30 years after Hollywood originally tried to bring Nintendo's world-famous plumbers to the big screen with the live-action "Super Mario Bros.," the franchise is getting another shot. This time, it's Universal and Illumination having a crack at it with the animated "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," which is bringing many more familiar characters from that world into the fold. One familiar face is that of Donkey Kong, who has a long history with Mario and Luigi. The character is voiced by Seth Rogen, of "Superbad" and "The Fabelmans" fame. And, if you've seen the trailers, you know that Donkey Kong just sounds like Seth Rogen now.
So, why is it that Rogen didn't do something a little different with the voice? Speaking with Comicbook.com, the actor explained that it was all part of his pitch to the filmmakers in agreeing to take part in the film. Here's what he had to say about it:
"I was very clear, I don't do voices. And if you want me to be in this movie, it's gonna sound like me and that's it [laughs]. And that was the beginning and end of that conversation. I was like, 'If you want Donkey Kong to sound a lot like me, I'm your guy.' But it did seem to work."
In fairness, plenty of actors have largely just sounded like themselves when voicing an animated character, with Ben Stiller in the "Madagascar" movies coming to mind. More than that though, it's not as though Donkey Kong has had much to say in the games over the years, so why can't he sound like Rogen?
Donkey Kong And Mario's Relationship
Speaking to that point, Rogen also explained that Donkey Kong is not a character who has been fleshed out incredibly well. Yes, he and Mario have a long history together dating back to the original arcade classic "Donkey Kong." But it's a simple game, though the simplicity of it actually helped Rogen inform his take on the character and his relationship to Mario in the film.
"I think in the film and in the game I think all you really know about Donkey Kong is that he throws barrels and he does not like Mario very much. That's honestly kind of what I ran with was this idea that he hates Mario, that they kind of have an adversarial relationship, that he's annoyed by him, that he doesn't want to be stuck with him, that he wishes he was on this adventure without him. To me that was, that was funny and that was kind of the root of the character and it was kind of born of the mythology of the games."
Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic directed the film, working from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel ("Minions: The Rise of Gru"). The cast also includes Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.
"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" hits theaters on April 5.
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