To be clear, this entry isn’t meant to disparage musicals. Musicals, as a genre, are regularly good-to-great. In fact, many of the most-revered films of all time are musicals, such as “The Sound of Music” or “West Side Story,” and animated musicals have just as celebrated a pedigree (with movies like “Beauty and the Beast” being nominated for a Best Picture Oscar).
However, having said that, making the new “Super Mario Bros.” film into an animated musical would just seem desperate and derivative at this point. Even worse would be if they decided to go the dreaded “jukebox musical” route (unless they have Mario sing “Breakpoint” by Megadeth, which was actually on the original “Mario” movie soundtrack).
That’s not to say that a “Super Mario Bros.” movie musical couldn’t be well-made — weirder things have happened (like, who thought a musical based on an unknown Roger Corman horror film would be successful?) The issue is that the film already has a lot to live up to, and as great as many animated musicals are, there are just as many (if not more) that fall flat, since studios more often than not use musical numbers in animated films not as a form of artistic expression but as an excuse to pad out their already-anemic runtime.