Early reports that The Super Mario Bros. Movie would be a musical seem truer by the day. After Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb reported a rumor that the film would have multiple musical numbers back in April, and Jack Black confirmed earlier this month that he would be rocking out as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key has revealed that Toad will sing, too.
When the comedian and actor was asked by Variety if Toad will sing in the movie, Key confirmed it. “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,” he said.
Key also spoke a little about how he’d found the voice of the little mushroom-headed guy. “I was working on the voice with my partner and trying to find the voice through the internal journey of the character. And then with the directors, we sprinkled some things in, we moved it around.”
Where they moved it was into a higher register, mostly. “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.
Nintendo and its animation studio partner Illumination (Minions) are still being relatively secretive about The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The first trailer only featured footage from three scenes — the third, featuring Luigi, very fleetingly — and leaves the look and sound of many characters a mystery. Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom have so rarely been portrayed on film and television in the last 30 years that there has been intense interest in — and not a little controversy about — the vocal performances, in particular Chris Pratt’s as Mario. (Pratt has yet to make any comment about singing.) Key’s Toad has already received the seal of approval from most fans, however.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie opens in theaters on April 7, 2023.