Why Bowser Is In Disney’s New Movie, But Mario Isn’t

Why Bowser Is In Disney’s New Movie, But Mario Isn’t

Disney’s upcoming animated movie Wreck-It Ralph features cameos from all sorts of existing video game characters, from M. Bison to Altered Beast’s Neff. Yet there’s one character conspicuous by his absence.


The biggest video game character on the planet will not be in the flick, and before you go thinking that’s just a licensing thing, know that his arch-enemy Bowser will be there.

So why does the bad guy make the cut and not the good guy?

“The hard thing was, we were trying to work out the right way to use a character like Mario”, producer Clark Spencer told Total Film. “It had to be organic to the film, we didn’t want to just paste him in there. For Bowser, it made perfect sense for him to be a member of the Bad Anon group. For Mario himself we couldn’t think of the right way to incorporate him into the film, and so we didn’t do it.”

That’s not to say companies like Nintendo didn’t have a say in the film. They had a lot of say.

“The games companies were very specific – there’s a scene in which Bowser drinks a cup of coffee, and they were very specific about how Bowser would drink coffee”, Spencer says. He later adds “We had a scene where we wanted the rings to come out of Sonic, and SEGA said the only way that happens is if he falls over, and we didn’t have him fall over in the scene, so we actually went back and re-animated it.”

Wreck-It Ralph’s Skrillex cameo revealed [Total Film]


  • Why not have him as a mentor of Felix? I’m sure there will be one scene with Felix needing to learn his place in life the same as Frank probably will, easily could concoct a situation where Mario comes into the picture to offer insight, or better yet have luigi do it.
    Or heck Dr Mario it up. Just saying.

  • This is highly reminiscent of Barbie and Toystory. Barbie was meant to be in part 1, when licensing issues broke down, they replaced her part in the script with Little Bo Peep. Barbie ended up in part 2 when Mattel (I think it was Mattel?) saw how huge TS was. You can bet your ASS if WIR is huge, that Mario WILL be in part 2 when it eventually hits.

    • But it doesn’t sound like that was the issue at all, otherwise Bowser wouldn’t be in it. It makes more sense that there just wasn’t room for Mario in the script – especially as a cameo would likely run a big risk of being a scene-stealer.

      This actually improves my already high hopes for this film. They’re not just going for every cameo and joke they can cram in, they’re making intelligent decisions.

  • The hero in the game fixes stuff. Mario is a plumber…… How the hell can’t they see that connection?

    Even if it was a brief cameo having a chat to the fix it guy. Maybe there is…

    • That woulda been the logical connection… have the hero maybe hanging out in a trade school, Mario and luigi teaching classes to other ‘good guys’ or something.

    • Problem is that the scene can still screw up the pacing. Better they leave it out and not screw it up. Than ruin the movie with a forces inclusion that makes no sense

      • No more than Bowser, Zangief, Kano, Noob Saibot etc in a badguys meeting? It’s all in how someone implements a scene. I’m no scriptwriter, neither are you most likely (hell, neither are half the people churning out movies…) so again, like I said up above, you can bet your ass he’ll appear in part 2 if part 1 is a smash hit.

        • But that actually fits because ralph, the titular character, actually attends that meeting. And it wasn’t about not being able to get the licensing, they chose not to use him because he didn’t fit anywhere. Pretty sure the guys who wrote the movie know what they’re doing.

  • ‘we couldnt find a place for the most popular videogame character of all time in our videogame tribute film’ – official explanation.

    ‘we couldnt afford a cameo of the most popular videogame character of all time in our videogame tribute film’ – the obvious reality.

  • I get the feeling Mario is too popular. Think of it like what if you had a superman cameo. Well he would have to take over and beat the badguys right?

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