The movie's got a fair amount of characters, and although it's no hassle keeping track of them, quite often it's hard to tell who that character actually is or what they're contributing to the story. Motivations are sometimes underplayed and attitudes one-dimensional, though in the film's defence, its finalised cut left out stuff that the children's book covered. Also, wacky interpretations!


Mario Mario (Bob Hoskins) is the older of the two plumbers; gruff, loud-mouthed, cynical, and more concerned about real-life problems like finances and paying the rent, which certainly doesn't come in handy when he stumbles into Dinohattan, though he's still handy with his tools and armed with quick wits. He's also Daniella's boyfriend, ends up briefly entwined with Big Bertha, and has a massive hate-on for Anthony Scappeli.


Mario looks reasonably close to his game self, though it's not until near the end that he actually acquires the identifiable overalls.

Luigi Mario (John Leguizamo) is the younger plumber; clumsy and incompetent in several fields, he's got a big heart and always means well, and is always willing to believe whatever ridiculous story he hears. This is pretty convenient when tiny mushrooms are shields, clockwork toys are bombs and fungus acts as a convenient swinging vine. He's totally got the hots for Daisy.


Leguizamo's got the physique for the part, but he apparently refused to grow a moustache for the role. The movie is ruined forever because of it.

Daisy (Samantha Mathis) at first appears to be a university student with a surprising interest in archaeology and dinosaur bones, and the fact she was abandoned as a child just appears to be unfortunate but inconsequential circumstances. Then it turns out she's a princess from another dimension and evolved from a reptile, and her dad is a hideous ball of fungus. If anything, it makes for a good conversation piece.


Daisy's name comes from Super Mario Land's princess, but doesn't bear much resemblance to her or Princess Toadstool.

Koopa (Dennis Hopper) invaded Dinohattan and made it into a big ol' crap pile, turning it from a prosperous land into a run-down city of deadbeats, muggers and dwindling resources. But he's got big plans, and they involve merging dimensions and conquering the mammals! He's despicable and weasly and a totally unpleasant dude with very corny acting. Then get gets turned into slime.


The filmmakers do try and make up for the terrible resemblance by making him turn into a t-rex at the end, but it's still a far cry from the Koopa King of the video games.

Lena (Fiona Shaw) is Koopa's assistant, and tries her damnedest to make the big cheese take notice of her undying love for him. Koopa, however, is too interested in changing the world to care for such minor trivialities, so she tries to take over the worlds herself. Then she's fossilized.

Iggy (Fisher Stevens) is one of Koopa's cousins; a bumbling fool with a delusion of grandeur and superiority, but he's not much better than his partner Spike. He's later evolved slightly to increase his intelligence, though this only seems to make him get less dialogue. He and Spike then assist our heroes and disappear from the remainder of the film, getting a video game deal along the way.


He's named after one of the Koopalings, but has no other resemblance.

Spike (Richard Edson) is the second of Koopa's cousins, and a total ignoramus, though he wouldn't know the meaning of the word. Koopa evolves him slightly to try and lessen his idiocy, and it actually succeeds pretty well, getting him to throw around mathematical answers with ease. Not that it helps in making him a better minion, though.


He's named after the spike-throwing green things from Super Mario Bros. 3, but that's as far as it goes.

On the streets of Dinohattan is Toad (Mojo Nixon), a jovial street musician who is not at all pleased with Koopa's reign and gives our heroes some details and backstory about his dimension. Then he gets turned into a Goomba. That isn't the end of him, though, as he retains his sentience and helps them out a few more times and is befriended by Daisy. Aw.


I don't think it's worth even making comparisons at this point. He does have a swirly pattern hair cut, which I guess is an attempt to mimic the dots.

Big Bertha (Francesca Roberts) is big. A stone-faced, silent powerhouse armed with a pair of Thwomp Stompers, allowing her to leap far and kick ass. After she steals the meteorite fragment from our heroes, Mario sets out to sweep her off her feet with a romantic dance number. That's apparently enough to make her warm up to them, and assists them by providing them with their own pair of jumping boots.


The original Big Bertha is a fish. That... speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Despite being a workaholic and eternal pessimist, Mario apparently has time to fancy the pants off Daniella (Dana Kaminski), a Brooklynite who's all about fashion and beauty tips and whatnot. She's kidnapped by Iggy and Spike but makes it back to Brooklyn safely after Mario rescues her. She's kind of unimportant, really.

Yoshi (Frank Welker) is a pet of the royal family in Dinohattan. That... that's it, really. He does save Daisy from certain death at one point, but he's otherwise pointless and serves only as a demonstration of the film's special effects budget. He is a pretty rad special effect, though!


The resemblance is uncanny. And by uncanny I mean the casting for Jurassic Park is next door.

Goombas are Koopa's main military force, hulking reptilian hominids with supposedly brutal strength but limited brain capacity, making them the perfect minions for Koopa. They seem pretty pleased with their boss is fried into sludge.


The movie Goombas are very reptilian, their heads ranging wildly in appearance from pronounced lizard-snouts; short and rounded pinheads; to thin and snake-like, almost like an eel replaced its neck. This implies they're based more off Koopas than Goombas, with the name change just to keep them separate from Dennis Hopper.

Anthony Scapelli (Gianni Russo) is the head of a construction company which also deals in other affairs, most notably plumbing, and he's a fantastic asshole. He steals Mario's customers and then charges the people ludicrous amounts for extended work, and tries to sabotage Daisy's excavation project. Then he gets de-evolved into a monkey.

The King (Lance Henriksen) is Daisy's father. He was turned into a pile of fungus by Koopa's de-evolution gun and then tried to smother the city, assisting the Mario brothers with support and items. He returns to his normal self once Koopa is defeated for entirely unexplained reasons.

Screen time? Sixteen seconds.