Mario - Bowser's Big Bang

The film's DVD cover when it was re-issued on VHS and DVD in 2002.

Super Mario Bros - Bowser's Big Bang is a 1997 German animated movie based on the Super Mario Bros franchise. Michael Schoemann directed the movie based on a script written by Ute Schoemann-Koll, and a sequel (entitled Mario in the West) was released in 1999. Both films were very successful at the German, Swiss and Austrian box office and have recieved very positive reception. Shigeru Miyamoto has stated both films to be his favorite adaptations of the Super Mario Bros franchise as they are very loyal to the games. The film was released in cinemas on November 20, 1997 in Germany and November 21 in Austria and Switzerland.


At Ludwig Von Koopa's suggestion, Bowser plans to construct a giant bomb that will wipe out the Mushroom Kingdom (and if Bowser is not careful, his kingdom as well). But Mario and Luigi are sent out to stop Bowser's plans and must rely on their abilities to survive several days away from the Mushroom Kingdom.


In 1994, Michael Schoemann visited Japan and approached Shigeru Miyamoto about producing a Super Mario Bros movie. Nintendo approved of this idea and agreed to fund the project. Afterwards, Michael returned to Germany and asked Ute to write him a script that would most likely draw the attention of the German public.

In November 1994, the movie was reported to have a budget of 4,050,575 DEM and funds had already been arranged.

At one point during production, an entire walk cycle of Mario running (in the form of cels) was stolen from one of the animators shortly after the scene was finished. Although the cels were retrieved, the thief has never been tracked down.


The movie was released in Germany on November 20, 1997 with a release in Austria and Switzerland the following day. On March 4, 1998, the movie was released in French cinemas by Metropolitan Filmexport as well as a release in Poland through Warner Bros on November 20, 1998, exactly one year after the film's release in Germany, in the UK through Warner Bros on March 5, 1999 and in Spain on July 9, 1999 through Lauren Films.

In Germany, the film grossed 38 million DEM by May of 1998 making it a box office hit. In France, the movie grossed 23 million FRF as of late 1998.

In the UK, the movie entered #5 behind Shakespeare in Love, You've Got Mail, The Thin Red Line & Disney/Pixar's A Bug's Life, grossing 700,000 GBP. In its second weekend of release, the movie went to #3 behind A Bug's Life and Patch Adams, grossing 720,989 GBP out of 486 venues. By its third week, the movie was still at #3, this time behind A Bug's Life and Waking Ned, with a gross of 569,987 GBP. In its fourth weekend, the movie rose to #2 behind The Rugrats Movie, grossing 1,758,999 GBP out of 485 venues before returning to #4 when Payback took #3 and Plunkett & Macleane took #2, grossing 690,998 GBP.

By April 9th, the movie returned to #2 once again behind The Rugrats Movie, grossing 1,260,889 GBP. On the 16th, the movie went back to #3 after The Faculty took #1, grossing 696,998 GBP. The next weekend, the movie dropped to #5, grossing 459,889 GBP before going down to #6, grossing 339,896 GBP, then down to #8, grossing 219,967 GBP, then down to #10 on May 14, grossing 169,699 GBP before finally closing on May 23 with a weekend total of 120,979 GBP. The movie grossed 7,709,290 GBP at the UK box office.