The Bad Guys Has The Longest Shot In DreamWorks Animation History – And It Wasn't Originally In The Movie

The latest DreamWorks Animation film "The Bad Guys" is a blast in a half, a kid-friendly imagining of some of our favorite cime movies like "Ocean's Eleven," "Point Break," and much of the filmography of Quentin Tarantino. Of course, since it's a kid's movie, you don't need to worry about the film taking a hard right turn into "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" territory and showing ultraviolence involving flamethrowers and cans of dog food or a "Pulp Fiction" shot of adrenaline to revive a character following an overdose. However, the sensibilities of Tarantino films are proudly on display in "The Bad Guys," including an opening scene that feels awfully reminiscent of the opening of "Pulp Fiction" or "Reservoir Dogs" ... but you know, without Joe Cabot explaining why Steve Buscemi has to be Mr. Pink.

As it turns out, this opening conversation scene wasn't originally in the script. In a recent interview, producer Rebecca Huntley said the film initially began with the chase scene that follows the opening. "As we progressed, we had all these conversations about 'How do we honor our genres and pull-in references to other movies?'" she said. "Along came this diner scene, and there were quite a few conversations about... 'How this is going to be received? Is this the best way to open the movie?'" 

Fortunately, Huntley says that they all ended up falling in love with the scene, and while they knew they'd be taking a risk, it was a risk they were willing to take. According to her, "We all really believed in it."

The longest shot in DreamWorks Animation history

Producer Damon Ross echoed Huntley's sentiments, saying that the purpose of the scene was to ground the two lead characters before throwing them into the mix of the whole gang of Bad Guys. "It really is this core friendship story between Wolf and Snake," he said. "Originally it was all right out of the bank and into the chase, and we were like, 'Let's slow it down a little bit.'" Ross acknowledged that the scene is a clear homage to genre films of this ilk, and loved channeling that energy. "It was bold because it was a quiet, talky scene between two characters to start your movie. Very unconventional." Director Pierre Perifel called it a "very strong statement," acknowledging that the scene sets the tone and style of the film almost immediately.

"You get into the movie and you know exactly what you're gonna get, which is great," said Perifel. "It's one of my favorite scenes for sure." The scene was a favorite of the crew, but it was also one of the most difficult to accomplish. The opening sequence is one continuous long shot of animation, clocking in at around two and a half minutes. Long shots and one-takes are hard enough to do with live-action performers, but for animation, it's a remarkable feat. Ross believes it is the single longest shot in DreamWorks Animation history, with the main supervising animators taking at least three and a half months to animate it. The animators of "The Bad Guys" absolutely have something to be proud of, because the opening scene is truly something to behold.