- Mega Man, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon are non-Nintendo video game franchises that could rival the box office success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
- These franchises have recognizable names, appealing to a wide audience, and could be well-suited for animated films.
- Rumors of a Mega Man movie from Netflix and recent releases like Crash Bandicoot 4 make now an opportune time for these franchises to hit the big screen.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is one of the biggest box office successes of the year, and while Nintendo is hoping to recapture this magic with some of its other properties, here are 10 non-Nintendo video game franchises that could rival the box office success of Mario. The Super Mario Bros. Movie was a huge hit due to it being a recognizable name, appealing to a wide audience, and being created by Illumination Entertainment, one of the biggest animation companies currently in operation. Plenty of non-Nintendo video game franchises could fit this criteria, however, with these 10 potentially rivaling The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Although Nintendo had stayed away from feature films for several decades, they took a big swing when collaborating with Illumination on The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Luckily, this gamble paid off, with it being one of the biggest films of 2023. Nintendo has already started development on a movie based on The Legend of Zelda, and they are most likely looking at other franchises to give the big-screen treatment. Kirby, Animal Crossing, Splatoon, and more have all been thrown around by gaming fans, but these are all Nintendo properties. Some of gaming’s other giants could also throw their hats into the ring, such as these 10 franchises.
10 Mega Man
One of the most obvious picks for an animated video game movie is Capcom’s iconic Mega Man franchise. Mega Man was one of the first action platformer games, with the franchise spawning all kinds of sequels and spin-offs while also inspiring countless other games. The world of Mega Man has a surprisingly deep amount of lore, and its futuristic world and cartoonish aesthetic would make it much more suited to an animated film. Rumors of a Mega Man movie from Netflix have been circling for a few years now, and if it ever does happen, it could beat The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
9 Crash Bandicoot
Although Sony’s Playstation consoles have now become more synonymous with mature franchises like God of War, The Last of Us, and Uncharted, the original mascot of the console was none other than Crash Bandicoot. The Crash Bandicoot franchise was one of the first 3D platforming series, and the character has remained beloved and recognizable since his debut. Although the Crash Bandicoot series was on hiatus for a little while, the recent release of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time means that there is no better time for an animated Crash Bandicoot movie.
8 Spyro The Dragon
Crash Bandicoot isn’t Sony’s only lovable platforming mascot that would be perfectly suited for an animated movie, as they could also adapt the Spyro the Dragon franchise. While the adventures of the purple dragon haven’t been quite as big as the Crash Bandicoot franchise, its massive world and fun characters could easily lend themselves to an animated movie. After all, How to Train Your Dragon is one of the most popular animated franchises currently, and a movie about Spyro could potentially recapture some of this magic.
Ubisoft’s Rayman series has gone through a lot of changes throughout the years, but the titular limbless star of the platforming series could also carry his own movie. Rayman‘s recent crossover with the Super Mario franchise means that plenty of new eyes are on the character for the first time, giving him a popularity boost unlike anything that has been seen before. Interestingly, the incredibly popular Rabbids are also part of the Rayman franchise, meaning that they too could work for their own movie.
6 Shovel Knight
Yacht Club Games
When it comes to this list, Shovel Knight may be an indie game among some of the biggest companies in gaming, but the franchise could easily hold its own in movie theaters. The medieval setting and fantastic worldbuilding could lead to an incredibly fun animated adventure, and Shovel Knight is deserving of his own movie. Shovel Knight is arguably the most recognizable indie video game character of all time, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to get his own animated movie.
Bandai Namco’s Klonoa franchise is another popular video game series that is ripe for a video game adaptation. Although the franchise has been dormant for a while, the recent release of the Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series has brought the character back into the public eye. Interestingly, a Klonoa movie was actually in development in the late 2010s, but it was sadly canceled in 2019. Hopefully Klonoa will get another shot at the big screen in the future.
4 Sly Cooper
Sucker Punch Productions & Sanzaru Games
The Sly Cooper franchise would be another movie that could rival the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, as it is another incredibly popular series from Sony. The stealth games revolve around a group of thieving animals led by the titular raccoon, similar to the recent DreamWorks hit The Bad Guys. Like Klonoa, a Sly Cooper movie was also in development throughout the 2010s, although it was seemingly canceled in 2019 when a TV adaptation was announced.
Banjo-Kazooie may not be as popular as some of the other franchises on this list, but they are pretty likely, as they are one of the most popular family-friendly franchises currently owned by Microsoft. Originally developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64, Banjo-Kazooie was a massive hit upon its launch, with it spawning several successful sequels. Banjo-Kazooie could rival the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, as Banjo and Kazooie’s recent addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate proved that they are still immensely popular.
Up there with the legendary gaming icons like Mario, Sonic, and Pikachu, Bandai Nacmo’s Pac-Man sits. Pac-Man is one of the most popular video games of all time, and the titular yellow ghost eater’s popularity hasn’t waned since the original game’s release. Pac-Man has already been at the center of several successful TV shows as well as being heavily utilized in the advertising for the movie Pixels, so it seems obvious that the Pac-Man franchise would be a big hit as an animated movie.
1 Kingdom Hearts
If any video game could rival the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it would be Kingdom Hearts. Kingdom Hearts does star original characters, but at its core it is a massive crossover of nearly every Disney character conceivable, and a movie based on this concept would be box office gold. Kingdom Hearts would bring Sora and the rest of the gang to the big screen while also featuring legends like Mickey Mouse, Maleficient, Hercules, Elsa, Woody, and more of the most popular animated characters of all time, meaning that it is sure to do as good or better than The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
- Release Date:
- Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
- Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Anya Taylor-Joy, Keegan Michael Key, Seth Rogen
- 92 Minutes
- Animation, Adventure, Comedy
- Universal Pictures, Illumination, Nintendo
- Matthew Fogel
- Universal Pictures
- Super Mario Bros.
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