The Bad Guys: 10 Major Differences Between The Movie And The Books (2022)

The Bad Guys, released April 22, 2022, remained a family box-office favorite for several weeks after opening. The animated feature film has something for everyone as it brings together elements of humor, deception, light romance, and fun.

Viewers may not realize DreamWork’s latest project is based on a children’s book series. Written by Aaron Blabey,The Bad Guys books follow the intimidating animals as they work to improve their image and encounter several obstacles along the way. Like with every book-to-film adaptation, there are many changes made to the original story.

No Significant Cop Character

The Bad Guys: 10 Major Differences Between The Movie And The Books (1)

The Bad Guys movie introduces Police Chief Misty Luggins, a cop who makes it her goal to catch the bad guys. In the books, there was no significant cop character. The public as a whole doesn’t like the men and this creates enough conflict as is until Marmalade’s introduction in the third book.

This movie is all about deception. Given Marmalade’s true intentions aren’t known in the first half of the film, the Police Chief offers audiences an antagonist to root against. The inclusion of the character also helps bring an extra layer of humor to the film, as the Chief has a loud and spunky personality.

Tiffany Fluffit Is A Cat

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The film brings Tiffany Fluffit, a character from the original series, to life. She is very similar to her character in the books, except for one obvious detail: In The Bad Guys,Tiffany is a cat. In fact, there are seldom any human characters in the book, whereas almost everyone besides the main gang is human in the movie.

(Video) TOP 10 DIFFERENCES Between THE BAD GUYS Movie and Books

There are several amazing animal movies out there, but adding humans to the cast may have been DreamWorks’ way to guarantee audiences see themselves in the film. It’s also possible they opted for this species change so that the main characters would stand out from others. As for Tiffany Fluffit, she becomes a main character in the books later on. For the movie, however, she remains a supporting character.

Webs Is Legs

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Webs is a tarantula and the tech master of the group. She has great hacking skills that she admittedly learned from watching YouTube. The spider’s purpose in the book is the same as in the film adaptation, however, the source material presents a tarantula who’s a male and goes by the name Legs.

Legs isn’t introduced until the second book, but his presence isn’t any less important to the series. The movie changes his name and gender, likely in an effort to promote diversity and avoid the negative connotations which may come with a character named Legs. It was also fun to see Ms. Tarantula and Diane Foxington connect during the final chase scene.

Fox Stays Out Of The Public Eye

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In the movie, Governor Foxington is a strong and clever woman with a secret past as a thief by the name of the Crimson Paw. She’s one of the most likable characters in The Bad Guys. In the books, the fox does not hold any public position of authority and her name isn’t Diane but Ellen. She is a reformed criminal and a part of a female group of super spies.


For one brief scene in the books, a Supreme Court justice named Diane is introduced, but her character is a chicken. It almost seems like the writers of the movie merged Diane and Ellen into one character. The decision to give the fox a position of power may have been made to make for a cool plot twist later on when the Crimson Paw’s identity is revealed.

Zombie Kittens, Not Guinea Pigs

The Bad Guys: 10 Major Differences Between The Movie And The Books (5)

The animated film sees an evil Marmalade use his latest invention, made with the power of a space rock, to gain control of all the guinea pigs in the city. In the books, Marmalade chooses to possess kittens instead, ordering them to attack and devour everyone in their path. He does this to distract the Good Guys Club while he escapes.

In both instances, Marmalade controls the minds of creatures usually associated with cuteness. The change from kittens to guinea pigs in the movie may have occurred to give Snake one of his most iconic scenes from the book, in which he excitedly volunteers to save chickens from captivity. He only agrees to do it because he wants to eat the chickens, rather than let them go.

Wolf Needs No Help Wanting To Be Good

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In the movie, Wolf and his friends start as villains with zero intent to change their ways. It isn’t until he stops an old lady from falling, that he gets a taste of the good life. In the books, however, his reasoning for wanting to be a good guy isn’t given. From the very first page, his mind is made up. All he has to do is convince his pals.

(Video) The Bad Guys: 6 Major Differences Between THe MOVIE & BOOK!

This change was most likely necessary to the film’s success. Because of it, the cinematic Wolf is given more internal conflict and the opportunity for great character development. It also sets up the plot of deception orchestrated by Marmalade, as his plans to frame the bad guys led to Wolf’s idea to fake being good and all the manipulation that comes afterward.

Marmalade Was Never A “Good Guy”

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The film introduces Marmalade as a good guy. About halfway through the movie, unsuspecting viewers witness a major plot twist when his villainy is revealed. In the books, the gang meets Marmalade after freeing chickens from captivity, not knowing that he was the owner of the facility. He quickly shows his true colors, enacting revenge on the group.

As already mentioned, this film is all about deception. Because Marmalade is a cute guinea pig, the public plays into stereotypes and assumes he is a good guy. Unfortunately, their assumptions here couldn’t be more wrong. The books also have twists and turns that surprise readers, but this isn’t one of them. Marmalade is introduced as and remains a bad guy throughout the whole series.


