• The Super Mario Bros. Movie pays homage to the characters and moves from Super Smash Bros., including Mario’s Meteor Knuckle punch and dash attack slide kick.
  • Princess Peach’s glide in the movie is reminiscent of her ability to use a parasol and dress to stay in the air in Super Smash Bros.
  • Donkey Kong’s moves in the movie mirror those in Super Smash Bros., such as his hand slap, rolling dash attack, and upward throw with up tilt.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie was full of Nintendo Easter eggs, including several moves straight out of the Super Smash Bros. video games. Characters like Mario, Peach, Luigi, and Donkey Kong differ slightly from game to game, but Illumination did a great job paying homage to each incarnation in the 2023 film. The Super Mario Bros. Movie featured famous scenes from classic Mario games, but some references were a little less easy to spot. This includes the moves taken from the characters’ Super Smash Bros. movesets.

The first Super Smash Bros. game was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. It included the major Mario characters, as well as many others from various Nintendo titles. Since then, nearly every platform from the video game company has had a Smash title, with new characters added with each release. Still, characters like Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Donkey Kong have been ever present throughout the franchise, and though their movesets have evolved slightly, the familiar punches, kicks, and smash attacks have remained constant and iconic. This makes their presence in The Super Mario Bros. Movie all the more exciting.

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9 Mario’s Forward Aerial Meteor Knuckle


In Super Smash Bros., Mario’s forward aerial attack is called the Meteor Knuckle. If timed correctly, this overhand punch can result in an instant KO for an enemy of moderately low damage. Though simple, the move is flashy enough to create quite a visual impact. When Mario faced off against Donkey Kong in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, this was his first move. Unfortunately, without a power-up, this punch wasn’t a match for Donkey Kong, who managed to catch Mario before his punch landed—no KO this time around.

8 Mario’s Dash Attack Slide Kick


Mario’s dash attack in Super Smash Bros. is a sort of slide across the stage. It can work as a dodge as well as an attack, which means a decent start to disarming an opponent. Mario used this move a couple of times in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the first of which was during his training with Princess Peach. The sliding move, which the hero in overalls used to quickly make it across a series of dropping platforms, is also seen in Super Mario 64, so it’s not exclusive to Super Smash Bros. Still, it’s a character staple.

7 Peach’s Jump With Dress Parachute


Unfortunately, The Super Mario Bros. Movie didn’t see Princess Peach in much combat. Though her run through the training course was impressive, it was mostly Mario, Luigi, and Donkey Kong that had a chance to show off their Super Smash Bros. skill. Still, while effortlessly making it through her side-scroll style obstacles, Peach was seen gliding through the air in a way that is a lot like her Smash character. Though there are a few other fighters that can glide or fly, Peach can use a parasol and dress to stay in the air. Though the princess was missing her pink umbrella in the Illumination movie, the move is still pretty similar.

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6 Mario & Luigi’s Up Tilt Uppercut


Though Luigi wasn’t in much of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, his moment finally came at the end of the film when the bros grabbed Bowser’s Super Star. Invincible, they sped through Brooklyn, New York, effortlessly getting rid of the King of Koopas and his cronies. One of the moves seen was a jumping uppercut, which is part of the up tilt of both Mario and Luigi’s moveset in Super Smash Bros. Of course, with both their efforts and the help of the Super Star, this move in The Super Smash Bros. Movie was enough to send Bowser flying.

5 Mario & Luigi’s Down Aerial Drill Kick


The game was pretty much over for Bowser when Mario and Luigi reached his Super Star, but he still did his best to take the brothers down. In a last-ditch effort, he shot a stream of fire into the air, but between the Super Star and the Mario Bros’ downward aerial kick, it was no use. This is, again, a move that Mario and Luigi have in common in Super Smash Bros. Though the one seen in the Mario movie lacked the drill-like spin of the kick seen in the game, the moves were similar enough to trigger some major nostalgia.

4 Donkey Kong’s Down Special Hand Slap

Mario being held down by Donkey Kong in a stadium showdown in The Super Mario Bros. 

Of all the Mario characters in the Super Mario Bros. Movie, Donkey Kong displayed the most of his Smash Bros. moves. This is no surprise since the character’s gorilla-like strength allowed for one of the more fun movesets of the video game franchise. One popular and familiar DK move in Smash Bros is the down special “hand slap,” which sees the ape drum on the ground with open hands to cause a frustratingly disruptive earthquake. In The Super Mario Bros. Movie version, Mario found himself between Donkey Kong’s hands and the ground—never a great place to be.

3 Donkey Kong’s Rolling Dash Attack


Mario’s dash attack in Super Smash Bros. may be memorable, but it’s not quite as flashy as Donkey Kong’s. In the game, the character can curl himself up into a ball and roll across the stage rapidly, knocking anyone unlucky enough to get in the way off their feet. Donkey Kong performed an identical move in The Super Mario Bros. Movie during his fight with Mario. Thankfully, the plumber hero managed to clumsily get out of the way just in time for DK to smash into the wall, demonstrating just how much power this character has (both in the Mario movie and Super Smash Bros.).

2 Donkey Kong’s Dyna Clap


Another memorable Donkey Kong move in Super Smash Bros. is the Dyna Clap. Depending on the chosen direction, DK can swing his arms around and bring his hands together in a mighty clap. Anyone who gets in the way, whether above or to the side, will end up between those hands and can take substantial damage. This move is the ape’s forward smash, so it’s enough to KO if used correctly. Donkey Kong uses this move twice in The Super Mario. Bros Movie—once effectively, and once after Mario took on his adorable cat form (this time DK missed).

1 Donkey Kong’s Upward Throw With Up Tilt


Another reason Donkey Kong is a Smash Bros. favorite is his ability to grab and manipulate opponents. Though every playable character has a grap as a part of the moveset, DK’s extra long arms mean he can reach enemies when they are further away. He can also place them on his shoulder and carry them around or launch them in any given direction (with far more power than other characters). When combined with basic tilt or smash moves, this ability can prove lethal for an opponent. This is seen in The Super Mario Bros. Movie when Donkey Kong effortlessly tosses Mario in the air and sends him flying with an up-tilt uppercut—precisely how he would in Super Smash Bros.

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