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Miyamoto: making games and movies is "completely different"

Illumination's Chris Meledandri "had read a lot of interviews" to get to know him better. Now they're making the Mario animated feature together.

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With the closure of the fiscal quarter for many companies taking place last week, a lot of announcements and forecasts flooded the news within the last few days. Among them was the official confirmation of the new animated Mario movie, which is being produced by the Minions creators and the plumber's 'father', Shigeru Miyamoto, in parallel to a collaboration between Universal and Nintendo to create several theme parks.

Now the official Corporate Management Policy Briefing related to this Q3 report has landed, and it includes interesting comments from Miyamoto himself and Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima on a number of different topics.

On how the movie project came to be, Miyamoto-san has an origins story to share:

"I've been considering an animated film for many years now", admits the Japanese guru. "There has long been talk that Nintendo could make a movie because 'making a game is like making a movie.' But they are completely different to me. Interactive experiences are completely different from non-interactive media, and to make a movie I want a film expert to do the work."

However, not until Miyamoto met Chris Meledandri and found how they shared visions, did Super Mario creator see a clear way for the project to progress:

"I have talked with all sorts of different movie directors and producers, and eventually I was introduced to Illumination via Universal Parks & Resorts, with whom we are developing theme park attractions. As a producer, Chris Meledandri (Illumination's CEO) is noted here for movies like Minions and Sing, but he is a veteran with a ton of experience, including the movie Ice Age and stints at companies like 20th Century Fox Animation. When I talked with Chris, he said he had read a lot of interviews with me and felt we had a similar approach to creation. Talking about our similarities, we clicked and decided maybe we should do some kind of collaboration. We started our conversation over two years ago, and finally reached the stage where we could make an announcement."

Apart from the creative side of things, the resources and calendar used when making movies also differ compared to video game production, so the veteran approach of Meledandri means another benefit according to Miyamoto:

"Chris is extremely cost-conscious and time-conscious in his quest to make successful movies. We decided to try making a movie together, and distributing the completed movie globally through Universal Pictures. We've talked together and share the feeling that if we can't make something interesting we'll just call it quits. But we've already met a number of times to hash out the screenplay, our talks together are progressing, and I hope to make an announcement once we've ironed out some things like the schedule".

There's indeed no hint as to when the Super Mario movie will release. How do you think it'll be? Leave a comment below.

Miyamoto: making games and movies is "completely different"


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