The names of the crew of the film (sans Nintendo staff) are made up. All resemblances to real people are purely coincidental.
- "You bet this one ain't gonna suck."
Kirby is a 2020 live-action animated action-adventure-comedy film directed by Michael Slate and released by Columbia Pictures, based on the popular Kirby franchise by Nintendo. It revolves around the titular pink hero and various other inhabitants from Dream Land ending up in the real world, where Kirby has to avoid capture by the American government while fighting off the invasion of the demon 0².
In a similar approach to the 2018 Sonic the Hedgehog film, the film is both live-action (the human characters and environment) and computer-animated (the Kirby characters); however, the movie tries to fix the Sonic film's mistakes by staying faithful to the source material and keeping the designs of the characters identical to the games.
Kirby was released in the United States on September 25, 2020. It received mixed reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $256.4 million, making it the first succesful film in years that was based on a video game, after Angry Birds.
In the world of Dream Land, the heroic pink puffball Kirby is fighting with Marx, who is threatening the world of Pop Star. Kirby initially gains the upper hand until Marx tears a rift in space and time, sucking Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Escargoon, Bandana Dee and various other inhabitants of Dream Land into the real world. Specifically, they end up in and around Yonkers, New York.
There, Kirby is found by Jenny (Zoë McLenn) and Arthur Smith (Aron Bendall), two eighth graders, who take him to their house. Jenny and Arthur try to keep Kirby's existence a secret to the public, but their friends eventually find out as well. After Kirby is recorded by a CCTV security camera, the American authorities find out about his existence and set out to capture him for experimenting, led by Bedford DeCoo.
Meanwhile, the demon 0² (pronounced as Zero-Two) takes advantage of Marx's portal to travel to the real world as well, along with his army, and plots to take over the world. Soon, Kirby and his newfound friends find out about 0²'s arrival and set out to stop him, but are constantly hindered by both King Dedede (voiced by Kenichi Ogata) and Meta Knight (voiced by Eric Newsome, just like in the Super Smash Bros. games), the former of whom wants to defeat 0² himself and get all the credit (sabotaging the heroes in the process) and the latter of whom wants to forcibly challenge Kirby to a battle and constantly hunts him down in order to do so.
Eventually, Dedede anonymously tips the authorities of Kirby's location, allowing them to capture him after which Kirby is deported to "Area 64". Jenny, Arthur and their friends are heartbroken by Dedede's actions and leave the scene crying, their new friend now gone. With Kirby out of the way, 0² besieges New York City, quickly defeating all of its police forces and scaring most of the citizens into obedience. Meta Knight tries to defeat him, but is overpowered. Even Escargoon is disgusted by Dedede's actions and abandons him.
Realizing what he has done, Dedede ventures to Area 64 and single-handedly breaks Kirby out. After informing him of the current situation at New York, the duo sets out to save the city and rescues Meta Knight and their human friends along the way, with the authorities still on their heels. Eventually, they arrive at the Times Square, where 0² has been forcing the New Yorkers into giving him all of their possessions and bowing to him when empty-handed, as his troops are raiding the rest of the city and filling it with 0² propaganda posters.
0² and Kirby, Meta Knight, Escargoon and Bandana Dee have a battle where 0² quickly emerges victorious. Just as he is about to finish Kirby, King Dedede launches a Gordo into 0²'s eye, stunning him. Dedede quickly tells the crowd that they aren't defenseless nor slaves and that "now is the time to show who they really are". Inspired by Dedede's speach, the booing crowd massively attacks 0², stunning him long enough for Kirby to finish him with the Star Rod which traps 0² into a void between dimensions.
The crowd cheers on the heroes, but then the authorities arrive at the spot. Just as they are about to apprehend Kirby once more, the President arrives, stating that he heard of an "extraterrestial threat" that must be secured. The President is surprised to see what this "threat" really is and quickly becomes attached to Kirby's cuteness. He yells at the authorities that he is not even remotely a threat to the nation and that they have wasted their time and resources on "a cute little fella who means nothing but good". The President instantly gives Kirby a federal pardon and fires a shocked DeCoo.
Kirby and co. return to Pop Star using the Star Rod, but not before promising Jenny and Arthur that they will visit them on a regular basis. The credits roll with two post-credits scenes mixed in. In the first, DeCoo has been demoted to being a janitor in the school Jenny and Arthur go to, much to his chagrin. In the second, Marx reveals himself to the public after being absent for the majority of the film, and in a fourth-wall breaking moment, directly reveals to the audience that "next time will be his time to shine", alluding to a sequel.
Kirby received mixed to average reviews by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 62% based on 116 reviews and an average rating of 6.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Kirby was always the odd one in the shed. It decided to go down an overused path of real world breaching and did a good job at it.". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 67 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.
- In the Kirby video games, the character of 0² is heavily associated with blood, shooting it as projectile and hemorrhaging when hit. This was heavily toned down in the film, as it was aimed at a younger audience.