Nintendo’s ties with Illumination Entertainment are getting tighter

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Nintendo’s plans for animated movies are being cemented further, with a key appointment to its board of directors.

Ahead of the Super Mario Movie, coming in 2022 (probably), Nintendo has been promising more animation. Now it’s also appointed Chris Meledandri, boss of CEO of Despicable Me creatorsIllumination, to be a member of its board.

The note is in the current Nintendo financial report. According to this, Meledandri will be an ‘Outside Director.’

What does this mean for us? It at least suggests that Illumination and Nintendo are getting along swimmingly. We’d heard on the grapevine that work on the Mario movie was proving tough but productive, which seems to be borne out by this new decision.

Nintendo’s Shuntaro Furukawa recently admitted that “Animation, in general, is something that we are looking into, and not just this franchise”, which can probably now be read quite safely as “more films with Illumination.”

This would seem to make a Zelda or Metroid movie seem less likely, as they’re not exactly in the Illumination house style, maybe leaving Animal Crossing and Pikmin as leading contenders. Having said that, it would be naive to think Illumination couldn’t adjust its  approach and aesthetic in the name of such an interesting collaboration.

And there’s always the potential of the collaboration flowing in the other direction. Nintendo itself is publishing a DC Superhero Girls game in a few weeks, so maybe Minion games just became a whole lot more likely.

The big outstanding question, for me at least, is if the Mario movie is getting a tie-in game. Any excuse for more of that mustachioed magic, I say.

Image: BigStock


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