Spend a criminal Christmas with “Too bad – A Christmas too bad”
If there's one thing that both criminals and children respect about Christmas, it's Santa Claus. The child part is obvious. The criminal part – at least according to DreamWorks Animation Television's new Christmas special, Too Bad Christmas – boils down to pure envy over Santa's unbeatable record of breaking into more homes than anyone else in history without getting caught .
The half-hour special on Netflix is a prequel to the 2022 DreamWorks Animation film Bad Guys, based on the book series by Aaron Blabey. The infamous anthropomorphic criminals – Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Ms. Tarantula, Mr. Piranha and Mr. Shark – can't wait for Christmas morning because closed banks and stores make it easy to make money.
Change of Heart: Directed by Bret Haaland and produced by Katherine Nolfi, the Christmas special finds the Bad Guys feeling guilty for destroying a giant Santa Claus parade balloon. But things go awry when the gang accidentally destroys the town's beloved Santa Claus balloon, effectively canceling the holiday and their easy crime spree.
The voice cast, which is different from that of the film, includes Michael Godere as Mr. Wolf, Chris Diamantopoulos as Mr. Snake, Ezekiel Ajeigbe as Mr. Shark, Mallory Low as Ms. Tarantula, Raul Ceballos as Mr. Piranha and Kari Wahlgren as DJ Trudy Tude.
The storyboard took about six weeks, while the animatic took another six. Then there were nine weeks of animation and three to six weeks of post-production. The animation work was done abroad by 88 Pictures.
Bret Haaland, director of the film, says that the script was fantastic and that the short production schedule required a recasting of the voice roles and a balance in the plot between the playful setup and the more dramatic second half. A success can become perennial and be revisited year after year.
Nolfi says the biggest challenge was finding ways to make each character stand out, and credits the collaboration with improving the final result. Both Haaland and Nolfi are satisfied with the final result and believe the special will be a success.
Too Bad – A Christmas Too Bad will premiere on Thursday 30 November on Netflix. https://www.netflix.com/title/81662920