Entertainment » Movies

Rock Dog

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Feb 24, 2017
'Rock Dog'
'Rock Dog'  

Tibetan Mastiff Bodi (Luke Wilson) is a shaggy-dog dreamer with a penchant for rock'n'roll, working for his father (J.K. Simmons) in a small sheep village that lives in constant fear of enduring a wolf attack. When Bodi leaves his small town for the big city, he learns about the art form from a British feline rock legend named Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard). However, in Bodi's absence, a wolf gang led by Linnux (Lewis Black) decides the time is ripe for attacking the less-protected sheep village and filling their bellies with lamb meat.

Thus, "Rock Dog" is the inspiring tale of how a talking canine learns to follow his dreams and saves a small village from genocide through some sweet, sweet guitar licks. Oh, and Sam Elliot voices a character who narrates the film directly to the camera, "Big Lebowski"-style, and is named Fleetwood Yak. I'll let that dad joke sink in.

Speaking of, if you're not a dad, or a mom, or an adult responsible for entertaining young children, you might as well stop reading this review right now. This movie is not for you. If there's a couple in their 30s hiring a babysitter to go on their first date night in months, you can rest assured the movie that follows their dinner is not "Rock Dog." No, that's the movie that their kid will be begging them to go to the following Saturday.

There isn't really much to say about the film other than your kids will love it and you will tolerate it. And as an endurable 90-minutes of fluff, "Rock Dog" could've been far worse. It at least tries to deliver an entertaining storyline, its music choices are often inspired ("Dreams" by Beck should be in every movie ever made) and it offers up a handful of choice lessons for the young ones to take with them.

From a critical standpoint, the animation by Reel FX ("Free Birds," "The Book of Life") is subpar compared to visual giants like Disney and Pixar, and the original music sticks in the mind like annoying caramel caught in the back of your teeth. It's a predictable, manufactured plot, but it caters well to its intended demographic -- the cinematic equivalent of a pop song. When it comes to taking your kids out to the movie, you could stand to suffer more.

Plus, there's always Fleetwood Yak. Your kids may not get it, but it might be the only worthwhile gag for adults in the whole film.

Rock Dog

For the Tibetan mastiffs on Snow Mountain, a dog's life has a simple riff -- guard a peaceful village of sheep from the thuggish wolf Linnux and his rabid pack. To avoid distractions, mastiff leader Khampa forbids all music. However, when his son Bodi discovers a radio that fell from the sky, it takes just a few guitar licks for the lad's fate to be sealed. Wanting to be a rock 'n' roll star, Bodi heads to the city to locate Angus Scattergood, a legendary musician who needs to write a new song.

Info

Runtime :: 90 mins
Release Date :: Feb 24, 2017
Language :: Silent
Country :: China

Cast

Voice of Bodi :: Luke Wilson
Voice of Angus Scattergood :: Eddie Izzard
Voice of Khampa :: J.K. Simmons
Voice of Linnux :: Lewis Black
Voice of Riff :: Kenan Thompson
Voice of Darma :: Mae Whitman
Voice of Germur :: Jorge Garcia
Voice of Trey :: Matt Dillon
Voice of Fleetwood Yak :: Sam Elliott
Voice of Floyd/Carl :: Will Finn
Voice of Ian :: Ash Brannon
Voice of Radio DJ :: Liza Richardson
Voice of Additional Voice Talent :: Julie Craig
Voice of Additional Voice Talent :: Deng Feng
Voice of Additional Voice Talent :: Kellen Goff
Voice of Additional Voice Talent :: Jennifer Hale
Voice of Additional Voice Talent :: Matt Taylor

Crew

Director :: Ash Brannon
Screenwriter :: Ash Brannon
Screenwriter :: Kurt Voelker
Producer :: Amber Wang
Producer :: Joyce Lou
Producer :: David Miller
Producer :: Rob Feng
Producer :: Zheng Jun
Executive Producer :: Wang Zhongjun
Producer :: Zheng Jun
Executive Producer :: Deng Feng
Executive Producer :: Angela Wu
Executive Producer :: Andrew Yang
Executive Producer :: Wang Zhonglei
Executive Producer :: Jerry Ye
Executive Producer :: Xu Xiaoping
Executive Producer :: Liu Shengyi
Executive Producer :: Tan Fei
Executive Producer :: Chuck Peil
Executive Producer :: Uri Fleming
Executive Producer :: Mike Bundlie
Executive Producer :: Lauren Selig
Film Editor :: Ivan Bilancio
Film Editor :: Ed Fuller
Original Music :: Rolfe Kent
Production Design :: Elad Tibi
Art Director :: Christian Schellewald
Casting :: Jen Rudin


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