Early Mario Movie Concept Art Shows Cut Characters That Could Be In The Sequel

Early Mario Movie Concept Art Shows Cut Characters That Could Be In The Sequel

Nintendo just announced it’s working on a second Super Mario Bros. Movie that will no doubt introduce more fan-favorite characters to the animated film series. Some early concept art for the first Chris Pratt-led film is kicking around the internet, and it looks like Nintendo and Illumination considered including even more Mario heroes at some point in development. One of these characters will likely show up in the sequel, so these could offer a glimpse at who else we might see when the movie premieres in 2026.

Jed Diffenderfer, an artist who worked on story development and art for The Super Mario Bros. Movie from 2018 to 2020, posted some never-before-seen concept art for the film on his personal website (thanks, Nintendo Everything). These are meant to convey possible ideas and moods for scenes that may end up in the movie. While some definitely made the final cut, such as a fight scene between big baddy Bowser’s army and the penguins, there are also scenes that we never got to see on-screen. One of my favorites is what looks like Bowser being rejected by Princess Peach in high school and then subsequently being mocked by the surrounding students. This would have been an effective villain origin story for Bowser’s desperate need to marry Peach, but the art also has some beloved Mario characters like Princess Daisy and Birdo, neither of whom show up in the final movie.

Image: Illumination / Jed Diffenderfer

Both characters appear again in the concept art of the movie’s final battle, which also includes Toadsworth and Yoshi battling alongside Peach and Mario. Yoshi’s debut is teased in the film’s post-credits scene, but the specific green dinosaur that has become Mario’s ally in the games doesn’t appear in the movie. There is a herd of these steeds in a passing scene, but we don’t meet Mario’s iconic companion.

Image: Illumination / Jed Diffenderfer

Concept art is often used as a basis for animators and writers to jump off of, so they don’t always end up representing the final product. But if Yoshi is going to show up in the next movie after being teased in the post-credits scene, there’s hope for Daisy and Toadsworth fans yet.

The second Mario movie is set to premiere on April 3, 2026.

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