A long time ago, in one of the first Entire recall Features I’ve ever written for this site I covered The great mission to save Princess Peach!, the first – and in many ways still the best – Nintendo movie ever made.
I wrote the following at the time:
The plot of the film is pretty normal. Two plumbers (who work in a grocery store for some reason) are drawn into a video game world starring almost every villain from the franchise imaginable and must rescue a princess (and kick Bowser’s ass) while they’re in there.
Spoiler: You save the day. Fun Fact: The film also suggests perhaps Mario’s biggest boss encounter, as Mario 64’s “Grab Bowser by the Tail” move actually makes its debut in Great Mission. It had decent animation, nice storyline that covers all the basics (in terms of bringing in all of the characters and locations in the game), and some pub-trivia-like voice actors, including Mario as the narrator of Sega Rally 2 and Luigi the incredible Telemachus is from Odysseus 31.
Interestingly, however, I ended this article with:
Although it may have been released at the height of Mario-Mania, with renowned voice actors, and did pretty well during its cinema run in Japan (it even had its own extensive line of cash-in products), the film also never existed until 2012 .
It was released once on VHS in Japan, and that was it. No international publication. No DVD release. Nothing. If you don’t want to pay for a Japanese videotape, the only way to see it is on YouTube.
And hey, you know, Carnivol did just that. They worked on the project for years, starting with a few of those VHS copies until they finally got their hands on a 16mm theatrical version of the film and have since worked on both restoring the original role and upscaling the film to 4K .
This isn’t a small side project either; Carnivol estimates that the efforts to source, scan, and restore this film are in the order of magnitude of the total $ 20,000
Below are the current (and unfinished) results of this project, a considerable better version of the film than the ones available so far:
Compare that to the version I shared in 2012 which … well, it looks like shit in comparison:
As beautiful as Carnivol’s work has gotten, it is still incomplete, and in order to bring the whole project into a more complete state, they are in the process of turning the raw files and work over to someone who can hopefully finish the work.
The whole movie was uploaded in the first video above, but if you want to see the whole thing and understand what’s going on, you need to know that it only has automatic subtitles, and in this case those … not work great.