If you don't know who Illumination is, they're the makers of the Despicable Me and Minions movies, among others. Yeah yeah I know, everyone wanted Nintendo to team up with Pixar, but we get what we get.
The movie will be co-produced by Chris Meledandri of Illumination and Shigeru Miyamoto of why are you even reading this if you don't know who Miyamoto is?! Looks like Miyamoto's Pikmin shorts were a step to something bigger after all!
No other details were given. No word on if John Leguizamo is involved.
Not a scene from the movie but the best we have until we get some screenshots!
Miyamoto being a producer is more important to me than the studio handling the animation. Illumination should be fine. Gotta wonder how they'll handle voices and such. Will Mario have extensive dialogue? Either way, I hope Charles Martinet gets to do his thing here.
Illumination is probably my second choice past Disney, if they're doing a 3D animated film. The quality of some of their movies from a story-angle is so-so, but some have been quite good (Despicable Me in particular, but Sing [in spite of a weird premise] was well done overall). The important thing here is that Illumination is an AMAZING animation company. The quality of their animation is superb through and through. It rivals Disney in many places, just in terms of movement and flow. They know what they're doing, and since Nintendo will be so heavily involved with the story/characters, that means this project is in some pretty great hands.
Honestly since Nintendo will have such a say in the writing, I might even be happier Illumination is doing this rather than Disney. Disney would want more control, I'd bet. They'd play it safer. While they would do a great job, a lot of recent Disney stuff has been kind of dull and predictable to me (Frozen, Cars 3, Big Hero 6) so I think giving a currently more creative company a chance is a great thing. And I certainly hold Illumination in higher esteem as a film maker than Dreamworks or Sony or Blue Sky (all of whom have skilled artists, but as companies they make some bad film-making descision).
That makes their work even more impressive. That they can pull off results better or equal to the bigger budget films is astounding. Animation of the quality they do is usually unbelievably time consuming, and so, expensive.
I'm cautiously optimistic that the movie will turn out fine. I can't figure Nintendo will let Illumination have free reign and will have a solid idea of what they want a Mario movie to be now unlike that....thing from 1994. Also the people at Illumination being probably more a part of the 80s/90s/00s gaming scene probably are excited to make a Mario movie and I'd hope would strive to do Mario justice.
And I can't think that the movie will feature minions outside of a background gag or a blink-and-you-missed-it cameo.
They probably chose Illumination since they are owned by Universal, who they are already working with on the theme park stuff. I think they are a just fine for the job.
I don't think the movie needs to be a masterpiece to accomplish what Nintendo wants to accomplish... keeping younger generations excited about Nintendo properties and buying video games, toys, and theme park tickets.
@Abdooooo I'd agree if he'd go "wahooo", "hahaaaaa" and "mamma mia" all the time, but he's a voice actor after all and should be totally capable of dialing the performance down. It's hard to say exactly just how nuanced he can make Mario since the voice clips he's had to deliver for the games have been so limited and specific, but I wouldn't be very worried.
To be honest, I don't really understand the "Can Mario really talk for a whole movie?" question. I've listened to 15-minute in-character Mario interviews with no problem; I find him pretty funny for the most part. And it's not like his voice is any higher than the world's most beloved cartoon mouse.
I think the much bigger question is "What should Bowser's voice sound like?" IMO, Bowser hasn't had a fitting talking voice since Harvey Atkin's great work on the early 90s cartoons.
EDIT: JKR, you're surprisingly more forgiving of Illumination than I ever expected! They...wouldn't be my first choice.
They wouldn't be anybody's first choice, right? It would shock me if anyone but the biggest most die-hard Illumination fan put them on their top spot. But they would definitely be my second choice. Because the other big studios are just not as great as they are overall, at least from an animation standpoint.
Unless Nintendo went with LAIKA, and then I mean, yeah, that would be my 1st pick over even Disney-Pixar. But that was probably never going to happen, so I'm quite content with the animation masters at Illumination!
(As far as the Mario talking thing goes, we can both be honest and keep in mind you're kind of a Charles M. fanboy, so to be fair you're as willing to listen to him talk for hours as I am to rewatch Minions just for the squash and stretch! Most people aren't quite to that level, which is understandable.)