The Bad Guys: 10 Major Differences Between The Movie And The Books (8)

While Marmalade never hides his villainy in the comics, he does have a deep secret that comes to light at the end of the fifth book. Simply speaking, Marmalade is not a guinea pig. He’s an alien disguised as a guinea pig to blend in on Earth.

(Video) The Bad Guys Movie And Books Similarities

Everyone who has seen the movie knows there was never even a hint that Marmalade was an alien. There were nods to space with the heart-shaped meteor, but it seems clear that the version of the character depicted in the movie isn’t of extra-terrestrial background.

No Heart-Shaped Space Rock

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In the movie, Marmalade uses the energy from a heart-shaped space rock to power his evil invention that controls all the guinea pigs in the world. He possesses them to steal money raised at his own fundraising gala. In the book, there is no space rock. Marmalade uses a separate invention to take control of thekittens.

The rock in the film, as well as its lamp replica, is an important plot device. Many authors despise movies based on their books, but Blabey seems to enjoy it, admitting that the film is based loosely on the first four books. Even so, the shape of the rock may be a nod to the sixth book where Piranha questions the hands of Marmalade’s true form, which appear to be butt-shaped.

Time Travel And Super Powers

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Anyone who thinks aliens are a silly addition to the comics may be even more bewildered to learn that time travel and superhero abilities become a part of later books. Neither of these science fiction elements is present in the film.

(Video) Cast Reads from "The Bad Guys" Book | International Children's Book Day | THE BAD GUYS

It’s most likely a good thing DreamWorks omitted these extra plot points. The film is already complex and full of great storylines. Adding another subplot could have ruined the story the film is trying to tell.Anything could happen in the future though, especially since DreamWorks loves to keep their popular franchises going as long as possible.

NEXT: 10 Exciting Upcoming DreamWorks Projects To Look Out For After The Bad Guys


The Bad Guys: 10 Major Differences Between The Movie And The Books? ›

The Bad Guys: 10 Major Differences Between The Movie And The Books
  • Tiffany Fluffit Is A Cat. ...
  • Webs Is Legs. ...
  • Fox Stays Out Of The Public Eye. ...
  • Zombie Kittens, Not Guinea Pigs. ...
  • Wolf Needs No Help Wanting To Be Good. ...
  • Marmalade Was Never A “Good Guy” ...
  • Aliens. ...
  • No Heart-Shaped Space Rock.
Jun 2, 2022

What is the main idea of the bad guys book? ›

The main theme of The Bad Guys series is the good verse evil conundrum, redemption and the constant inner struggle when faced with life's choices.

Why do we root for the bad guys in movies? ›

It comes with certain advantages, according to Grizzard. “We find that characters who are perceived as villains get a bigger boost from the good actions or apparent altruism than heroes, like the Severus Snape character from the Harry Potter books and films.”

Is the bad guys series chapter books? ›

In this hilarious illustrated chapter book series, misfit bad guys are doing good deeds! Young readers and children in grade school will love this collection full of silly stories and jokes by the animal characters. A funny graphic comic boys will have fun reading!

What books to read if you like bad guys? ›

We rounded up books for kids who like The Bad Guys, so without further ado, here are our “read-alikes”:
  • Bird & Squirrel by James Burks. ...
  • Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton. ...
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey. ...
  • The Yeti Files by Kevin Sherry. ...
  • The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin. ...
  • Two Dogs in a Trench Coat by Julie Falatko.
Apr 18, 2022

Does the Bad Guys movie follow the book? ›

So, the movie is—again it is loosely based on the first four books of the series, it is about a gang of shady animals Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, Mr.

What is Mr Snake's real name? ›

Hubert Snake is the deuteragonist of the Bad Guys book series and one of the two deuteragonists (alongside Diane Foxington) of the DreamWorks animated movie, The Bad Guys. He is an Eastern brown snake who is the safe cracker, Mr.

Why do I crush on villains? ›

Another way of looking at attraction toward evil characters is scientific. We are interested in "bad" because it is exciting and it instills fear. Elise Banfield, a Professor of Psychology, states that sometimes people confuse fear with attraction because they provoke the same rush of chemicals into our bodies.

Is it OK to like villains? ›

It's ok to like fictional villains, and we're attracted to those that resemble us. Fictional villains have a unique appeal, a new study reports, as they allow us a safe space to explore our own darker sides. Every great book or show needs a good hero to keep the story moving — but what is a hero without his nemesis?

Why do we sympathize with criminals in movies? ›

The ability to empathize with something that the villain has gone through or is going through allows the audience to feel sympathy for them as well. Having an ingrained desire to be a part of a group identity also allows for the opportunity to sympathize with the villain.

What age is bad guys books for? ›

What age group are the Bad Guys books for? The Bad Guys books are suitable for kids of all genders aged 6-12. With their wacky illustrations, these books are the perfect thing to transition younger readers from picture books to chapter books, while still keeping older readers engaged.

Is there a bad guys book 11? ›

The Bad Guys in the Dawn of the Underlord (The Bad Guys #11) Paperback – Illustrated, July 7, 2020.

Is MS tarantula in The Bad Guys books? ›

Ms. Tarantula is surprisingly not a member of the crew in the first book, having been added to the team later.


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