The Good Messages in Disney’s New “Bad Guys” Movie

I’m over Disney princesses y’all. Or the old school ones at least. I know I’ll have to get over this as my three daughters love all things princess, but I just don’t want our girls continually seeing perfectly beautiful women solely focused on romance and “true loves kiss.” I was really happy when Disney switched gears with the introduction of strong women characters like Anna and Elsa and am completely here for broader storylines and diverse casts like in Encanto. So, while it doesn’t have the completely addictive (or annoying, pending your perspective) soundtrack, Disney’s new movie, Bad Guys fits the bill for a fun family movie that has positive messages and doesn’t revolve around romance. 

Friendship and personal growth are the main plot points of this story revolving around a crew of bad guys—a wolf, a shark, a snake, a tarantula, and a piranha.

We see how these friends loyally stick together as well as the history that unites them. Also, *spoiler alert* they go from being bad guys to being good guys once they realize how good being good feels. There is a bit of chemistry between two of the characters, but it is minimal and never directly referenced. I appreciated this aspect as I’m watching the movie with a 4.5 and 7-year old, friendship feels like a way more important topic than romance to discuss with them in this stage of childhood.

The villain isn’t super scary.

Another unpopular opinion is that Disney villains are too scary! Our kids are pretty sensitive movie watchers so we’ve had to fast forward quite a few scenes in every Disney movie they’ve seen. The evil queen in Snow White — are you kidding me? She literally asks the huntsman to rip out Snow White’s heart. I’ll pass. In Bad Guys, we have as our villain, again *spoiler alert*, a guinea pig. Yep, you read that right! And although he does turn a bit maniacal, there’s nothing terrifying about this little guy. I definitely saw our girls eyes widen at one scene where the characters are in danger, but it is quickly resolved and didn’t feel too intense.

The movie passes the Bechdel Test!

The Bechdel Test is important to me, especially as a mom of three girls. It means the following: there are two women in the movie, the women talk to each other, and, they talk to each other about something other than a man. Once I learned about this rule, I’ve been on the lookout for it and have been shocked by the lack of movies that pass the test! I was happy to find that Bad Guys does indeed pass.

The only real negatives of the movie are that it includes a minimal amount of potty humor, including “butt” and “fart.” According to Common Sense Media, my go-to for movie reviews, there is also a “what the hell,” but I missed it, so I’m hoping my kiddos did too. I’ve also heard that some of the soundtrack lyrics may be sketchy, but again, I didn’t notice.

It’s not going to win any Academy Awards, and is definitely a predictable plot, but overall, I think Bad Guys is a fun and positive movie for families to enjoy together. Our kids loved seeing the movie in theaters and once it’s available, I’m sure it will join our movie night rotation.


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