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10 Fun Facts about THE WIZARD

Movie The Wizard Fun Facts by Joey Paur

Yesterday we posted an action figure of a character named Lucas Barton from the classic 1989 video game movie The Wizard, the kid who busts out the Nintendo Power Glove. It reminded me of how much that I loved that movie when I was a kid, so I thought I'd put together a list of fun facts that you may or may not already know about the movie. Here you go! 

  • During the final Video Armageddon scene, the last game used was "Super Mario Bros. 3." It was meant to be revealed in the movie before it was released on the NES. The first time we got to see the game was when the film was first released in theaters.
  • Several NES games appear in the arcade scenes. In the late eighties and early nineties, Nintendo had an arcade cabinet called Play Choice Ten. These cabinets would allow the gamer to choose between a number of NES games and alternate freely between them  until time ran out. The gamer would have to insert another quarter after they ran out of time.
  • The translations of some of this film's foreign language titles include Joy Stick Heroes (Germany), Sweet Road (Japan), The Wizard of Videogames (Italy and Brazil), Videokid (France), The Little Wizard (Spain), Gameboy (Sweden), Game Over (Finland), and The Child Genius (Canada; French language).
  • The truck that Spanky Frank McRae borrows from "Old Pete" in the movie is the same truck driven by Sylvester Stallone's Lincoln Hawk character for most of the movie Over the Top (1987). You can even see "Hawk Hauling" on the door as Spanky climbs of the cab during the rescue of Jimmy from Runaway recovery expert Putnam.
  • The sounds made by Lucas' Power Glove as he punches its keys are the five classic tones from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • Participating theaters distributed issues of a pocket-sized version of "Nintendo Power" magazine called "Pocket Power." I remember I got one of those! 
  • They don't mention exactly what mental disorder Jimmy Woods suffers from in the film, but it's strongly implied that it's autism. The filmmakers decided not to mention autism by name in the film to avoid comparisons to the Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman film Rain Man, which was released one year earlier.
  • The woman in the film who says "Roger, it's them again" is the same woman who dies trying to get off the bus in Keanu Reeve's Speed.
  • Jenny Lewis, who plays Haley in the film, went on to become the lead singer of the indie rock band Rilo Kiley.
  • A young Tobey Maguire can be seen as one of Lucas' friends in the scene just after the three finalists for Video Armageddon are announced. He is on the far left with the mullet hair cut.

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