Games: Bottoms up for next year's Super Mario Bros movie with Chris Pratt

WITH the world going to hell in a handbag, keyboard jockeys are, naturally, venting their outrage on the most important issue facing mankind – the size of Mario's bum.

After years of behind-the-scenes chatter, Nintendo has finally shared the first trailer for its Chris Pratt-helmed Super Mario movie. Announced back in 2018, the animated collaboration between Nintendo and Universal Pictures' Illumination studio – purveyors of the Minions movies – includes the vocal talents of Jack Black, Seth Rogan and Anya Taylor-Joy as Bowser, Princess Peach and Donkey Kong.

With breath suitably bated since initial casting details broke, last week the shroud was finally lifted on the gaming icon's big screen outing. Showcasing Bowser's assault on a penguin castle, the trailer sees familiar faces such as Kamek, Toad and Luigi pop up in a visually lush take on the Mushroom Kingdom.

Our star, however, is relegated to mere cameo, spouting just two lines of dialogue. "What is this place?" implies that our titular plumber has somehow been sucked into its CGI world, and tongues are already wagging around a plot that may feature live-action Pratt disappearing down a toilet bowl at the outset.

Nintendo, however, is getting it in the rear-end over the design of Mario's derrière – with our hero sporting buttocks so lacking in heft they'd fail to butt-stomp even the slightest of turtles.

While not quite the level of outrage that forced the makers of the first Sonic movie back to the drawing board, Mario certainly doesn't boast the arse you would expect from an overweight tradesman.

At least it all looks better than the last time Mario sullied the silver screen, where in 1993 poor Bob Hoskins's character - literally called 'Mario Mario' – takes part in a rap scene featuring such lyrics as "Koopa, the party poopah".

Since then, of course, technology has moved on, and videogame Mario finally found his voice in 1996 thanks to the legendary Charles Martinet, who gave the character his helium-falsetto Italian accent, and has been doing so ever since.

Which is why the trailer moment everyone was waiting for was when Mario opened his gob for the debut of Chris Pratt's voice. Ever since the Jurassic World star was cast as pop-culture's favourite Italian-American plumber, fans have feared that Pratt would go "full Giuseppe", ruining the franchise and offending a chunk of the population.

Indeed, Pratt promised a voice "unlike anything" fans have heard before - but in the trailer our moustachioed hero sounds like, well, Chris Pratt. While it's understandable that Nintendo would demand some star power for its lead, for gamers, Charles Martinet is Mario.

Indeed, voice-acting legend Tara Strong (whose pipes have brought animated life to everyone from Harley Quinn to Batgirl) took to Twitter to state that "It should be Charles".

Assuming our theatres haven't vanished beneath nuclear mushroom clouds by next spring, the Super Mario Bros movie will land in fleapits on April 7, when fans can properly appraise both Mario's rump and vocal cords.