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1986 Super Mario Bros. Animated movies are restored in 4K

Super Mario Bros.  1986 animated film

A long time ago, in one of the first Total recall features I have ever written for this site, I covered The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!, the first – and in many ways still the best – Nintendo movie ever made.

This is what I wrote at the time:

The plot of the movie is pretty standard stuff. Two plumbers (who for some reason work in a grocery store) are sucked into a video game world, starring all the bad guys from the series you can imagine, and have to save a princess (and kick Bowser’s ass) while in there.

Spoilers: they save days. Funny fact: the film also heralds perhaps Mario’s biggest boss meeting ever, when Mario 64’s “grip Bowser by the tail” feature actually debuts in the Great Mission. It had decent animation, a nice “covers all bases” plot (when it comes to getting all the game’s characters and locations in) and some pub-trivia-like voice actors, including Mario as Sega Rally 2’s narrator and Luigi’s, amazing Telemachus from Ulysses 31.

Interesting, but I ended that article with:

Despite being released on perhaps the top of Mario mania, with well-known voice actors and doing quite well during the theatrical run in Japan (it even had its own extensive series of purchasing products), the film also in 2012 never made exist.

It was released once on VHS in Japan, and it was. No international release. No DVD release. Nothing. Unless you want to pay a penny for a Japanese videocassette, this is actually the only way you will be able to watch YouTube at all.

And hey, whaddya knows, Carnivol has done just that. Worked on the project for years, starting with a couple of these VHS copies, and finally they got their hands on a 16 mm theatrical version of the film, and have embarked on both restoring the original roll and upscaling the film to the 4K page.

This is not a small side project either; Carnivol estimates that the effort to obtain, scan and restore this film has totally cost them in the ballpark to USD $ 20,000.

Below are the current (and unfinished) results of the project, a enormous superior version of the film than those previously available:

Compare that to the version I shared in 2012, which … well, looks like crap in comparison:

As beautiful as Carnivol’s work has turned out, it is still incomplete, and to get the whole project to a more finished state, they are in the process of handing over the raw files and working on to someone who can hopefully complete the job.

The whole movie is uploaded in the first video above, but if you want to see the whole thing and understand what’s going on, you need to know that it only has automatic subtitles, and in this case they are … not working well.

Image for article titled 1986's Super Mario Bros.  Film is being carefully restored, now in 4K

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