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First trailer for 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' has fans debating Chris Pratt's performance: 'Not the right choice'

It's-a Mario! Universal has unveiled the first trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie, an all-new animated feature based on the legendary Nintendo plumbers-turned-kingdom saviors. Premiering online via Nintendo Direct and at New York Comic Con, the nearly two-minute spot offered plenty of action and humor, and showed off the vocal chops of an A-list cast that includes Chris Pratt, Charlie Day and Jack Black. (Watch the teaser above.)

While plot details were kept to a minimum, the story appears to involve Koopa king, Bowser (Black), hunting for the game's signature Super Star in various worlds. His journey takes him to an ice land populated by adorable penguins, whose icy might can't beat the Koopa army's fiery mettle. When he finally lays his hands on the glowing treasure, Bowser lets loose a triumphant roar, "I finally found it! Now who's gonna stop me?"

Good thing that Mario is apparently arriving in the Mushroom Kingdom at that exact moment. The ever-enthusiastic plumber pops out of a green pipe, and looks wide-eyed at the brave new world around him. He also makes a few friend: Toad, voiced by Keegan-Michael Key, who guides him to the palace where Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) undoubtedly awaits.

Mario (voiced by Chris Pratt) in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. (Photo: Universal/Nintendo)
Mario (voiced by Chris Pratt) in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. (Photo: Universal/Nintendo)

So far, the biggest controversy surrounding the long-awaited Super Mario movie has been the choice to cast distinctly non-Italian Pratt, as the traditionally Italian hero. Day — who does have some Italian heritage — voices Mario's eternally underappreciated brother, Luigi. (It's worth noting that Nintendo's disastrous last attempt at a big-screen Super Mario Bros. adventure starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo, neither of whom are Italian.)

Perhaps not surprisingly, Pratt's nationality wasn't addressed by the filmmakers behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie. And for his part, the Guardians of the Galaxy star said in a pre-trailer video that becoming Mario was a "lifelong dream" that began when he was a kid playing the Super Mario arcade cabinet at his local laundromat. It's also worth noting that his first words as Mario — "What is this place?" — were greeted with generous applause in the NYCC auditorium.

But Black's Bowser received an even louder reaction, and the actor took a victory lap when he arrived on the NYCC stage for a post-trailer Q&A, where he teased a musical number for his alter ego. "I brought some of my heavy metal roots," said the Tenacious D rocker. "In a way Bowser is a big, strong and scary rock star. I did a little bit of rocking. I think you'll be surprised to see that Bowser has a musical side."

Bowser (voiced by Jack Black) in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. (Photo: Universal/Nintendo)
Bowser (voiced by Jack Black) in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. (Photo: Universal/Nintendo)

Reviews on Twitter were decidedly more mixed, with many noting that Pratt's Mario — who will next be voicing Garfield in an upcoming animated film about the Monday-hating comic strip cat — first and foremost sounds like... Chris Pratt.

The Super Mario Bros. premieres April 7 in theaters.