When we hear of a new animation being released by a studio other than Pixar, Dreamworks or Disney, questions are immediately raised over its quality. Rock Dog is not one of those movies. It takes its inspiration from a Chinese novel titled Tibetan Rock Dog and lasts less than 90 minutes, offering the viewer a lighthearted plot, which although tailored to the youngest of ages allows adults to enjoy the film too, with hidden gags only older eyes would understand. Oh, and there are also laser beams!
Rock Dog begins in the Asian mountains, the fictitious Snow Mountain to be precise. Here we are introduced to the main protagonist, Bodi (Luke Wilson), a young Tibetan mastiff who lives with his father, Khampa (JK Simmons), the guard of the mountain who protects the resident sheep from the wolves. Unable to live up to his dad’s expectations and train to be a guard, Bodi discovers a love for music, Rock in particular. After hearing rock legend Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard) on the radio, the young pooch follows his dreams and travels to the big city in the hopes of becoming a musician. What follows is a journey of discovery and forging of new friendships as Bodi attempts to fulfil both his father’s aspirations and his own.
The film begins sleepily and slowly, and lacks any significant character development or connection with the observer. This, however, is drastically changed once Bodi travels to the city and we are introduced to his future companions, including the uncanny cartoon incarceration of Eddie Izzard through his character Angus. Izzard steals the show; it is his rock icon Scattergood that lights up the screen, and suddenly the movie doesn’t appear to be targeted at children at all. Trademark mannerisms of the comedian, even down to his coloured nails, are mashed together with the traits of his feline character, creating not only an entertaining act on screen, but bringing a sense of depth to the plot and the other characters too.
The soundtrack could not be better, featuring Radiohead, Foo Fighters and other catchy tunes, and almost induces a sense of nostalgia over the older audience members. Rock Dog satisfies a variety of cravings for filmgoers, placing one arm around the younger viewers, and the other around their parents, making the animation an enjoyable and entertaining watch for all ages.
Rock Dog is released nationwide on 16th June 2017.
Watch the trailer for Rock Dog here: