Can Nintendo, Who Let Chris Pratt Voice Mario, be Trusted with its Own Animation Studio?

It's probably fine, but I'm watching you.

Nintendo is looking to acquire Dynamo Pictures, an animation studio based in Tokyo, and is so committed to the idea it’s going to give the company its last name and rename it Nintendo Pictures. But dear readers, this is the same company that cast Guardians of the Galaxy and notable non-Italian actor Chris Pratt to play Mario, the Italian plumber/racecar driver/tennis pro/golf aficionado/doctor/tabletop fanatic/soccer ball kicker/criminal/artist/musician/teacher/event organizer/professional smasher of bros./Olympic medalist/dancer that has graced its video game systems for over 40 years in the upcoming 2023 animated movie. That shit had to go through Illumination’s approval and still made its way to the top. Can this same company be trusted to own an entire animation studio where it’s free to make these decisions without anyone there to tell them no?

Probably, but what other MCU leading actors are waiting in the wings to help fill out the Super Smash Bros. film universe?

The documentation (thanks, Eurogamer) on the acquisition says the deal is meant to help “strengthen the planning and producing structure of visual content” coming out of the company, and is expected to close on October 3 if everything checks out. The deal is to the tune of 34. million yen, which roughly equates to under a quarter of a million USD, which is wild. But that’s math. The studio formerly known as Dynamo Pictures has worked with Nintendo before on animated Pikmin shorts that can be found on the company’s YouTube channel. So right now, it’s unclear if Nintendo Pictures would be developing anything to the scale of the upcoming Super Mario movie or not.

More Nintendo:

But you know, for all my belief that no one who looks at beloved, multitalented video game icon Mario and doesn’t think he can carry a film on brand awareness alone and needs a big, Hollywood actor like Pratt to draw in audiences, perhaps some of that pressure came from Illumination and Nintendo would have liked to have had something that felt more true to the source material? So maybe getting a studio on its own to create animated projects with Nintendo IP will let it have more control over who voices what.

But also, that original announcement of Pratt’s casting came from Shigeru Miyamoto’s mouth, and the company has shut down other people using their creations for much smaller offenses. I’ll be interested to learn in like, ten years or so, just how that deal came together. But it happened on Nintendo’s watch, and it could happen again. Y’all ready for Tom Holland voicing Link? Benedict Cumberbatch voicing Kirby? Nothing is off the table.

Anyway, we likely won’t hear anything about what Nintendo Pictures is up to for a bit, as the acquisition won’t be complete until October, and Nintendo says the deal “a minor effect” on the company’s financials this year. So no big project is getting greenlit any time soon. But greenlight responsibly, Doug Bowser. I’m watching you.