Super Mario Bros. Movie Is Changing Donkey Kong’s Timeline

The Super Mario Bros. Movie won’t come out until next week, but it looks like the Nintendo cinematic universe is already making changes to its franchises. A new promotional poster for Japan has rocked the somewhat established Donkey Kong bloodline.

Donkey Kong’s origins date back to the eponymous arcade game from 1981, where players must rescue Pauline as Mario, thus forever cementing the pair’s relationship in Nintendo. However, the Kong family tree continued to grow with some discrepancies. For years fans have believed Cranky Kong to be DK’s grandfather, but evidence dating back to Donkey Kong Country has always made it difficult to determine if that’s the case or if the old primate is his dad.


Over the years, Nintendo hasn’t addressed the matter directly, yet it seems like the Mario movie will settle it once and for all. A new piece of marketing material from Japan, shared on Resetera, clearly denotes Donkey Kong as “The successor and son of Cranky Kong” in the film’s Jungle Kingdom. That simple tidbit of information instantly sparked debate in the forum, with many pointing to how that would seemingly eliminate Donkey Kong Jr. from the DK line of descent.

Donkey Kong franchise Rare fan timeline

To be clear, Donkey Kong’s timeline is quite murky at best, thanks to the game series’ history developing under Nintendo and Rare concurrently. Furthermore, the mere mention of Super Mario Kart‘s Donkey Kong Jr. makes it more convoluted. Add in the so-called “Great Ape War,” a joke fan theory that gained so much traction it was eventually removed from the Donkey Kong wiki, and complications continue to escalate.

Summing up Nintendo’s loose canon for Donkey Kong, the company has never acknowledged Donkey Kong as Cranky’s grandson. By remaining silent, modern-day DK has essentially been retconned as the OG villain from the arcade titles. Meanwhile, Donkey Kong Jr. is a rarity nowadays, barely referenced in Super Smash Bros. easter eggs. Even in Rare’s family tree, Diddy Kong and DK’s relationship was never fully explained, with them being described as friends, uncle and nephew, or even cousins in different stages.

Whatever the case, Cranky and Donkey Kong are back in action in the Super Mario Bros. Movie. Judging from the powered-up Fire DK for the final trailer, Nintendo fans should expect more novelties as these gaming heroes move over to film.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is scheduled to be released on April 5, 2023.

Source: Resetera; Donkey Kong Wiki

Source: Gamerant

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