Furukawa said Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto is very hands-on with the upcoming Super Mario movie. Illumination Studios, creators of Despicable Me, and adaptations of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and The Grinch is handling production, but that doesn’t mean Miyamoto’s influence will be absent.
“It’s not that we’ve asked Illumination to handle everything,” Furukawa said. “Mr. Miyamoto is very, very hands-on with the production of this movie.”This echoes statements Miyamoto made last year, where he said, “I was originally against Nintendo expanding into video-making, but am currently involved personally in using our company’s IP in film production, and the background behind this change is because Nintendo has re-released many games via Virtual Console.”
Both Furukawa and Miyamoto remain in agreement that these additional projects are intended to add to Nintendo’s games, not detract from them. When talking about expanding the use of Nintendo’s IP, Furukawa said, “We must make sure that the results are true to the players’ experiences, and that they would never prevent Nintendo’s developers from making another unique game featuring the same characters.”
Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Kirby have all received television adaptations at some point, but it’s been decades since a full-fledged Nintendo TV show, excluding Pokemon, of course. Still, Nintendo has been known to experiment with animation projects.
In the Wii U era, Nintendo dabbled in releasing animated shorts directly to the Nintendo eShop and its YouTube page. In 2014, Nintendo released three Pikmin animated shorts on the eShop, before putting the videos on YouTube last year.In 2016, to coincide with the Wii U release of Star Fox Zero, Nintendo partnered with Production IG and WIT Studios of Attack on Titan fame to create Star Fox Zero – The Battle Begins; a 15-minute animated short about the Star Fox crew of Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy. Miyamoto was hands-on with both the Pikmin and Star Fox projects.
In addition to these standalone animation releases, Nintendo also partnered with Robot Chicken to create segments for its E3 2014 Digital Event.
Every Video Game Movie in Development (Almost)
The Super Mario movie is still scheduled to release next year.
Logan Plant is a news writer for IGN, and the Production Assistant for Nintendo Voice Chat, IGN’s weekly Nintendo show. You can find him on Twitter at @LoganJPlant.