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By Chris dos Santos
31st March 2022

For the first time since 2019's 'Abominable', DreamWorks Animation ('How To Train Your Dragon' franchise, 'Kung Fu Panda 3' franchise, 'Shrek' franchise) is jumping back into an all-new franchise based on the highly successful book series 'The Bad Guys' from Aussie author Aaron Blabey. This also marks the second time they have teamed up with Scholastic Entertainment after 'Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie'.

An animal gang made up of Mr Wolf (Sam Rockwell, 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri', 'Vice'), Mr Snake (Marc Maron, 'Joker', 'Respect'), Mr Piranha (Anthony Ramos, 'In The Heights', 'Trolls World Tour'), Mr Shark (Craig Robinson, 'Sausage Party', 'Dolittle') and Mrs Tarantula (Awkwafina, 'Raya and the Last Dragon', 'The Farewell') have been a team for years, creating havoc around town and feared by all. But when Professor Rupert Marmalade (Richard Ayoade, 'Soul', 'Paddington 2') wins an award for Good Person of the Year, the Bad Guys set out to steal the trophy. When that goes wrong and they get caught, Rupert and the governor, Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz, 'Deadpool 2', 'The Harder They Fall'), get the gang to undergo a Good Guys transformation to avoid jail time. But as time passes, they realise there is a whole new Bad Guy in town.


'The Bad Guys' is another successful franchise starter in DreamWorks' line-up. It feels fresh and is bursting with energy. Once again, the animation studio proves their skills with a film that blends traditional CGI characters with watercolour and storybook-like backgrounds that really gives it a unique style. The voice acting is also perfect for the cast of characters; all the celebrity voices really are putting in the effort and giving life to these characters. It never feels like a cash grab choice, and all actors truly are perfectly cast.

The film does suffer from a bit of a generic plot, which does knock the film down a few points - but if you have kids, this comes with a high recommendation this school holidays. The film is definitely a kid's film in the purest form, and especially if they are fans of the book series, it's going to be a family favourite.

Speaking of the book series, the film deserves extra celebration due to its Aussie roots. Author Aaron Blabey is from Victoria and created 'The Bad Guys' book series in 2015. The series has spent over 120 weeks on the 'New York Times Bestseller List' and has over 16 million books in print all over the world. While personally out of touch with the book series (the series started the year I graduated high school) and limited knowledge of Blabey, there is still an undeniable excitement in his success story and simply put it's awesome for this film - after six years of him shopping it around Hollywood - to be as vibrant as it is.

'The Bad Guys' is another successful franchise starter in DreamWorks' line-up. It feels fresh and is bursting with energy. Once again, the animation studio proves their skills.

One thing I found strange - and this isn't just this film, but most with anthropomorphic animals - is that this world is mostly inhabited by humans, with the only speaking animals being the main cast. You also have animals that don't speak, like a cat, acting like animals. It's not an issue that ruins the film, and I'm not sure what the world of the books is like, but it would have been cooler if the film either made everyone animals or clearly had more of a human/animal mix.

'The Bad Guys' is an energetic animated adventure that brings Balbey's successful book series to the big screen. While it jumps into a sometimes formulaic narrative, it makes up for it with its art style and comedy. 'The Bad Guys' is easily going to be DreamWorks' latest successful franchise (I'm sure there is already a series coming to a streaming platform soon) and easily going to be a new family favourite.

RELEASE DATE: 31/03/2022
RUN TIME: 01h 41m
CAST: Sam Rockwell
Craig Robinson
Marc Maron
Anthony Ramos
Richard Ayoade
Zazie Beetz
Lilly Singh
Alex Borstein
DIRECTORS: Pierre Pierfel
Pierre Perifel
WRITERS: Etan Cohen
Hilary Winston
Rebecca Huntley
SCORE: Daniel Pemberton[
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