The Bad Guys 2 Happening Proves Animated Movies Are Doing the Right Thing

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Published

If you saw The Bad Guys in theaters, you may have been among the many fans cheering on these wild adventure animated movies studios are making lately. We haven’t seen such interesting stories since the days of Shrek. But The Bad Guys 2 is slated to release in the summer of 2025, and among a handful of other great animated films that have recently been released, it looks like these studios are finally getting it right again. 

Spider-Verse Upped The Ante

spider-verse 2

It probably began with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Up to that point, I had pretty much given up hope that animated films were going anywhere beyond the occasional Disney hit, if that. Big Hero 6 and Finding Dory were great, released in 2014, and Zootopia, released in 2016, was spectacular, but Disney also had several films that made you go “meh.” I’m looking at you, The Good Dinosaur

Mind-Blowing Unique Experience

across the spider-verse

But Into the Spider-Verse, which hit theaters in 2018, blew every competitor nearby out of the water. I was hesitant to see it at first, unsure of how I felt about an animated Spider-Man, so I sent my 6-year-old daughter with my brother. When they both came home raving about the film, I knew something magical had happened. It has since become so popular in my home that we all quote lines from it regularly: “He can’t do it on command.” 

We got an equally brilliant follow-up to Into the Spider-Verse in 2023 with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. And while the third installment continues to be pushed back, much like the second, fans have high hopes that it will knock our socks off just like the first two. 

Animation Quality Keeps Climbing

Other highly successful animated films outside of Disney include Puss in Boots: Last Wish, with the voices of always delightful Florence Pugh and Wagner Moura alongside Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. We also loved Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio, with stop-motion animation and a darker side of the Disney story. And who can forget Jack Black’s Bowser belting out a serenade to his true love in The Super Mario Bros. Movie? My kids still walk around singing, “Peaches Peaches Peaches Peaches Peaches I love you!” 

The Bad Guys Sequel Is A Major Win

So, yes, finding out that The Bad Guys is getting a sequel is a big win for avid fans of animated films. The original was such a surprising hit that when I took my kids to the theaters to see it, we all walked out recounting our favorite scenes. The Bad Guys may be the epitome of what makes all these other animated films so great — the villains are not always what we think they are. (Disney came a long way on this one with Maleficent and Maleficent 2.)

The Bad Guys Is A Great Film

Villains become villains for a reason. They have back stories. They have feelings. And, perhaps most importantly, they are capable of redemption. Of course, some bad guys are just bad guys. But the characters in The Bad Guys are smart, fun, funny, and deeply loving. They were simply misunderstood and typecast, much like Nick in Zootopia

An Amazing Voice Cast

We followed the bad guys through the first film as they found their way back to their hearts, each along his or her own path. The animation was sharp and engaging, the dialogue was witty, and the storyline was engaging. And, of course, the laughs were plentiful. Sam Rockwell, the leader of the pack, Wolf, delivered in spades, and his crew, including Awkwafina’s Tarantula and Marc Maron’s Mr. Snake, provided stellar support. 

What Day Is It?

The Bad Guys ended with the pack out of jail and definitely reformed for the better. Or, as Mr. Snake would say, “I’m 99 percent sure… 96 percent sure… maybe 90 percent. I don’t know. What day is it?” Whatever day it is, I have little doubt The Bad Guys 2 will have us loving and laughing our way out of the theater next summer. Here’s hoping animated films continue to show up for us as we show up for them.