Not to be confused with Pixl.
Theatrical poster of Pixels.
General information
Director(s) Chris Columbus
Writer(s) Tim Herlihy
Timothy Dowling
Starring Adam Sandler
Kevin James
Michelle Monaghan
Peter Dinklage
Josh Gad
Sean Bean
Brian Cox
Country of origin United States of America
Original language English
Rating PG-13
Producer(s) Adam Sandler
Chris Columbus
Mark Radcliffe
Allen Covert
Editor(s) Hughes Winborne
Production company Columbia Pictures
Happy Madison Productions
1492 Pictures
LStar Capital
Cinematography Amir Mokri
Runtime 106 minutes
Budget $88–129 million
Distributor(s) Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date July 24, 2015 (US)
Box office $244.9 million

Pixels is a science-fiction action comedy film released in 2015 and co-produced by Sony Pictures and Happy Madison Productions. Based on the 2010 short film of the same name, the film stars Adam Sandler as Sam Brenner, a down-on-his-luck former arcade champion and home theater installer who through a series of events is hired by the US military to train a group of old-school arcade players in fighting an alien race attacking Earth with technology inspired by 1980s arcade games, including Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.

The film was critically panned, with reviewers criticizing the performances, humor, product placement, execution, and dialogue, although the soundtrack, originality, and visuals were praised by some. The film was also a box office disappointment, grossing US$245 million[1] on a budget of between US$88 million and US$129 million.

Super Mario-related elements in PixelsEdit

Donkey Kong in the climax of the film

The film begins with Sam Brenner playing the original Donkey Kong game and being beaten by Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage), who uses a cheat code (despite the fact that the actual game does not feature cheat codes and doing so would be counter-productive for an arcade game). Donkey Kong haunts Brenner as "the one game he sucks at".

When the "arcaders" are called in to train United States Navy SEALs to play arcade games, Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad) wears a shirt depicting Small Mario's jumping sprite from Super Mario Bros..

Later in the film, an alien that has taken a form based on Mario's sprite from Donkey Kong can be seen running and jumping across a street, although none of the main characters are seen interacting with him.

The film's climax has the cast face the leader of the aliens, who has taken a form based on Donkey Kong and is on a re-creation of 25m. As Donkey Kong attacks the group, Brenner has a breakdown when he cannot figure out Donkey Kong's pattern and his insecurity over not being able to win the game gets to him. Matty (the son of the film's female lead, Violet van Patten) then reveals that Eddie cheated, giving Brenner the confidence he needs to get to the top and defeat Donkey Kong using a hammer.


The original script of the film did not feature Donkey Kong, but he was included after meeting with Nintendo and convincing the company Donkey Kong would be "treated with respect".[2]


Names in other languagesEdit

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ピクセル
Chinese (Simplified) 像素大战
Xiàngsù Dàzhàn
Pixel Wars
Chinese (Traditional) 世界大對戰 (Taiwan)
Shìjiè Dà Duìzhàn
屈機起格命 (Hong Kong)
Qū Jī Qǐ Gémìng
Wars of the World



  • Eddie Plant is a caricature of many well-known gamers,[3] including Billy Mitchell, the controversial and then-current world record-holder for the arcade version of Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.


  1. ^ [1] Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 4th, 2021
  2. ^ Angela Watercutter (July 22, 2015). DONKEY KONG ALMOST DIDN'T MAKE IT INTO PIXELS. Wired. Retrieved November 14, 2018
  3. ^ Tweet from SonyPIX Twitter. Retrieved July 27, 2019