PAŠMAN, July 22 – The summer screening of the Hollywood blockbuster “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” on the Croatian island of Pašman had a special guest on Thursday night – the film’s director, Michael Jelenic.
The American director and screenwriter of Croatian descent was delighted to attend the screening organized by the Tourist Board of Pašman on the native island of his father, Albert.
Despite “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” being this year’s most successful Hollywood movie, grossing over $1.3 billion worldwide, Jelenic didn’t seek any special treatment during the screening. He sat on a wooden bench with other locals and tourists at the playground behind the Pašman Municipality building, which was transformed into a unique open-air cinema for the evening.
Before and after the screening, he happily took photos with young fans and was particularly proud to watch the film in the company of his family.
Though born and raised in San Pedro, a small Californian town known for its large Croatian community, Michael Jelenic has always been proud of his Croatian roots. It’s no wonder when his father, Albert, was born in Ždrelac on Pašman Island, while his mother, Miranda, was born in America but has origins from the neighboring island of Ugljan.
In addition to this connection, Ždrelac was even the setting for the popular animated series “Teen Titans Go!” which Jelenic co-created with his colleague Aaron Horvath for many years.
Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath also co-directed and wrote the screenplay for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” The animated movie, produced by Universal and the animation studio Illumination, is based on one of the most popular video games of all time – “Super Mario Bros.”
Since its first appearance in 1985, more than 396 million copies of the video game have been sold, earning an estimated $22 billion. In the film about the lovable plumber, the voices of Hollywood stars like Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, and others were featured.
The film has delighted fans all over the world, helping it become this year’s most successful Hollywood hit with a whopping $1.35 billion in earnings. Their excellent work on this project has also brought the duo a new challenge – their next task will be an animated film adaptation of the beloved TV series “The Flintstones.”
But even with all these successes and screenings worldwide, Michael admitted that the film evening on Pašman Island was one of the most cherished moments of his life.