Rock Dog 2016: Review

Rock Dog Plot

The 2016 Chinese movie starts off making a reference to the Big Lebowski. You have Sam Elliot opening the movie with a long tale about the main character of the story, Bodi and his father. The movie is set up 2D in the beginning in flashback but gradually transforms into a 3D animation. Told as if it were a Western in the beginning, there’s a fight between two distinctly different groups; the good, the bad and yes, even ugly. There’s even some tumbleweeds in the background to draw you in.

rock_dogThe movie was produced by Mandoo Pictures and Huayi Brothers. The film is directed by Ash Brannon and its based on the Chinese graphic novel, Tibetan Rock Dog by Zheng Jun. The movie has many talented voices from Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Back, Kenan Thompson and more. The film takes between the countryside and city life. The story follows a young Tibetan Mastiff who leaves his home to become a rock musician. With the support from his father his goal is not only accept for who he is, a guard dog, but he also has to balance in becoming a musician. Bodi the young Tibetan Mastiff must face many challenges from fighting wolves, become a musician, and gaining friends.

The movie was released on July 8, 2016 in China and had a United States release by Lionsgate in February. The overall budget of the movie was $60 million but had a box office flop in the United States and China.

Thank you to ROCK And DROOL for giving me the opportunity to watch this movie and write a review.

Rock Dog Review

If you enjoy the Kung Fu Panda franchise I would recommend watching this movie. There are many similarities between the Kung Fu Panda series from the transition to 2D in the beginning to 3D. The story line from accepting yourself also plays a major role in this film. I enjoyed the animation at times from the fighting sequences to the detail in the musical instruments. What surprised me the most was the fight scene toward the ending of the film. The part where Bodi is fighting in the ring with the fence sequence in the background really stood out to me for animation. The animation was a plus, and the message of the movie was heartwarming. I also enjoyed the references to certain musicians in pop culture and had a Big Lebowski feel towards the beginning of the film and the end.

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Other than the animation, I was not happy with the plot overall and character development. There were multiple plots entwined into one and even though the end summed everything together i felt like i was lost halfway through the movie. The characters in the film fell flat and were not likable. Bodi the main character was extremely gullible and didn’t have much of a character development besides learning his strengths which he already had. I did like the development of the cat, Angus Scattergood but other than that the other characters were forgotten. I would have really liked to see a development of the characters that Bodi had met in the park and see their perspective of what it takes to be in a band. If that were the case it might have gotten a mix between the movie Sing and the movie Zootopia. I would recommend this movie to kids but there’s a good reason as to why the movie flopped at the Chinese box office. I would rate this movie 2 guitars out of 5.

2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Animation

Here is a list of the few animations I believe that will make the top lists of Best Animation at the Oscars this year: Of course there is room for development.

Finding Dory (Pixar/Disney)
The film premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on June 8, 2016, and was released in the United States on June 17, 2016. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide, becoming the second Pixar film to cross this mark following Toy Story 3 (2010). The film set numerous records, including the biggest animated opening of all time in North America, emerging as the biggest animated film of all time in the U.S. and has become the biggest Pixar film release in China.

One year after reuniting Nemo with his father, Marlin, Dory has become a helping hand in raising Nemo. One day during a lesson with Nemo’s class, Dory recalls through a childhood flashback that she has a family. She decides to look for them but finds her short-term memory loss to be an obstacle. The only thing she remembers is that they lived at the Jewel of Morro Bay.

Kimi no Na wa / Your name (Funimation)
Kimi no Na Wa has now surpassed Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo anime film, as well as James Cameron’s Avatar film. The only anime films to earn more are Ghibli and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke . Kimi no Na Wa will be released by Funimation before 2017 to qualify for an Oscar. Your Name will run at Los Angeles’ Laemmle Music Hall for one week, Dec. 2 to 9, qualifying it for the 2016 Oscars. A film must run for a week in LA county in order to qualify. A wider theatrical release is planned for the first quarter of 2017.

The film, themed around “miracles and love,” follows the story of high school students Mitsuha and Taki. In dreams, they swap bodies. While a love story, Kimi no Na Wa features several more layers of complexity as the two protagonists search for the secret to their dream swapping. The story reportedly takes inspiration from Torikaebaya Monogatari, a 12th-century tale where two siblings display the mannerisms of the opposite sex.


