The Grand Mission to Save Princess Peach is now in 4K
A small piece of Nintendo history is preserved through the efforts of dedicated fans. Super Mario Bros. – The grand mission to rescue Princess Peach is available now, in a 4K restoration of the original 1986 animation.
Originally released in 1986, the animation predates shows like Captain N or even the Super Mario Bros. live action movie. It was pretty easy to find a fan-dub or other version on YouTube. But this restoration takes significant steps towards becoming the go-to version of classic Mario.
The FemboyFilms download has both 4K UHD and 1080p restoration, which you can find on YouTube or here on the Internet Archive, as spotted by Polygon. The restoration is from a 16mm reduction print, likely used for local screenings when the animation was first released.
One fan, Carnivol, managed to acquire a reel, considered one of “if not THE only surviving print” in the world. They scanned it and set about restoring it. After years of working on the project, Carnivol has reached an agreement with FemboyFilms to restore the film based on the existing scan.
A clearer picture
Two team members spent months manually removing thousands of individual pieces of debris for restoration. The latter color-corrected the entire film, using manga and promotional material for the film as reference. Forest of Illusion also provided additional reference material, which helped decide what the colors should look like.
Then, using the original VHS as the source, the team created an all-new audio capture. Along with all this, there is also a new subtitle track. It sounds like a titanic undertaking, even for an entire team like this.
The result is weird, quirky Super Mario Bros. animation in high resolution. The real movie The Grand Mission to Save Princess Peach is quite strange and different from modern Mario. Yet without that effort, this piece of Mario history might just be lost to time. In the great legacy of video game adaptations, it’s good that this is so well preserved moving forward.