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The Super Mario Bros. Movie Gives Donkey Kong A More Classic Look

Now that Nintendo has released a second trailer for the "Super Mario Bros." movie, fans have even more questions about the 2023 blockbuster. The second trailer revealed a wide variety of additional characters and cameos, and gave fans a first look at franchise favorites Princess Peach and Donkey Kong. There's no denying that the "Super Mario Bros." movie has a version of Princess Peach that has fans erupting in applause, praising her tough appearance and attitude. Unlike in some "Mario Bros." games, the movie version of Peach seems interested in taking action, not just waiting to be saved. Donkey Kong, on the other hand, had a few fans scratching their heads.

The "Super Mario Bros." movie took a different approach to DK, giving him a more classic look as opposed to updating his appearance like it did with Peach. There's a familiar voice to go along with the retro look, too – Seth Rogen. The actor had a few comments on voicing the most famous Kong, telling Nintendo fans that it had been a lifelong dream to be in a "Super Mario Bros." movie. Rogen explained that he'd loved game designer Shigeru Miyamoto's work for years, and that he had fond childhood memories of playing Nintendo games. He even named his dog Zelda, after one of Miyamoto's most famous characters. With Rogen's emphasis on early Nintendo titles, it makes sense that Nintendo would choose to highlight Donkey Kong's new design. Miyamoto himself explained why the team decided to go with a new – or old – look.

A new spin on an old look

After the new trailer premiered, Shigeru Miyamoto reflected, "It's been over 40 years since the release of the original Donkey Kong game, which was also my debut title." The creator said that the film was the first time Nintendo has changed Donkey Kong's 3D model since he was redesigned for the cover of "Donkey Kong Country" in 1994.

Miyamoto said that Nintendo wanted to give Donkey Kong a more humorous design that would remind fans of the original models for the character. Writers also made sure that DK's personality matched his more comedic design, too. The updated character model looks similar to the typical 3D model, but Donkey Kong's face is slightly adjusted, with his eyes being somewhat smaller and closer together.

Some Nintendo fans speculated that the design is based on Miyamoto's first character design for Donkey Kong. Others argued that the new design is "different without being unappealing," unlike the initial design for Sonic the Hedgehog in his debut film.