The past few years of DreamWorks releases have gotten us used to churned-out sequels and franchise-fodder — but every now and then the studio turns away from its singing Trolls and kung fu fighting pandas to offer something new: in this case, a crackerjack crew of criminal outlaws, animated with exciting stylistic flair. "The Bad Guys" takes its story from the best-selling book series of the same name, tracing this gaggle of criminals in their attempt to break good (or, at the very least, rehabilitate their image to the public.)
In this film adaptation, the beloved characters are more than just a colorful crew of delinquents — they're also a team of acting Allstars! A top-tier voice cast has signed aboard to fill these roles, including Sam Rockwell as the dashing pickpocket Mr. Wolf; Marc Maron as the seen-it-all safecracker Mr. Snake; Craig Robinson as chill master-of-disguise, Mr. Shark; Awkwafina as sharp-tongued hacker Ms. Tarantula; and Anthony Ramos as the team's "muscle," Mr. Piranha. The film also stars Zazie Beetz ("The Harder They Fall"), Lilly Singh ("Bad Moms"), and Emmy winner Alex Borstein ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"). And what does the cast have to say about their upcoming team up with DreamWorks? You can hear for yourself, courtesy of a new behind-the-scenes featurette.
The Bad Guys featurette
Everything we've seen of "The Bad Guys" thus far promises personality-fronted zaniness, so it's not hard to get swept up in the hype of this film. Anyway, who doesn't love a tale of bad guys gone good? Of course, there is one problem when it comes to this crew ... they don't actually mean it. This is just another of their mastermind grifts, an attempt to redeem themselves in the eyes of the public and fool the world into believing they've abandoned crime. Given how hard the cat dilemma in the featurette seems to be, it's safe to assume that being good won't come easily to them, so expect much absurdity and chaos along the way.
But there's also something heartwarming about the direction of "The Bad Guys." The story sees their fearless leader, Mr. Wolf, in the midst of a little crisis of identity when he discovers that he actually enjoys that little tingle you get from being a do-gooder. So when his selflessness is put to the test, he'll be tasked with stepping up to the plate as a leader, to guide his crew into darkness or light.
Here's how DreamWorks described the film: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?
An new animation eraDreamWorks Pictures
DreamWorks is coming out swinging in 2022. The studio has two releases lined up for this year and both are turning heads. The first, a "Shrek" spinoff, features the return of everyone's favorite swashbuckling kitty in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish." Though it sounds like sickening franchise-churn, the first trailer looks incredible. The second is "The Bad Guys," and the first thing you may notice they share is their intriguing visual flair: DreamWorks is getting behind the 2.5D animation style, popularized by "Into The Spider-Verse," which blended 2D and 3D animation, experimented with character frame rates and implemented a variety of cartoon and comic-book-inspired textures to stunning effect. Much like Disney, DreamWorks had previously become comfortable with their painfully consistent visual style and character designs. But everything from "Spider-Verse" to "Arcane" to "The Mitchells Vs The Machines" are signaling a change, so while both these films maintain that signature DreamWorks look, they also have a thrilling degree of experimentation
"The Bad Guys" comes from director Pierre Perifel, making his feature film debut after working as a DreamWorks animator on films including "Kung Fu Panda," "Monsters vs. Aliens," and "Rise of the Guardians.The film is produced by Damon Ross ("Trolls," "The Boss Baby,") and Rebecca Huntley ("The Boss Baby"), with executive producers Aaron Blabey, Etan Cohen and Patrick Hughes.
"The Bad Guys" arrives in theaters on April 22, 2022.