Teenage Tibetan Mastiff Bodi (Luke Wilson) is expected to be the next guard of the village of Snow Mountain, succeeding his father Khampa (J. K. Simmons), who years ago drove out a pack of gangster Grey wolves, led by the villainous Linnux (Lewis Black). Khampa has some local sheep disguised as Mastiffs to give the illusion the village has multiple guards to keep the wolves at bay, but Bodi has trouble perfecting his father's signature move the Iron Paw, which projects a powerful blast that can only happen if Bodi "finds the fire." Khampa has forbidden music in the village as it distracted Bodi from his duties when he was younger..
When Bodi is in Angus's maze, he is trapped down a passage. In a different shot, another path appears out of nowhere. See more »
[From Trailer; Angus Scattergood has been locked out of his mansion and was trying to get back in, only to be electrified by the fence and slams into a sheet of glass before flopping down on the road]
[lying on his back]
I am completely paralyzed except for my mouth.
[moves his arm and index finger]
I am completely paralyzed except for my mouth... and my finger!
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The first half of the closing credits shows important things from the movie in flash, including the actors next to the items. Before the director credit, it shows the David B. Miller memorable credit. See more »
Doesn't completely rock, at the same time it's far from a dog
Coming from a big lifelong animation fan, 'Rock Dog' may not be on par with the best films of the best major animation studios (i.e. Disney, Pixar, Studio Ghibli), nor does it ever try to be or be anything more than it is.
It's also much better than especially anything from Video Brinquedo and, although to me critics do not deserve anywhere near the over-the-top bashing they get on the internet, 'Rock Dog' is another case of liking it much more than they did and going against the grain. 'Rock Dog' is less than perfect, but for the imperfections there are it has its heart in the right place, it knows who to aim it at and really tries to appeal to all ages and it doesn't try too hard or attempt to do more than it needs to.
'Rock Dog' may not be ground-breaking in story, a good deal of it is derivative, and some of the plotting concerning the villain's plan is a bit strange and takes away at times from the rest of the story. The film is also too short, if it were twenty minutes longer it would have fleshed out the slightly underdeveloped lead character Boni more and done more with the disapproving parent cliché.
However, the animation may not be mind-blowing or imaginative but it's colourful and detailed enough and at least the characters don't look ugly. The music is truly amazing and along with the supporting characters steals the show. In particular "Glorious", which lives up to its name.
Writing is witty and heartfelt and while the story execution is less than perfect it goes at a bright and breezy pace, is fun, is inspiring, is well-meaning and has a heart of gold that comes over movingly. Although he could have been better fleshed out more, the lead character is an easy to relate to one. Stealing the show though is the hilarious character Angus Scattergood, a character so rich in personality and so much fun he is worthy of a solo outing of some kind. Fleetwood Yak (nostalgic adults will have a good chuckle at this) is fun too.
Voice acting is good, with the best contribution coming from a note-perfect Eddie Izzard. JK Simmons is perfectly gruff as well and Luke Wilson is a likable lead. On paper, Lewis Black didn't seem right to me for a villain but he won me over, making Linnus a suitably formidable and somewhat cool villain. Mae Whitman is charming.
Overall, didn't love it but liked it better than thought. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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