Rock DogLondon Film Festival 2016
8th October 2016 12.30pm at Vue West End
16th October 2016 12.30pm at Vue West End
Lovers of animation might find themselves thoroughly disappointed in Rock Dog, a joint Chinese-American production based on Zheng Jun’s graphic novel Tibetan Rock Dog – which admittedly seems to be a better story upon further investigation.
Rock Dog is unsurprisingly the story of a dog named Bodi (Luke Wilson). This beanie-wearing youthful Mastiff lives with his stern father in the snowy mountains where they protect the sheep population from being harmed by malicious wolves. Wolves who, for the majority, are voiced by black actors, which leaves arguably racist undertones. Representation is good and necessary, but it is questionable why it must mainly be in villainous roles.
Bodi aspires to become a rock star, so he voyages into the city where his idol, the callous cat Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard) lives. This has some Zootropolis-like properties: you have your awed protagonist who arrives in a big metropolis where anthropomorphic animals peacefully co-exist, but Rock Dog does not have the flair of that particular Disney film, nor does it have a catchy Shakira track. The music score is certainly good, but not overly special.
It is also unfortunate that the jokes and general dialogue is rather forced, which is not to say the voice actors were not capable – because they were. The movie is merely unimaginative in its storytelling. The friendships in Rock Dog likewise developed unconvincingly and Bodi’s rock star feline mentor remained wholly unlikeable.
The CGI in Rock Dog is mediocre. The sheep look completely indistinguishable, apart from a peculiar towel-wearing one with an obsessive-compulsive need to shower. There is also the option of seeing this movie in 3D, but that is inadvisable. Rock Dog’s prologue scene, however, did seem promising with its use of 2D animation, which makes you wonder that if this art style had been used consistently throughout the piece, it might have somewhat improved it.
Rock Dog does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch the trailer for Rock Dog here: