Which animation studios should tackle other Nintendo franchises?
Imagine a scene. You go to see the movie “Mario” in 2023. You understand that this is a brilliant move that will surely bring Return of the King number of Oscar nominations and went down in history as one of the greatest people of all time. Credits are rolling. Once you’re out with your friends chuckling at Chris Pratt’s perfect performance, the post-credits stinger shows that the movie actually has more to offer.
Returning to his room in the Mushroom Kingdom after saving the day, Mario encounters a vague silhouette. The figure turns. This is Miyamoto.
“Have you heard about the Smash Bros. initiative?” he asked. “I’m putting together a team.”
This is how NCU is born…
However, instead of Illumination hoarding all the rights to every Nintendo franchise, the resulting cinematic universe is divided into many different animation studios, each applying their own unique visuals and atmosphere to different game series; the perfect combination of a Nintendo franchise and an animation studio.
Of course, this is just fiction. Nintendo’s currently scheduled movies begin and end with the aptly titled Illumination. Movie Super Mario Bros. and there is no possibility that other studios will want to join the common cinematic universe. But do you see different animation studios tackling some of Nintendo’s biggest franchises? This would be cool.
Below, we’ve put together an extensive list of Nintendo franchises we’ve paired with the animation studios we think are best suited for them – except for Mario, of course: he’s busy. We kept it exclusively in the realm of animated films (okay, could you please Indeed would like to see Kirby live??) and decided to limit the number of pairings to one franchise per studio – because, let’s face it, Ghibli would have a lot of work to do otherwise.
Animal Crossing – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Some of these pairings seemed more obvious than others, and bringing Animal Crossing and Disney together would certainly be an open goal.
Speaking animals correctly is tricky business, and handling it in a way that’s not entirely comical, but extremely helpful, is even harder. What studio could better take up the challenge than House of Mouse?
We are thinking more about their 3D animal oriented animation projects like Zootopia, Bolt, as well as Chicken Littlebut we’re not ruling out a hand-drawn version of Nintendo’s most rewarding franchise – how cozy Animal Crossing will be in style brother bear or Bambi?? However, we already saw an animated Animal Crossing in 2006. Gekijōban Dobutsu no Moriso we’re leaning towards the CG Nook.
Donkey Kong – Aardman
That’s the wrong barrel, boy!
With his bulging eyes and huge arms, Donkey Kong already has the hallmarks of a stunning Aardman production.
As the studio grew into more ambitious projects, its sets also grew in size. We know that Aardman can create a terrible jungle (just look at early man), and a character as chaotic as DK deserves a good deal of dry humor to boot.
This will certainly be a challenge (and will take many, many years to complete), but we think Aardman’s eye for movement would be the perfect accompaniment to Donkey Kong’s punches, rolls, and punches.
Fire Emblem – Toei Animation
For some Nintendo franchises, style should take precedence. While it would be interesting to see Fire Emblem’s turn-based combat play out in a big-screen setting, it’s hard to imagine the film will appear in any animation style other than anime.
Who better to take on a Fire Emblem movie than the studio behind Dragon Ball as well as Digimon series, Toei Animation. Not only does the studio have video game adaptation experience, but its work on Dragon Ball will stand it in good stead for all the slashing, explosive, and intricate hairdos the Fire Emblem movie should have had.
Sure, the 1995 Fire Emblem anime was tried, but since it only had two episodes, we don’t see any harm in starting over.
Baby Icarus – DreamWorks
From flying too close to the sun to relaxing on the moon, Kid Icarus seems to be the perfect fit for Dreamworks.
Perhaps best known for his work on shrek movies, we actually thought more about lines How to Train Your Dragon with this collection. Vintage setting? Air sequences? The main character with messy hair? It’s all right there!
Looking at the transition to a more cartoonish style of animation seen in the studio’s upcoming film Puss in Boots: The Last Wishwe imagine this style will stand on its own for the children oriented story of Icarus.
Contracts must be signed to prevent use Any Smash Mouth is in the project though.
Kirby – Lighting
Okay, we’ll be clean. We know Illumination has a lot of work to do at the moment, but once the Mario movie comes out, it’s sure to be looking for a sequel, and what could be better than Kirby?
You take a minion, lengthen it a little, paint it pink and boom, you have a model for Kirby. We’re talking about how Illumination has a history of little round guys, and Kirby is by far the smallest, roundest guy.
Of course, on top of that, Kirby is arguably one of Nintendo’s most kid-friendly franchises – an area of the animation market that Illumination is certainly taking over.
However – and yes, this should be taken as a warning – if this happens and someone shows up at the shows in costume (probably called “Kirballers” or something similar weak), we No be held accountable.
The Legend of Zelda – Studio Ghibli
The question with such a task will always be the same: Which Nintendo franchise will we give to Ghibli?
With its vast scenic landscapes, intricate character detail, and worlds that feel like they actually live in, Ghibli can take just about any Nintendo game and instantly turn it into an all-time classic. But seriously, how could we No choose Zelda?
To a large extent inspired Matt Vinceshort animationZelda X Ghibli movie trailer‘, Hyrule is the obvious place for a Ghibli adventure. We’ve embedded Vince’s video below and it’s well worth watching to get an idea of just how beautiful the film will be.
Without relying too heavily on our unabashed adoration for the Ghibli, the studio would probably be in a better position to pull off a Nintendo adaptation right away. He can create stunning landscapes, brandish a sword, and have such an attentive ear for music that we couldn’t think of a better studio to handle Kondo’s themes on the big screen? Too much!
Luigi’s Mansion – Laika
Yes, Luigi will be in the Mario movie. Heck, from what we’ve already seen, it seems clear that Illumination will be building on the unfortunate ghostliness of its gaming past; but what if Luigi’s Mansion were allowed to stand on its own two shaky legs?
There’s definitely enough in the franchise to justify a solo film adaptation – a creepy house, screamers, a mindless mumbling old man – you get the idea. You quit production coraline as well as Paranorman studio Laika into the mix and you get something drenched in even more nightmarish fuel.
But it really can work! Luigi’s Mansion is a kind of soft horror that has all the imagery of adult ghosts, but without any of the sharp edges. Laika can really turn this into something that will traumatize the next generation of kids for years to come by presenting it all in her signature stop-motion animation. because clay can’t be scaryCorrectly?