Movie Review: ROCK DOG (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

ROCK DOG is based on the graphic novel “Tibetan Rock Dog” by Zheng Jun. The animated adventure was directed by Ash Brannon and features the voice talents of JK Simmons, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, with Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliott as Fleetwood Yak.

For the Tibetan Mastiffs living on Snow Mountain, a dog’s life has a simple riff: Guard a peaceful village of wool-making sheep from the thuggish wolf Linnux (Lewis Black) and his rabid pack. To avoid distractions, Mastiff leader Khampa (J.K. Simmons) forbids all music from the mountain. But when Khampa’s son Bodi (Luke Wilson) discovers a radio dropped by a passing airplane, it takes just a few guitar licks for his fate to be sealed: Bodi wants to be a rock ‘n’ roll star. Yet that means defying his father’s wishes, heading to the city, and locating the legendary – and reclusive – musician Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard), who needs to write a new song and fast. If Bodi can put a band together, help Angus with his song, and defeat the wolves’ plot to take Snow Mountain, his life will be in tune. Bodi will become what he’s always dreamed of being: More than a dog … more than a Rock God… he’ll be a ROCK DOG!

The movie follows Bodi who accidentally finds his love for music and it takes him on an adventure to the big city even though his father wants him to follow in his footsteps. Bodi is innocent and naive and taken advantage of by his musical hero Angus Scattergood after they meet. Bodi makes some new friends but he also has this group of goofball mobster wolves after him, but honestly, they never really pose a threat. What heppens is, Bodi and Angus write a catchy new tune together which becomes a hit and Angus doesn’t give Bodi the credit he deserves in the beginning. With lessons learned, Angus ends up giving credit where credit is due and Bodi finally gets to live his dream as a rockstar – with a little mystical fire thrown in.

Okay, I really liked Rock Dog which is one of the better animated adventures released so far this year. The story was funny and heartwarming and director Ash Brannon was able to capture all of this. The voice cast is what brings all of these animated characters to life and gives each of them their own unique personalities and attitudes and they do a great job with it all. The standouts are Luke Wilson who plays the adventerous central character Bodi, JK Simmons who plays Bodi’s father Khampa, Eddie Izzard who plays the rockstar cat Angus Scattergood to near perfection and of course there’s the legendary Sam Elliott who lends his voice as the wise old Fleetwood Yak. There’s all kinds of animation styles being used these days and Rock Dog uses one of the more popular formulas and I really like this look of the movie. The animators did a fantastic job creating these characters and the world they live in.

The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Both discs also feature their own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Rock Dog ended up being a fun and heartwarming watch that the entire family can sit down and enjoy together. There’s no hidden agenda here and nothing offensive in the watch and honestly that’s a breath of fresh air for parents who are concerned about what their kiddos are viewing these days. The message in the movie is simple and that’s take a chance to make your dreams come true. Rock Dog is one of the better animated movies to come along in 2017. I really get a kick out of these kind of movies that take place in a world where there are absolutely no humans and the animals are all in the spotlight. We get plenty of these animal-driven movies and unfortunately most of them are pretty forgettable but Rock Dog fits in easily with the best of the bunch. The younger audience will really get a kick out of it because it was made for them! The music-driven animated adventure releases on Blu-ray+DVD+Combo Pack on May 23rd and is worth checking out.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 90 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 / Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! This home video release includes four behind-the-scenes featurettes looking at the making of every part of the film from voice recording, to animation, to music, as well as the “Glorious” music video.

  • “Finding the Fire: The Making of Rock Dog” Featurette (06:16)
  • “Mic Check: Casting the Voices” Featurette (06:05)
  • “A Rockin’ New World: Animating Rock Dog” Featurette (05:53)
  • Rock Dog and Roll: Exploring the Music: Featurette (06:20)
  • “Glorious” Music Video (03:43)
  • Digital HD Copy

 

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