Toad laughs after discovering a mushroom isn't poisonous.

I cannot unsee his eye folds.
Screenshot: Illumination / Nintendo / Kotaku

Before The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s lack-of-cake teaser image and subsequent lack-of-an-Italian-accented Chris Pratt in the trailer took over the internet’s subconscious, rumors of there being musical numbers at some point in Nintendo and Illumination’s animated film perked fans’ ears. Now, those rumors have been lulled to bed as fact thanks to Keegan-Michael Key, the voice of Toad, who confirmed that we’re gonna get to hear the cute little mushroom man sing.

Whispers that characters in the Mario movie would break out into song first started percolating on the interwebs back in April when Jeff Grubb of Giant Bomb reported the rumor that there would be a “handful of songs” in the film. Now, Keegan-Michael Key has confirmed that Toad will have a musical moment during an interview with Variety.


“I got to improvise a song in ‘Super Mario Bros.,’ which was an absolute blast. That was just a stick of fun, that whole thing,” Key told Variety.

Fans have wasted no opportunity to critique Guardians of the Galaxy actor (and stomper of…KOOPAS!) Chris Pratt’s vocal performance as the titular plumber for sounding like just his normal voice with hints of a mailed-in Brooklyn accent. Key got ahead of any suspicion about his vocal chops as Mario’s shrill companion via a self-report of him being a “theater fucking actor nerd” as a kid to Variety. That’s probably no surprise to anyone who’s seen Schmigadoon!, and Key has previously shown off his impressive singing voice in an interview on Colbert, but singing as a grown human man and singing as a resident of the Mushroom Kingdom are two different things.

“There was something about the timbre. I wanted it higher and higher and higher. And that’s where we ended up, and I’m really happy with where we ended up,” Key said.

Mario leaps back in fear after Toad warns him about a poisonous Mushroom

Screenshot: Illumination / Nintendo / Kotaku

Read More: Mario Movie’s First Trailer Reveals Chris Pratt Sounds Like Just A Dude, No Accent

Key’s Variety interview coupled with Jack Black saying he “did a little bit of rocking” as Bowser during his panel at New York Comic Con also suggest Grubb’s reported rumors that we’d get to hear Bowser sing about his “younger years” may have some truth to them.

“I did bring some of my heavy metal roots. Bowser is kind of like a heavy metal rockstar, a big, strong, and scary rockstar,” Black said at NYCC. “I think you’ll be surprised to see that Bowser has a musical side. After the movie comes out, I might take it to Broadway.”

We already know Black as a purveyor of rocking and rolling that could give the devil a run for his money from his outstanding songs with Tenacious D. Hell, he can even captivate an audience with a child’s toy. So why not let the giant dinosaur turtle dude enthrall us with his impeccable singing voice as well? Let’s just hope that, come Super Mario Bros. release in theaters on April 7, 2023, our guy Mario is only delegated to tambourine duty or as Toad’s backup dancer.


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