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Kung Fu Panda 3 Review

Kung Fu Panda 3 is a 2016 3D American-Chinese computer animated film produced by DreamWorks Animation. The film is classified as a comedy martial arts film and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is sequel to the 2011 Film Kung Fu Panda 2 and the Kung Fu Panda Franchise. The film had a limited release in China on January 23, 2016 and a united States release, January 29, 2016.
The film was directed by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. They were also the writers of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The executive producer is famous, Guillermo del Toro and produced by Melissa Cobb. Kung Fu Panda 3 returned some of the famous voice actors from the previous films and had a new cast as well. Some of these voices included, Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K Simmons, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, Kate Hudson and Jackie Chan.  The 95 minute film received positive reviews and has a 7.2 out of 10 rating on IMDb. It had a budget of  $145 million but accumulated $519.9 million at the box office.
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Our story takes place  in the Spirit Realm with Turtle, Grandmaster Oogway. Grandmaster Oogway  fights against an adversary named Kai, who has defeated other kung fu masters in the realm and taken their qi, turning them into small jade charms. Oogway willingly gives in and also has his qi stolen, but not before warning Kai that the Dragon Warrior, Po will stop him. Kai takes this as a challenge to steal the qi from the Dragon Warrior and returns to the mortal realm. Po must find a way to find his inner peace and qi to defeat Kai. With the help from his friends, long lost father and family he battles not only his strongest enemy but his inner self and doubt as well. The real question is, will he find his inner qi in time and survive in the process?

Being a fan of the Kung Fu Panda Franchise I was excited to see this film. The characters were hilarious with their dialogue and the animation was absolutely stunning. The opening shots of the spirit realm are gorgeous with lighting, colors and 3d animation. I also really enjoy that the movies have stayed true with the Chinese elements and teachings of martial arts. I also enjoyed that they incorporated inner peace and qi as an entity and compared that to the strength behind your friends and family. What I also enjoyed was the soundtrack and film score of Hans Zimmer that has also worked on the previous films. I also liked that they incorporated renowned Asian musicians such as Chinese pianist lang lang, Chinese cellist Jian Wang, pop singer Jay Chou and Canadian Taiwanese young singer Patrick Brasca.
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2016: Heart of Gold International Film Festival

Held in richly historic Gympie, Australia from 6-9 October 2016, Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival is one of the sparkling gems in the crown of Australian film festivals. We like to think it has extra sparkle thanks to its unique mission: to showcase well-crafted films from around the world that deeply resonate with the viewer. At Heart of Gold, we believe it takes a special kind of storytelling magic to break through to the audience on an emotional level, and we’re all about celebrating films that do just that.

The four-day program includes industry masterclasses, a spectacular opening night gala, awards night party and up to 30 sessions of shorts from all genres that best capture Heart of Gold’s vision to screen films that are positive, witty, entertaining, joyous, uplifting, enlightening and ground-breaking. They can be edgy, they can be thought-provoking and they can be downright hilarious – as long as they beat with a good, strong heart.
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2016: Marbella Film Festival

The Marbella Film Festival is the flagship project of New World Trust, an organisation created to provide support for talented artists across the globe. The festival is from September 28 to October 2, 2016. Located in Estepona ( MALAGA), Spain.

Van Gogh cut off his ear. Artists are known for displaying their tempestuous passion for their craft. Oddly enough, despite this passion and often remarkable talent, artists find it difficult to emerge into the commercial world. This is because most artists are left unequipped with the means and often the knowledge to have their talent appreciated, thus rendering success as an artist exceedingly difficult. Remember, in his life Van Gogh only sold ONE painting. This festival and it’s workshops are here to improve an artists knowledge and information.

2015 Award Winners

2016: Viborg Animation Festival

Viborg Animation Festival – lovingly known as VAF – is Denmark’s largest animation festival and a celebration of the possibilities of animation. This year, the 9th edition of the festival will take place from the 26th of September to the 2nd of October in Viborg, Denmark  and surrounding areas.

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Staying true to tradition, you will be able to see a broad selection of films for free in cinemas in Viborg, Bjerringbro and Karup during the festival. Bring your family to see “The Peanuts Movie” and “The Little Prince” or explore narrower films for youth and adults; like acclaimed film “Anomalisa” and “Nuts”. The full program will be announced in August.

Game enthusiasts will have their curiosity sated at our Game Expo where we will exhibit over 20 new games along with the newest technology in Virtual Reality.

In Viborg Kunsthal, art and animation will melt together in a challenging way while Viborg Museum will exhibit art from the locally produced, Oscar-nominated film “Song of the Sea”.

 

2016: World Festival of Animated Film

The 12th edition of The World Festival of Animated Film will be held in Varna, Bulgaria between September 7 to September 11, 2016.

WFAF-poster-2016_150resAgain the Festival and Congress Centre halls in our sea capital will host a variety of animated events. The competition program s in five categories and Panorama will present the best and latest of the animated world. An extended version of the traditional children workshop will let our little guests experience what it is to make an animated film. Specialized lectures, master-classes, screenings of student films from universities from around the world, programs from guest-festivals, documentaries, exhibitions and lots more in September!
Program
Selection
The Team