We’re less than a month out from the theatrical release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and this week, the cast appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to promote the upcoming film in a unique and nostalgic way: by singing the Super Mario Bros. theme song. They were accompanied by host Fallon, plus musical group (and Fallon’s house band) The Roots.
If you, like me, were confused about how a group of people were meant to sing the Mario theme song — which is entirely without lyrics — just think of the video like an early 2010s YouTube a capella arrangement. Like any Pentatonix video worth its salt, the arrangement involves different actors performing different segments of the melody, complete with beat boxing.
Cute animations are interspersed throughout the segment. Charlie Day, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jimmy Fallon, among others, pop in and out of Warp Pipes, alongside pixelated Piranha Plants. Jack Black does some very compelling scatting. The cast, each shown in their own colorful rectangle backdrop, sings segments while batting a little Koopa shell back and forth. Even Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, and CEO of Illumination Chris Meledandri participate (though Miyamoto gets the final notes)!
It’s a twee reminder of an earlier era of YouTube, where things were simpler and a capella was king. Think of it like the Nick Pitera “One Man Disney Movie”-style medley YouTube video, except it’s the cast of The Super Mario Bros. Movie humming one of the most well-known video game themes of all time.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie premiers in theaters on April 5.