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DreamWork's The Bad Guys has the perfect setup for a preposterously fun animated comedy: Take a criminal gang of lifelong con artists, catch them in the act of their biggest heist yet, and then force them as punishment to prove they can be good citizens — rather than sending them to do hard time in the slammer. Oh... and they’ve all got to be talking animals.
As implausibly funny premises go, that rates right up there with being sentenced to serve as Jerry Seinfeld’s butler, which means someone should definitely make a movie about it. Now, thanks to DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures, somebody has. The Bad Guys is set to hit theaters in April, teaming a star voice cast led by Oscar winner Sam Rockwell (Mr. Wolf), the ringleader of a band of animal ex-gangsters whose only hope to escape the hoosegow is showing society they’re ready for a major image makeover.
Ahead of the movie’s release, Rockwell and costars Anthony Ramos, Lilly Singh, and Marc Maron got together for a fun drawing lesson to see if they can keep pace with the way DreamWorks animators sketch out their characters on paper. Surprisingly, the actors’ artistic results are... well, not bad, actually.
Check it out:
The full voice cast also chimed in for a quick preview feature filled with tons of fun looks at the movie’s animal ensemble in action:
Rockwell plays dashing pickpocket Mr. Wolf, heading up a gang of would-be do-gooders including seen-it-all safecracker Mr. Snake (Maron), chill master-of-disguise Mr. Shark (Hot Tub Time Machine’s Craig Robinson), short-fused “muscle” Mr. Piranha (Ramos), and sharp-tongued expert hacker Ms. Tarantula (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Awkwafina), who also answers to “Webs.”
Together, the group has their work cut out for them — especially since Mr. Wolf secretly has no intention of actually following through on his end of the whole model-citizen bargain. But faking it ’til you make it has its own funny way of steering fate in unexpected directions, leading even the big, bad con man — er, con wolf — to finally see the error of his criminal ways.
“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,” teases the studio. “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?”
First-time director Pierre Perifel (he’s the one walking the gang through their art lesson in the clip above) is at the helm for DreamWorks’ new criminal caper, with The Bad Guys set to break into theaters everywhere on April 22. The movie will make its streaming debut this summer on Peacock.