Nintendo’s surprise collaboration with Illumination to bring about a new animated Super Mario movie a few years ago signalled a major sea change for a games publisher that has, for the most part, largely been reticent to bring its gaming icons to other media after an explosion of tie-ins in the ‘90s. Now, that might be about to change.
The Verge reports that Nintendo has acquired CG production house Dynamo Pictures, with the intent of renaming it Nintendo Pictures. Dynamo has largely provided support work on various video games, including recently motion capture work on Atlus’ Catherine: Full Body and Persona 5—from the smash hit supernatural RPG franchise that Sega has recently confirmed it now wants to turn into shows and films beyond its myriad anime adaptations—and Kojima Production’s Death Stranding, as well as media projects such as Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance and several episodes of the LGBTQ sports anime Yuri!!! On Ice.
It’s a big step forward for Nintendo taking the potential of developing its own animated content in-house. The deal with Illumination for the Chris-Pratt-starring Mario film as well as the Nintendo-adjacent Pokemon live action movie, Detective Pikachu, in 2019 were already big steps forward for a company that has, despite eons of rumors about projects set in the worlds of Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, and other Nintendo hallmarks, largely stayed out of the adaptation game in the 21st century. That wasn’t always the case—as Nintendo exploded into gaming dominance in the ‘90s with the NES, SNES, and eventually Nintendo 64, so with it came a swathe of tie-in cartoons and movies, from the classic Super Mario and Zelda cartoons or Captain N: The Game Master, or of course the infamous live-action 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie.
Could we about to see a similar explosion on the horizon? We’ll just have to wait and see Nintendo’s plans for Nintendo Pictures.
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