Nintendo Wants to Follow Disney and Marvel’s Movie Success
Even if you’ve never played a video game in your life, you know the name Nintendo. You probably know Mario and Luigi, the Italian plumbers who hop around on blocks and through tunnels to save Princess Peach. You might even know about Link, the lead character in Nintendo’s vastly popular “The Legend of Zelda” franchise.
There’s a reason why Nintendo (NTDOY) is a household name. And with its own massive cast of characters to pull from, it’s a wonder we haven’t seen much of a film universe version of the company’s famous properties (well, until the Chris Pratt-helmed “The Super Mario Movie” coming in 2023, that is).
In the age of IP collection, owning a well-known and beloved property is like sitting on a goldmine. Disney (DIS) has set the prime example for amassing a library of lucrative fictional characters and worlds. Not only does the Mouse have its own selection of memorable characters, but its added Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar to its lineup as well.
Warner Bros Discover (WBD) has its own empire with DC Comics, “Looney Tunes,” “Game of Thrones,” and more. Paramount (PARA) nurtures a newly-revitalized Star Trek universe, while Amazon (AMZN) has spent a wonderfully ludicrous amount of money to bring a new take on the “Lord of the Rings” franchise back to the screen.
Could Nintendo be next to join these companies as a film production behemoth?
The Birth of Nintendo Pictures
This week, Nintendo finalized the acquisition of Dynamo Pictures, a visual arts and animation studio in Japan. The fledgling studio has debuted an official Japanese website, but it’s keeping the nature of its productions pretty vague.
It’s unknown if these features will be animated, streaming, or live-action motion pictures. But according to a statement released on the production company’s new website, “Nintendo Pictures Co., Ltd. is a video production company wholly owned by Nintendo Co., Ltd. We aim to have consumers around the world learn about Nintendo characters through video, and to create unique videos that will remain in their memories forever.”
The studio will begin hiring efforts in November, but for now the company site’s recruitment info page is pretty tight-lipped about which positions its hunting for. Animators? CGI artists? Dynamo Pictures has also previously specialized in motion capture recording, and the site lists in its business description.
Nintendo: A Wealth of Potential
Multifaceted universes are all the rage right now, and truthfully have been for a long time before the Marvel Cinematic Universe dominated theaters. Its successes have set a new bar for media that builds on its own lore.
Nintendo is swimming in properties ideally suited for multiple media stories. “The Legend of Zelda” franchise has launched dozens of games since its debut in 1986. It’s an expansive world with rich character lore, and could easily sustain its own cinematic universe (and likely do a much better job than that one awkward animated adaption from 1989).
Nintendo has been expanding into other entertainment venues as well with its Super Nintendo World theme parks. The first U.S. location is due to open at Comcast’s CMCSA Universal Studios Hollywood location in early 2023, while Universal’s Epic Universe park at Universal Orlando Resort will get one in 2025.
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