$20K

The Super Mario Bros. live-action film rightfully lives in cult infamy these days. It’s so strange, so awful, so bonkers that it often overshadows a much more faithful adaptation of everyone’s favorite Italian caricatures from a few years’ prior. 1986’s animated movie, The Great Rescue of Princess Peach!, was released in Japan a full seven years before Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo hopped into their dungarees, and centered on the Mario Bros.’, well, great rescue of Princess Peach.

Unfortunately, unlike its live-action sibling, the incredibly ‘80’s cartoon has long been only available online in bootleg, shoddy quality VHS-ripped upload, but after a jaw-dropping $20,000, those behind the project are extremely close to rectifying that.

To celebrate the film’s 35th anniversary, the dedicated restorer, Stian Schultz, uploaded an older, work-in-progress version of the movie onto YouTube for everyone’s enjoyment. According to the video’s description, the available upload “is over a year and a half old test/archival encode” because of various rights and Adobe Editor issues.

Close, but not quite done — As Hypebeast recounts, Schultz, who runs the Carnivol YouTube channel, has been working on this pet project since the early 2000s (no, seriously), and is finally nearing the end of the journey after thousands of dollars and no doubt countless hours working to transfer VHS and 16mm film to color-corrected digital formatting.

Schultz also notes he’s very close, but not quite, at the end of the road, and still could use help with color correction, stabilization, noise/dust removal, minor touch-ups, and audio work alongside video restorationists FemboyFilms’ recent volunteering. Schultz also noted on Twitter that he intends to upload both the original and restored formats of The Great Rescue of Princess Peach! onto the Internet Archive, one of the few objectively good spaces on this World Wide Web.

Hot Mario Summer — The latest news about the Mario Bros.’ animated film restoration comes on the heels of a very Hot Mario Summer (trademark: Input). Recently, dedicated fans were able to port Super Mario World to widescreen format, while multiple Mario-related auctions have been shattering world records left and right.

Then there are the more oddball endeavors, like upscaling Super Mario 64 with ray-tracing technology and a $2,050 Mario-themed luxury watch courtesy of Tag Heuer. Suffice to say, it’s a good time to be a diminutive, vaguely problematic plumber. Or, at least, it’s a good time to be a fan of them.