After a few interesting documentaries on the topic of video games at the end of the 2000s, most interesting documentation of the history of the gaming was relegated to books and YouTube videos, with a few notable, poor attempts in other mediums. Recent years have seen another resurgence in movies and TV shows like the recent High Score documentary on Netflix that seek to look back and chronicle the history of gaming and interesting stories form within it, and doing a better job of it than those that came before it. Initially a successful Kickstarter project, Mother to Earth: The Untold Story of Earthbound is another, more niche attempt to join this trend of interesting gaming documentaries with a film chronicling the production and failed international releases of the Mother/Earthbound franchise.
With a PG warning for language and brief smoking images, Mother to Earth is an attempt to document the creation and initial attempts at bringing the Earthbound franchise to international markets. In particular, a highlighted topic of discussion for the documentary is centered around the original Mother game, now officially available on Wii U as Earthbound Beginnings, and how the game was initially promoted and translated before never being released. In turn, this film looks at that prototype’s unofficial release online in the late 1990s.
Interviews are tackled on both sides of the Atlantic, from those that translated the game in America to the game’s original composer in Japan. With a greater focus on the game’s cult status in the West but a discussion of the initial development, this looks to be an interesting film for those intrigued by the franchise.
Mother to Earth: The Untold Story of Earthbound is now available to rent or purchase via Vimeo, with certain physical rewards, including some initially made available for the Kickstarter and the film on Blu-Ray and DVD, being made available on the film’s official website.