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DreamWorks Animation’s ‘The Bad Guys’ Trailer Showcases Bold, Stylistic Departure (Video)

Of course they had to use the Billie Eilish song

Ready to meet “The Bad Guys?”

DreamWorks Animation’s latest feature “The Bad Guys” is based on a children’s book by Australian author Aaron Blabey. The film stars Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Anthony Ramos, Craig Robinson and Marc Maron as a bunch of villains who decide to give being good a shot. And while that might sound like a typical animated fable (not unlike the “Despicable Me” movies, for instance), the new movie’s bold aesthetic sets it apart (watch the trailer below).

There have been a number of recent big screen animated projects, including “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Mitchells vs. the Machines,” and Disney’s charming short “Far from the Tree,” that have married the fluidity and dimensionality of computer animation with the exaggerated expressiveness and warmth of traditional 2D hand-drawn animation. And “The Bad Guys” looks to continue this trend while forging a path all of its own, taking the fairy tale origins (Rockwell plays the Big Bad Wolf) and contemporizing them through a strong graphical sense. There are moments in the “Bad Guys” trailer that seem to draw influence from comic books and Japanese anime as well, and we’ve seen these two touchstones influence much of this recent run of 2D-inspired work.

Zazie Beetz, Alex Borstein, Richard Ayoade, and Lilly Singh co-star in the film, which serves as the feature directorial debut of Pierre Perifel, who has worked at DreamWorks Animation since 2008 and served as supervising animator on the wonderful “Rise of the Guardians.”

“The Bad Guys” hits theaters on April 22, 2022.