yet-undeniably star-studded Hollywood cast. In addition to Pratt and Rogen, other notable performances include Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and Fred Armisen will voice Cranky Kong, among others.

Super Mario Bros. Il Film | Teaser Trailer Ufficiale (Universal Pictures) HD

While many continue to hem and haw at Guardians of the Galaxy actor Pratt’s inconsistent Brooklyn accent and his plumber’s lack of an ass, the majority of folks online are digging Jack Black’s show-stealing vocal performance as Bowser. But let’s be honest, all anyone really wants to hear is Zombieland Saga voice actor Mamoru Miyano belt out a hearty “let’s-a-go.”

The Super Mario Bros. was originally slated to release on October 6 last year but was delayed to April 7 and moved up to April 5.


Super Mario Bros. Movie Shouts Out Nintendo’s Biggest Water Fan

Mario and Luigi do a badass pose.

Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Like most people who require water to live, you probably like H20 a normal amount—but you definitely don’t like water as much as this famous Nintendo fan. They’re so well-known and beloved that they’ve even been featured in the official plumber website for the Super Mario Bros. movie.

Super Mario Bros. Plumbing is a website for a fake plumbing service where Mario and Luigi come to unclog your pipes. Not like that, you pervert. Anyway, the website is an elaborate movie marketing campaign that even features a real live van tour. If you look down at the carousel section of the website, you’ll see a review by someone named Pipe_Dreamz. “Amazing looking water courtesy of the brothers,” it says.

For the non-chronically online, Pipe_Dreamz is likely a reference to a Miiverse user named MARIO WiiU. They spent at least a couple of years commenting on the graphical quality of video game water on Nintendo’s official forums. Their bio describes them as “a hardcore Nintendo fan” who has been playing the publisher’s games since 1985. Despite being a Nintendo gamer since the Nintendo Entertainment System, they felt that the Wii U is “an amazing system.” You do you, buddy.

Since Miiverse was discontinued in November 2017, a new account claiming to be MARIO WiiU has appeared on Twitter. However, there isn’t a viable method to confirm that they’re the same person (A conundrum that they’ve addressed publicly). I have my doubts. The original water commentator had posts that were unrelated to water, and the new account only contains tweets about water. So the account is likely run by a fan of the water liker.

This isn’t the first time that Nintendo of America recognized video game water’s biggest fan. Three years ago, the publisher tweeted “Nice water” alongside a clip of Paper Mario: The Origami King.

The Miiverse may be gone, but the spirit of MARIO WiiU lives on.

Impossible Super Mario 64 Item Finally Grabbed After 20 Years

Nine years ago, Super Mario 64 player toyuru2 wall-jumped his way up the slide in Cool, Cool Mountain, sending the plumber into the void–but not before grabbing a 1-up mushroom. At the time, it was a feat, as nobody had ever gotten the mushroom. But then, a new challenge emerged: was it possible to grab the mushroom without dying at all? Now, years later, a speedrunner has answered that question through the use of special tools.

First released back in 1996 on the Nintendo 64, Super Mario 64 is one of the most famous video games ever released. It was Mario’s big leap into 3D and helped create the blueprint for what a 3D platformer would be. Like any other game, it features a number of oddities, like items and enemies that exist outside the bounds of where the player can go. These seemingly “impossible” items became a fixation for the community, like this one coin that took 18 years for anyone to collect.

27 years later, players are still speedrunning the game, creating mods for it, porting it to the PC, and trying for those hidden coins and other secrets in this beloved 3D platformer. In this case, the impossible item clips out of the tunnel before players can normally reach it, though as you can see in this video, it actually spawns in the tunnel at first. Technically, unlike other “impossible” items, this 1-up has been grabbed before–what’s different now is that it’s been grabbed by someone without dying. And all they had to do was just jump between two walls for over an hour.

As reported by GamesRadar, YouTuber, and Mario 64 speedrunner PaLiX recently uploaded a video showcasing a new strategy to collect the so-called impossible 1-Up on Cool, Cool Mountain.

