The Super Mario Bros. Movie has been a long time coming.
After 1993’s abysmal live-action Super Mario Bros., it almost seemed as though Nintendo would never again allow its mascot to hit the big screen. It wasn’t until January 2018 that Nintendo confirmed it would indeed try again with a Mario movie, but this time, it’d be through an animated movie produced by Despicable Me studio Illumination.
Fast forward over five years and The Super Mario Bros. Movie is finally here. While critical reception has been pretty mixed, fan response has been overwhelmingly positive. Regardless of how you feel about the movie’s quality, though, it’s certainly noteworthy that gaming’s biggest icon finally has his own authentic movie, especially since video game adaptations have historically not been stellar.
With that in mind, we wanted to celebrate some of the other decent movie and TV adaptations of games that have come out. So, here’s where you can stream a bunch of them in Canada.
French animation studio Fortiche (Rabbids Invasion) delivered one of the most acclaimed gaming adaptations of all time in this steampunk action-adventure series based on Riot’s massively popular League of Legends.
The series, which follows two sisters on rival sides of a magic-fuelled war, won immense praise for being a high-quality production that appeals to both LoL fans and newcomers alike.
Stream Arcane on Netflix.
Konami may not have done much with its acclaimed gothic horror series in recent years, but Powerhouse Animation Studios’ Castlevania series sure is excellent.
It follows Trevor Belmont, Alucard and Sypha Belnades as they face off against Dracula and his minions.
Stream Castlevania on Netflix.
The Cuphead Show!
One of the most popular indie games in recent years was Cuphead, a gorgeous run-and-gun platformer from Canada’s own Studio MDHR, so an animated series based on that certainly made a lot of sense.
It also helps that the series, which follows the misadventures of brothers Cuphead and Mugman, faithfully captures the charm and style of the game.
Stream The Cuphead Show! on Netflix.
While Cyberpunk 2077 had a rough launch, Studio Trigger (Kill la Kill) gave us an anime prequel that, like Arcane, works brilliantly on its own, telling a compelling story about a reckless young mercenary in Night City.
So well-received was the show, in fact, that it actually helped the beleaguered game find its biggest audience since launch.
Stream Cyberpunk: Edgerunners on Netflix.
Dragon Age: Absolution
BioWare Edmonton’s acclaimed role-playing games got their own well-received adult animated series last year.
Produced by Red Dog Culture House, the series follows a group of misfits who must band together to steal an artifact from a sinister mage.
Stream Dragon Age: Absolution on Netflix.
The Last of Us
While many of the best gaming adaptations are animated, HBO’s Alberta-shot The Last of Us proved that teaming up one of the key creators (original writer and co-director Neil Druckmann) with an experienced screenwriter (Chernobyl‘s Craig Mazin) makes all the difference.
In doing so, it also showed that Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey)’s story of survival and connection in a post-apocalyptic world was universal, helping to demonstrate to non-gamers why The Last of Us is one of the most celebrated games of all time.
Stream The Last of Us on Crave.
Mortal Kombat (1995)
Paul W. S. Anderson might have a bad rap among gamers for his Resident Evil movies, but Mortal Kombat fans actually do like his eponymous 1995 adaptation of the iconic visceral fighting game series.
Taking cues from the original 1992 game, the film follows a group of heroes who take part in a tournament to protect Earth from malevolent forces.
Stream Mortal Kombat on Crave. It’s worth noting that the 2021 reboot — which does have its own defenders — is on Netflix.
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
Live-action, photorealistic Pokémon initially sounded offputting, but Pokémon: Detective Pikachu ended up winning people over through its charm, led by the ever-likable Vancouverite, Ryan Reynolds.
A sequel is also in development, so hopefully, we’ll see more of Detective Pikachu, Trainer Tim and friends before long.
Unfortunately, Detective Pikachu isn’t on any subscription streaming service at the moment, so you’ll have to rent or buy the movie on platforms like iTunes and Google Play, starting at $4.99.
This adaptation of Konami’s beloved horror franchise was initially panned upon release, but retrospective reviews have generally been much more positive.
The spooky Hamilton, Ontario-shot movie follows a woman as she looks for her adopted daughter in a mysterious town occupied by a cult.
Stream Silent Hill on Amazon Prime Video.
Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2
What was once the internet’s punching bag due to a hideous Sonic design ended up being a surprisingly fun and even touching movie about a lonely hedgehog (Ben Schwartz) finding a human family and saving the world from the evil Dr. Robotnik (Canada’s own Jim Carrey).
The sequel meaningfully expanded on that with the addition of two fan-favourite characters, Knuckles (Idris Elba) and Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessy reprising her role from Sega’s games), paving the way for a third movie and Knuckles spin-off.
Stream both Sonic movies on Paramount+.
This isn’t actually a game adaptation, but it’s still worth mentioning since it’s based on the true story of Henk Rogers, a developer and entrepreneur who teamed up with Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov to bring his block-stacking game to the masses.
The movie stars Taron Egerton (Rocketman) as Rogers and has garnered buzz for its surprising thriller vibe.
Stream Tetris on Apple TV+.
What are your favourite game adaptations? Let us know in the comments.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering — Super Mario Bros. isn’t actually streaming anywhere, and you can’t even rent or buy it on iTunes or Google Play. Sorry, Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.
Image credit: Paramount