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: “Parade” De Satie

This film made its world premier at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. “Parade” De Satie is a parade of three managers and four performers. Mixing quotes from French composer Erik Satie’s essays with the ballet music “Parade” in 1916, this film is an animated re-creation of the “realist ballet images going beyond reality.”The music is composted by Breuker Willem and the the film was produced January 2016 in Japan.


2016: Zegapain Adaptation

Zegapain is a Japanese anime series created by Sunrise. The series premiered in Japan on April 6, 2006. In 2007 Bandai Entertainment released the first region 1 volume with the last volume released in 2008. As part of the 10th anniversary of the series, a new theatrical film was released on October 15, 2016. The movie will also include new scenes not present in the the TV anime. The film was directed by Masami Shimoda and music was produced by Ayao Otsuka. The cast includes Kaminagi Ryouko, Sogoru Kyou and Misaki Shizuno who are present in the TV adaptation.
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Kyo Sogoru, a high school boy living in a city called Maihama, leads a normal life of school, romance, and the swim club. Kyo’s life changes when he sees a beautiful girl, Shizuno Misaki, at the pool one day and discovers he is initially the only person who can see her. In order to keep his high school’s swimming club open by recruiting more members, Kyo hopes to enlist Shizuno to appear in a promo video shot by Kyo’s close friend, Ryoko. Shizuno agrees, but on the condition that he does something for her in exchange – pilot a mecha for an organization known as Celebrum.

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!
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GKIDS and Studio Ghibli

GKIDS (Guerrilla Kids International Distribution Syndicate) is an American distributor based in New York City of animated and youth-aimed cinema. GKIDS organizes the New York International Children’s Film Festival and is an Academy Award qualifying event. Just recently GKIDS has just acquired North American rights for Studio Ghiblis, When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie). The film opened in Japan last July with positive reviews. GKIDS will release an English-language version in the United States this spring and will qualify the film for 2015 award consideration. 
Omiode_no_Marnie_posterThe movie, When Marnie Was There is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi ( The Secret World Of Arrietty) and based on the British Children’s novel by Joan G. Robinson. The film follows a young girl who finds a mysterious girl while adventuring to an abandoned house. The screenplay was written by Yonehayashi with Keiko Niwa who is known for From Up on the Poppy Hill and Secret World of Arriety. Masashi Ando designed the characters and directed the animation.

GKIDS has released previous Ghibli films including From Up on Poppy Hill and The Tale of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya that has been nominated for Academy Award this year. GKIDS has also released a 2014 documentary about the studio, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. GKIDS handles all of the North American theatrical distribution rigs for the Studio Ghibli library.

Studio_Ghibli_Logo   Gkids

Thank you, Buzzfeed!

Last week I was informed of a recent article that was published on Buzzfeed. Being a long time fan of the American internet media news company i was notified from friends that on a recent rewind Buzzfeed article titled, 13 Movie Easter Eggs that Cleverly Reference Other Films by Brian Galindo accumulated a classic and win certification. Being a huge movie fan I decided to check out the article and was amazed to see what i found. The article was posted for only an hour and had already accumulated over 200,000 views. While reading the article i looked at number 12 on the list and noticed my very own animation blog. It’s a small link but in that short amount of time i also noticed a huge viewership to my animation blog. I wanted to say thank you for the small contribution from Buzzfeed and to inform people not to give up on writing something you enjoy, because one day it might be on the front page of a media website.

hans buzzfeed

Annie Awards Nominees (2014)

The Annie Awards also known as the Animated Awards recently announced all of the nominees which includes a whopping eight films in its Best Animated Feature category. The Los Angeles branch of the International Animated Film Association, which runs the show, seems to prioritize quantity and excitement over self-serious rule-making. The Annie Awards will be announced January 31,2015. They normally have a live link to their website, for those that can’t make the event.
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The biggest hit yesterday morning was The Boxtrolls, with a grand total of 13 nominations. Almost as much love was given to How to Train Your Dragon 2, which was mentioned ten times. Even Cyndi Lauper made the list, nominated for a direct-to-DVD baseball drama to which she lent her voice. Yet while that film might be a bit hard to find, some of the shorts that made the roster are already online.

Eight films are nominated for Best Animated Short Subject, of which five have also been shortlisted for the Academy Award. What that means, essentially, is that we likely have to wait until the ShortsHD release after the Oscar nominations to see them. That they’ll be released on the big screen makes it worth the wait, of course. In the meantime, one of the eight is already on Vimeo.

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