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Will 'The Bad Guys' Become Modern Citizens?

A group of criminal animals tries their best to reform themselves into good citizens to avoid serving time in prison.

The Bad Guys (2022)

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The Bad Guys (2022) is an animated movie about a crew of criminal animals who are finally caught after years of being the world’s most-wanted villains. Mr. Wolf, as known as The Big Bad Wolf, is the protagonist and leader of The Bad Guys. He brokers a deal to save them all from prison. This Netflix animated movie is loosely based on the children’s book series of the same name. The setting includes animal characters and human characters co-existing in the same world.

Mr. Wolf is first seen driving a car at high speed, breaking the fourth wall by introducing himself to the viewers. Clips of his reputation as a villain include a list of books where Mr. Wolf plays the main antagonistic role in children’s stories and his crimes. His two main sidekicks are Mr. Snake and Tarantula. Tarantula is voiced by Awkwafina, an Asian woman.

During an awards ceremony, The Bad Guys are finally caught while trying to steal the Golden Dolphin award. Mr. Wolf, however, wants to reform his image because of his recognition as a villain. His desire to reform into a good guy serves as his character arc in the film’s storyline. Going from selfish to genuine in motivation. In fact, Mr. Wolf has conflicted feelings over whether to change to good or to remain bad forever; these conflicted feelings serve as the film’s catalyst.

The title of this animated movie, The Bad Guys, has an ironic twist. The villains are not full-on villains; they are somewhat misunderstood by the public due to being villanized animals and the crimes they have committed in the past. Mr. Wolf’s determination to become a modern citizen shows how he can change for the better. Professor Marmalade, a loyal supporting character who plays alongside Governor Diane Foxington, is actually the main antagonist; he secretly wants to steal from his own charity. Foxington’s story about how she was once a thief but changed her attitude to help people foreshadows Mr. Wolf’s storyline about transforming from villain to hero. Also, Foxington serves as a love interest to Mr. Wolf because they both resemble similar species. Foxington is voiced by a Biracial woman of German and African-American descent (Zazie Beets).

Throughout the storyline, The Bad Guys face conflict with one another on whether it is okay to be either good or bad. The newly reformed group is now The Good Guys. Mr. Wolf’s character change is symbolized by his tuxedo. The meteorite is a symbolic object representing power and plays an important role during the climax, where Marmalade’s true nature is revealed to the viewers. The epilogue shows how Mr. Wolf and his friends are now crimefighters.