PaliX / Nintendo

PaLiX’s tool-assisted method has Mario immediately leap out of the level and fall to the finish line below. Then they jump between two walls for an hour and a half. Slowly Mario climbs up the wall and eventually reaches a point where he seems to lock up. Then, using an exploit involving how the game calculates where Mario is in relation to the floor, PaLiX is able to break free and butt stomp onto the 1-Up.

Even though this video does involve some emulation tools that help perfectly pull off the tricky moves and jumps, it’s still interesting to see a player grab this power-up without kicking the bucket. Will it be possible for someone to one day actually pull off this trick on an N64 or other platform without tools? Maybe. People continue to do wild shit in this game. For years, the hardest glitch in Super Mario 64 speedrunning was considered impossible to do by a human without the use of tools, until of course someone did exactly that. So at this point, I’d say anything is possible.

Major Super Smash Bros. Tournament Leaves Attendees Feeling Ill

A major Super Smash Bros. tournament has come and gone, but not without some drama. After participating in the tournament, a bunch of Melee and Ultimate players found themselves “blowing chunks” due to a stomach bug.

Read More: Long-Hated Steve From Minecraft Is Being Banned In Competitive Smash Bros.

Last weekend’s Collision 2023 was a big tournament for Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate. Taking place from March 10-12 at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel in New Jersey, Collision saw all kinds of pros, such as Jigglypuff main Hungrybox and Byleth player MKLeo, competing for the top spot and a couple thousand dollars. While Kazuya main Riddles was the overall winner, taking home the first-place trophy and qualifying for the Smash Ultimate Summit 6 invitational later this month, many folks at the event won an unfortunate surprise: an illness many attributed to food poisoning caused by a stomach bug.

Norovirus may be the cause

Several attendees have tweeted about the stomach bug they caught now that Collision has ended. Hungrybox wrote that after he got home he had “some of the worst food poisoning ever,” saying he “lost 10 pounds in seven hours.” Others, like Super Smash Bros. analyst Arjun “Junebug” Rao, felt awful too.

Though most attributed the stomach bug to the chicken sandwich sold at the tournament, others have suggested that the event might’ve been infected with norovirus, a very contagious virus that mirrors the stomach flu. With symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting, among others, norovirus infections have surged over the last year. As reported by local American news and information platform Patch in February, New Jersey in particular has been hit hard with norovirus as of late. The disease is very common, spreads easily and quickly, and has multiple causes, including consuming contaminated food and water as well as touching your face after being in contact with an infected individual, object, or surface. Players tend to bring their own controllers to these events, but because everyone’s in close proximity to each other it seems inevitable that such an illness would find favorable conditions for spreading there.

Collision had health and safety guidelines in place

That’s not to say that the organizers didn’t have health and safety guidelines in place to keep folks as protected as possible. According to the event’s covid protocols, all participants had to show “proof of vaccination against covid-19 during the badge pickup process” or “a negative rapid/PCR-based covid test with a timestamp that’s no later than 48 hours before the event.” On top of providing acceptable documentation (physical vaccination card, digital images, information on an official state app, etc.), tournament goers were also required to wear masks inside the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel “at all times.” Anyone who felt sick in any way was asked to not attend the tournament. Sadly, maybe because norovirus is a surface-transmitted virus and not an airborne one, it appears the anti-covid measures were not enough to stop it from proliferating.

Kotaku reached out to Collision and the Sheraton Parsippany hotel for comment.

Read More: Nintendo Says It ‘Cares’ About Smash Bros. Fans As Tournament Dispute Continues [Update]

Thankfully, the presumable norovirus infection that’s decimating all these Super Smash Bros. players’ innards is temporary, as the illness lasts just one to three days. Hopefully, everyone affected recovers quickly and the next tourney, wherever that one takes place, won’t be rocked by a miserable stomach bug.

Correction: 3/16/23, 9:42 a.m. ET: This story previously included mention of and link to a tweet about a player’s experience of the illness that the player made in jest. That mention has been removed.


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