The Wizard (also known as Joy Stick Heroes in Germany, Sweet Road in Japan, The Video Game Genius in Brazil, Vidéokid inFrance, Game Over in Finland and Gameboy in Sweden) is a 1989 adventure comedy film starring Fred Savage, Luke Edwards, and Jenny Lewis. The film follows three children as they travel to California. The youngest of the three is emotionally withdrawn with a gift for playing video games. The Wizard is famous for its numerous references to video games and accessories for the Nintendo Entertainment System and has been called a feature-length commercial. The film was also well known for being North America's introduction to what would become one of the best-selling video games of all time, Super Mario Bros. 3. Over time, the film has gained somewhat of a cult following (Wikipedia).
This film was a personal favorite of mine but some call it a really long commercial for Nintendo and even for the Universal Studios theme park. While some of that may be true, its a decent kids movie that was the first (I believe) to showcase the video game movement on film which was taking over the world. Additionally the release of this movie was coincidentally when Nintendo reached a temporary peak in popularity as competitors like Sony, Genesis, and Microsoft stepped in to claim their piece of the pie. Nonetheless, Nintendo reclaimed some of their glory and video games are a multi-billion dollar industry that is not going away ever.
This movie has a special place in my heart as I fondly remember enjoying this movie and of course, I spent hours, maybe even days playing on Nintendo. This movie really captured the heart of the video game movement at that time which makes it an important movie in my opinion even if it performed poorly at the box office. I recommend reading the interview with the director, Todd Holland, at Nintendo Life which was published on September 8, 2009 titled, Feature: The Making of The Wizard.
I typically dont discuss films that are shot at on the studio backlots because there is obviously constant filming on the backlots and nothing unique about it as I try to focus on those movies filmed on location (an actual street, business, area, etc.) in the SFV. Since this film featured Universal Studios as a main location and Nintendo which were both childhood favorites, I couldnt resist blogging about this one.
The scenes where Jimmy Woods competes in the "Video Armageddon" tournament accompanied by step brother, Corey and friend, Haley takes place at Universal Studios primarily in the backlots is located at 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City.
|Before there was Citywalk.|
|The original King Kong before there was the 3D version today.|
|The first time Super Mario Bros. 3 was revealed which was really exciting although it had already existed in Japan for a year.|
Here is one bonus outside of the SFV which are the Cabazon Dinosaurs which were also used in the Tears For Fears video, "Everybody Wants To Rule The World," located at 50770 Seminole Drive Cabazon, Ca.
One other bonus, who remembers the revealing of the Power Glove? Exciting stuff!
And now the trailer.
You can view more SFV Filming Locations here.