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DreamWorks 'Bad Guys' Trailer Is Criminally Great

Remember when DreamWorks Animation were giving the assembled might of the Disney Company a run for their money? After initially sticking closely to the Disney template, the unexpected blockbuster success of Shrek changed everything. Suddenly, Disney's latest films were starting to seem old-fashioned and outdated, while the edgier, snarkier DWA films seemed to be more successful. These days Disney is more popular than ever and DreamWorks feels post-Universal buy-out like a shadow of their former selves- in recent times they seem more successful for their TV arm than their movies.

It feels like a long time since a DreamWorks feature was generating a lot of excitement (The How To Train Your Dragon series aside, which feels like a holdout from an earlier era) and honestly, none of their upcoming features sounded like anything much to change that either. That was, until the trailer for The Bad Guys arrived.

The Bad Guys is based on the hit kids' book series from Aaron Blabey. The story follows a gang of criminal animals led by the debonair Mr Wolf, that includes Mr Snake, Mr Shark, Ms Tarantula, and Mr Piranah who decide to try and go straight after the law finally catches up with them.

Frankly, this looks like the best non-sequel DWA have put out for an absolute age It looks a hoot, with a mix of a caper-movie (is that a Lupin III reference we spy?) and a fish-out-of-water comedy with the Bad Guys trying to change their ways. And the animation is looking pretty stellar, sporting a unique look with heavy outlines around all the characters. It doesn't look anything much like them, but it feels like films such as Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse and The Mitchells Vs The Machines are inspiring other studios to be more experimental and original in their animation styles. The film is helmed by Pierre Perifel, alumni of the prestigious French animation school Gobelins, animator on the Kung Fu Panda series and director of the short Bilby, making his debut as a feature director.

The Bad Guys features Sam Rockwell as the voice of Mr Wolf,  Marc Maron as Mr Snake, Awkwafina as Ms Tarantula, Craig Robinson as Mr Shark and Anthony Ramos as Mr Piranah. The cast also features Zazie Beetz, Lilly Singh, Alex Borstein and hilarious British comedian Richard Ayoade as the Gang's mentor Professor Marmalade.

The Bad Guys is due to hit the big screen in April 2022.

In the new action comedy from DreamWorks Animation, based on the New York Times best-selling book series, a crackerjack criminal crew of animal outlaws are about to attempt their most challenging con yet—becoming model citizens. Never have there been five friends as infamous as The Bad Guys—dashing pickpocket Mr. Wolf (Academy Award® winner Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), seen-it-all safecracker Mr. Snake (Marc Maron, GLOW), chill master-of-disguise Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine franchise), short-fused “muscle” Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos, In the Heights) and sharp-tongued expert hacker Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians), aka “Webs 

But when, after years of countless heists and being the world’s most-wanted villains, the gang is finally caught, Mr. Wolf brokers a deal (that he has no intention of keeping) to save them all from prison: The Bad Guys will go good. Under the tutelage of their mentor Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade, Paddington 2), an arrogant (but adorable!) guinea pig, The Bad Guys set out to fool the world that they’ve been transformed. Along the way, though, Mr. Wolf begins to suspect that doing good for real may give him what he’s always secretly longed for: acceptance. So when a new villain threatens the city, can Mr. Wolf persuade the rest of the gang to become … The Good Guys? The film co-stars Zazie Beetz (Joker), Lilly Singh (Bad Moms) and Emmy winner Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). 

Based on the blockbuster Scholastic book series by Aaron Blabey, The Bad Guys is directed by Pierre Perifel (animator, the Kung Fu Panda films), making his feature-directing debut. The film is produced by Damon Ross (development executive Trolls, The Boss Baby, co-producer Nacho Libre) and Rebecca Huntley (associate producer, The Boss Baby). The executive producers are Aaron Blabey, Etan Cohen and Patrick Hughes.