It’s only been a few weeks since the first official trailer for the long-awaited Super Mario Bros. animated movie introduced Chris Pratt’s somewhat distracting voice for Mario. The movie’s second trailer, released today during a Nintendo Direct presentation Tuesday evening, focuses more on supporting characters and a good-versus-evil battle across the wide-ranging Mario universe.
The trailer leads off with Mario entering a massive coliseum and muttering a somber, breathy “let’s-a-go” unlike anything ever heard in a Mario game. He then launches headlong into a battle with Donkey Kong, who casually grabs the plumber by the head and slams him to the ground for a series of slapstick, Smash Bros.-style slaps.
Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto notes that Donkey Kong’s design here has been altered for the first time since the ape’s appearance in Donkey Kong Country back in 1994. The new design, which looks a little more rounded and friendlier than usual, is intended to be “reminiscent of the original character,” Miyamoto said.
While Seth Rogen’s DK is practically silent in the trailer, Anya Taylor-Joy’s Princess Peach takes center stage as a confident monarch leading an army of reluctant Toads to battle against Bowser’s oncoming onslaught. “Together, we are going to stop that monster,” Peach says in a fearless, determined voice that starkly contrasts with the usual high-pitched helplessness exhibited by numerous voice actresses over the years.
The trailer shows Peach effortlessly wielding a battle ax and summoning flames from a fire flower. Mario, meanwhile, provides the requisite pratfalls as he gets pummeled by a Bullet Bill, falls alongside a precarious donut block, and has to remove a Cheep Cheep’s suction-cup grip from his face. Charlie Day’s Luigi is also on hand for a quick scene where he tries to play off the obvious similarities between him and his brother under questioning from a sinister Bowser.
There are a lot of other little touches for Mario fans throughout the trailer, such as glimpses of a Tanooki suit, brief cameos by Cranky Kong and an island full of Yoshis, as well as a brief mention of “a huge universe with a lot of galaxies [emphasis added]” that are all depending on the Mario crew.
But it’s the trailer’s conclusion that leans the heaviest into fan service—an unexplained scene where Mario drives a familiar-looking go-kart down a floating rainbow-colored road alongside dozens of ostensible allies. Mario’s “Wahoo!” following a quick kart-drift at the end of the trailer could be the best take on the character we’ve heard so far from Pratt.
During the short Nintendo Direct presentation, Miyamoto said the movie is “almost finished” but that he’s “not supposed to say anything else about it.” Hopefully, we’ll get a few more glimpses of other corners of Mario’s vast universe of characters and references before the film is due to hit theaters in April.