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.

2016: Odense International Festival Films

Films In the Program:
Information about Odense International  Festival

Untamed 
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The streets at night; a slow saxophone plays. A howling wolf roams the city. Dad is on the loose. Sally, an introverted 15-year-old girl, tries to tame her wolf father, who has lost himself in the wilderness.
Director: Juliette Viger
Denmark

Missing One Player 
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A mahjong game is planned. Everyone waits for the last player to show up. The other three have no choice but to wait and sit there silently in tears. Never losing hope, they do believe that the fourth player will come. They look up to the sky waiting for this miracle to happen.
Director: LEI LEI
China

Machine
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A couple lives in an idyllic seaside village, where giant machines have begun to upturn the cobblestone streets, and dust fills the air. Yet its residents go about their everyday lives. Losing a child and losing a city are two different things, yet loss destructively makes itself anew each day.
Director: Sunit Parekh
Denmark

Sunday Lunch
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James observes his family. They ask him questions and don’t listen to his answers, they give advice but don’t follow it, they stroke him and slap him, but it’s ok; that is the way Sunday lunch has always been and always will be.
Director: Celine Devaux
France
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Debut of China’s, Little Door Gods

Beijing’s Light Chaser animation has released its newest trailer for it’s first feature film Little Door Gods, which will be released in mainland China on January 1, 2016.

The films asks: What happens to good luck “door god” decorations when no one in contemporary society believes in their spiritual powers anymore? Written and directed by Light Chaser founder Gary Wang, the Chinese web entrepreneur who started the video sharing site Tudou,Little Door Gods aims to boost the standards of locally-produced Chinese feature animation and match the standards of American studio theatrical features. Little Door Gods will begin playing its roadshow on October 3rd in Qingdao, Changchun, Changzhou, Zhengzhou, Kunming, Foshan, and Taiyuan. No American distribution is set at this time

Mune: Guardian of the Moon (2015) Italian Trailers

Mune: Guardian of the Moon (2015) Story and Background
Italian TV Spots 



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2014 Animated Movies

Aikatsu! / Japan

Armor Hero Atlas / China


Asterix: The Land of the Gods
/ France

Attack on Titan Part 1: Crimson Bow and Arrow / Japan

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Mune: Guardian of the Moon (2015)

Mune also known as the Guardian of the Moon is a fantasy film about a universe in which the sun and moon are protected by guardians. The movie is based off an original story idea by Benoit Philippon ( Director/Screenwriter of the live action, Lullaby of Pi). Benoir Philippon also co directed with Gobelins grad Alexandre Heboyan, a former Dreamworks animator of Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens. The film will be released by French animation studio, Mikros Image and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures France. The film is scheduled to be released in France, April 22, 2015 and in Italy, February 6, 2015.

mune-poster-bAccording to sources, the film was backed creatively by Glen Keane. It’s unclear if he had any direct involvement in the film. The film has already been picked up for distribution in Italy (Notorious Pictures), South Korea (Smile Entertainment, Middle East (Gulf Films), China (Domo Media), India (Zoom Entertainment), Russia (Volga Films), and Poland (Monolith Films), among other territories. An American distribution has not been named but with increase popularity and awareness of the film expected to draw attention in the upcoming months there might be hope.

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Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

The Penguins of Madagascar is an American 3D computer-animated action comedy film. The movie is produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film is a sequel of the animal friendly movie, Madagascar. The overall budget of the film is estimated at $132 million and will be directed by Simon J. Smith and Eric Darnell. The story is written by Michael Colton and John Aboud who are both comedians and regular commentators on VH1.  The film was recently released in China and has already established $11.3 milllion dollars at the box office. The film also has many voice actors from Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Conrad Vernon, Christopher Knights and Benedict Cumberbatch.
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Super spy teams aren’t born…they’re hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know), voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, voiced by John Malkovich, from destroying the world as we know it.
The film has been in the works since 2005 since the first Madagascar film has been released. There has also been a video game released based off of the film and was published by Little Orbit. The game will be released November 25,2014 for Nintendo 3DS, Wii and Wii U. From recent trailers and interviews this movie is expected to be humorous and generate a high rating among Madagascar and animation fans.