The Super Mario Bros. Movie features licensed music alongside reworked versions of classic Mario tracks.
Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, the animated film boasts an ensemble voice cast including Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.
- READ MORE: ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ review: plucky plumber’s new adventure should have stayed a pipe dream
The film is a collaboration between Nintendo, Universal Pictures and Illumination, who are best known as the creators of Despicable Me and The Secret Life Of Pets.
Who composed the soundtrack for The Super Mario Bros. Movie?
Brian Tyler (Fast & Furious, Iron Man 3) composed the score, who worked closely with Mario composer Koji Kondo to incorporate classic themes from the games into the film.
Speaking about the score to ScreenRant, Tyler said: “There are hundreds, I think, of references in my music that reference the game, but it is an original score.”
He added: “Koji Kondo, the original writer of this music, who I adore and am friends with, was a big part of this. I would talk to him back and forth: ‘Ok, what about this? What do you think if I did this?’ because I wanted to incorporate things. Sometimes it’s invisible, [or] just like an Easter egg. The harp might be doing a line from the select screen on Mario Kart that only happens when you’re in the waiting room.
“There’a a part [in the movie] where Mario and Luigi are in a waiting room, and I thought it’d be cool [if] within the score that’s actually a mystery score, you hear the harp playing the waiting room music. I wanted to completely dive in and make [the film’s music] a feast for people that watch it 1,000 times, or Mario fans, but [ensure it] also works on a dramatic level.”
You can stream the full soundtrack below.
What other songs are featured?
The film includes two themes from Nintendo titles which haven’t been reworked. Donkey Kong is introduced with the infamous DK Rap from Donkey Kong 64, composed by Grant Kirkhope. The second is the Fury Bowser theme from Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, played by the Koopa rock band during Bowser’s party.
Jack Black performs a piano ballad as Bowser titled ‘Peaches’ in the film, which was written and produced by Black, along with directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, Eric Osmond and the actor’s longtime collaborator, John Spiker.
Speaking about the track (via Insider), Horvath said: “Jack Black is an incredible singer and musician, so we spent a night writing this song and sent the demo to Jack. A couple days later, Jack sent us back a finished track. He had added his own twist on it and his pianist played an original music track for it. We were blown away.”
There’s a bunch of licensed tracks scattered throughout too. You can check out a list below.
- ‘Holding Out For A Hero’ – Bonnie Tyler
- ‘Take On Me’ – A-ha
- ‘Thunderstruck’ – AC/DC
- ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’ – Beastie Boys
- ‘Mr Blue Sky’ – Electric Light Orchestra
In a two-star review, NME wrote: “It’s faithful enough to tempt existing fans to the cinema, but too perfunctory to be pored over. Is the Mario movie super? To paraphrase one of the title character’s catchphrases, it’s-a mediocre.”