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.

Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

If you happen to be familiar with Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep television series produced by Aardman Animations than you are in luck for the newest British stop- motion animated comedy, Shaun the Sheep the movie. The film was written and directed by Richard Starzak and Mark Burton. The movie was distributed by StudioCanal and was released in the United Kingdom, February 6th, 2015. The movie was released by Lionsgate in the USA and by Universal Pictures in Latin America. The movies debut was  at Sundance in January 2015. The full running time is 85 minutes. With reviews being labeled as “baaadddd” from Cartoon Brew; the movie has only accumulated $65.3 million at the box office.

The plot of the movie consists of a sheep named Shaun who happens to live with his flock at Mossy Bottom Farm. Tired of the routine of life on the farm, he hatches a plan for a day off, by tricking the farmer into going back to sleep by counting the sheep over and over. However, the travel-trailer in which they put the farmer to bed accidentally rolls away, taking him all the way into the big city. Bitzer, the farmer’s dog, goes after him, ordering the sheep to stay on the farm. The voice cast includes Justin Fletcher as Shaun/Timmy John Sparkes as Bitzer/Farmer, Omid Djalili as Trumper,  Kate Harbour as Timmy’s mom/ Meryl and Nick Park as himself.

Production started in January 2011 but with a few setbacks the movie was suppose to be released 2013 or 2014. In April 2013, the movie was announced it would be distributed by StudioCanal and written by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak. Principal photography and production began January 30, 2014. The music of the film is composed by Ilan Eshkeri.  The soundtrack was released in the UK on June 1st. The soundtrack consist of 26 tracks with a total length of 54:45. The movie has a rating of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes with 112 votes. Overall the movie has been given “okay” reviews calling the movie fluffy, smart and fun. There have already been discussions of a possible sequel for the movie.

Shaun