What You Need To Know About Lumalee, The Best Character In The Super Mario Bros. Movie

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" has finally hit theaters, and fans are getting a chance to hang with all their favorite Nintendo characters like Mario (Chris Pratt), Luigi (Charlie Day), Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen), Toad (Keegan-Michael Key), and Bowser (Jack Black). Mario, Peach, and Toad are off on an adventure to save Luigi from Bowser's clutches with the help of Donkey Kong and an army from his land. Bowser, on the other hand, is trying with all his might to get Peach to marry him. 

We journey through the Mushroom Kingdom, race a la "Mario Kart," and go through obstacle courses that make you feel like you're playing the game without having to constantly redo levels. (What? I love games. That doesn't mean I'm good at them.) However, one character stands out for me and perhaps for you as well. Even if you haven't seen the film yet, the final trailer for "The Super Mario Bros." features this character. His name is Lumalee, and he's the absolute best. Let's take a look at who this smiley little guy having an existential crisis is, and where he comes from in the game. 

'Ooh, fresh meat for the grinder'

In the film, Lumalee is voiced by Juliet Jelenic, daughter of co-director Michael Jelenic. He's got a tiny, baby voice spouting some very incongruous lines. Lumalee is one of Bowser's prisoners being kept in a gibbet along with the Penguin King (Khary Payton), Luigi, and many others over some lava. In the trailer, he's swinging happily in his gibbet, saying, "Ooh, fresh meat for the grinder." The Penguin King says he's cute but implies that something has gone wrong in his head. When Luigi wants to find a way to escape, Lumalee says, "There's no escape. The only hope is the sweet relief of death." Oof, that's the last thing you'd expect an adorable little star creature to say, but he continues it through the movie whenever he appears. It's weird, and it's wrong, and it's absolutely delightful. 

His conversational tone might be a surprise, but his appearance was spoiled in December 2022 (the original release date for the film) in a McDonald's Happy Meal toy that was released in parts of the world. Lumalee, as a character, first showed up in Super Mario Galaxy as a sort of store. If you fed him enough Star Bits, you could get a Life Mushroom or a 1-Up. In Super Mario Galaxy 2, the character has more options for you. He also says, "Lumalee! Lumabop! Welcome to the Luma Shop." 

'The only hope is the sweet relief of death'

In the games, the Lumas, which larger Lumalee is clearly related to, are little starry creatures who look toward Princess Rosalina (no relation to Princess Peach) as a mom. She lost her own mother and has been helping Lumas and taking care of them for years on her Comet Observatory. She reads them stories in her library, including the story of Mario and Luigi. 

In case you haven't played these games, Lumas and Lumalees are friendly little creatures, generally smiling and dancing. Not that the movie Lumalee isn't doing those things. He definitely is. He's just ... well, maybe he's been a prisoner for too long. Bowser couldn't dull his personality, but he did crack a bit. The lines he says are so bizarre, and with that baby voice, he's just the best character I've seen in animation for a long time. 

If we do get a sequel (and we probably will), I would assume he wouldn't be a main character. He's too odd for that, but Lumalee works perfectly, just the way he is; Adorably weird. 

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is currently in theaters