Nintendo plans to acquire CG animation studio, Dynamo Pictures, with the intention to adapt more of its gaming media. Dynamo Pictures has helped create a variety of high-quality productions, including Studio Ghibli’s Earwig and the Witch, NieR Replicant, and more. It also has dealings in motion capture work and was involved in the production of Ghost in the Shell, Death Stranding, and Resident Evil franchises. Nintendo’s acquisition of the studio is expected to go through later this year.
No doubt after the success of Nintendo IP adaptations like Detective Pikachu, and the hopes for success regarding the upcoming Chris Pratt Super Mario film, the game developer is eager to make more film and television media. It’s a smart business choice, too, since a lot of other gaming companies are adapting their gaming titles to other media as well, with PlayStation’s The Last of Us TV show releasing on HBO in the near future.
The classic gaming company Nintendo got its start in Japan in 1889 as a game card manufacturer. It would slide into the video game genre in the late 70s with its first console release called the Color TV Game. It wouldn’t gain worldwide recognition, however, until its release of Donkey Kong in 1981. After finding its niche as a mostly cute and quirky videogame company, it would go on to generate several franchises including Animal Crossing and Mario. It has also gone on to gain a massive loyal fanbase on par with Disney.
Many are familiar with Nintendo’s newest film release starring Pratt as the voice of Mario, but Nintendo’s venture into movie and television media isn’t new. One of its most notorious adaptations is the 1993 film Super Mario Bros starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi. Though, besides some hints to the game and character names, most fans wouldn’t be able to tell it was even a Mario film. Needless to say, it received overall negative reviews and wasn’t received well by those familiar with the franchise. The best-known gaming franchise handed over to film and television is obviously Pokémon. With 23 main story films and a successful television show that every 90s kid is familiar with, it has been the best adapted of Nintendo‘s IP selection.
With the 1993 setback in mind, it’s exciting that Nintendo wants to venture into the world of film and television again. Fans can only hope that they learn from their previous hiccups and stick to what worked for them in the past. With Dynamo Pictures entering the chat, maybe they have! This will give Nintendo fans something to look forward to as more details are announced.