The Bad Guys Animation Is Based on Books by an Aussie, Actually

The Bad Guys Animation Is Based on Books by an Aussie, Actually
Image: Universal Pictures

We love a cute animation here at Gizmodo Australia – but what we love even more is a cute animation based on a book series by an Australian author. The Bad Guys smashes this requirement out of the ballpark.

The Bad Guys is a gorgeous animated crime comedy produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures. Directed by Pierre Perifel (his feature directorial debut, mind you) from a screenplay by Etan Cohen and Hilary Winston. It’s based on the children’s book series of the same name by Aaron Blabey, who serves as executive producer.

It isn’t just for kids. Just like every animation pitched at children these days, The Bad Guys has some underlying (and not-so-subtle) adult jokes and themes. It’s not at all R-rated, the kids will never know…

So what’s The Bad Guys about?

On the outside, these five cute critters are predators (and remorseless sociopaths) but there’s more to what meets the eye.

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.

But in order to keep out of jail, the five of them pretend to be good. To summarise: they’re bad, but pretend to be good, so they can continue to be bad. There’s of course a lesson in all of this.

Under the tutelage of their mentor Professor Marmalade, 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.

Told you it was cute.

The Bad Guys characters

Dashing pickpocket Mr. Wolf, seen-it-all safecracker Mr. Snake, chill master-of-disguise Mr. Shark, short-fused “muscle” Mr. Piranha and sharp-tongued expert hacker Ms. Tarantula, aka “Webs”. Let’s meet the bad guys.

Mr. Wolf

The Bad Guys Animation Is Based on Books by an Aussie, Actually
Image: Universal Pictures

Mr. Snake

the bad guys
Image: Universal Pictures

Mr. Shark

the bad guys
Image: Universal Pictures

Mr. Piranha

The Bad Guys Animation Is Based on Books by an Aussie, Actually
Image: Universal Pictures

Ms. Tarantula

the bad guys
Image: Universal Pictures

The Bad Guys trailer

Earlier today, Universal Pictures dropped the trailer for The Bad Guys.

Who’s in it?

The Bad Guys stars the voice talent of Sam Rockwell (Vice), Marc Maron (Maron), Craig Robinson (The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Anthony Ramos (Disney’s Hamilton), Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) and Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians).


The Bad Guys is set to hit cinemas on March 31. While you wait, why not check out every other major sci-fi, fantasy and horror flick set to release this year.