This breezy animated comedy adventure doesn't rise to Pixar's heights, but its tale of a Tibetan Mastiff with pop music dreams is rather endearing.
A new breed of rock star.
In the Himalayan village of Snow Mountain, generations of Tibetan Mastiffs have guarded the local sheep from wolves. Khampa, the current warrior dog, expects his son Bodi to follow family tradition, but Bodi yearns to become a musician instead.
After a transistor radio falls from a plane, he decides to follow the example of his new idol, British pop star Angus Scattergood, and head to the city to pursue his dream. Unfortunately, lupine gangster Linnux has spotted Bodi’s departure and dispatched his henchmen to kidnap him…
Based on the comic-book novel Tibetan Rock Dog by Chinese rock singer Zheng Jun, computer-animated comedy adventure Rock Dog doesn’t rise to the heights of Pixar, but its blend of breezy music biz satire, quirky characters and rumbustious action is rather endearing.
Incredibly cool cat
The voice cast fit their parts to a T, with Luke Wilson supplying goofy innocence as Bodi, while JK Simmons is suitably gruff as his disapproving dad. Sam Elliott echoes his narrating Stranger from The Big Lebowski as the drawling Fleetwood Yak and Matt Dillon has fun with vain snow leopard guitarist Trey, one of the characters Bodi encounters in the city’s Rock and Roll Park.
Best of all, though, is Eddie Izzard’s incredibly cool cat Angus, a white Persian who lives in a gated mansion with only his robot butler Ozzie for company. Permanently in sunglasses (he puts cucumber slices on top of his shades), he is every inch the pampered rock recluse and the source of many of the film’s funniest moments, including a corny but amusing running gag involving a pair of workmen carrying a giant pane of glass and the mansion’s electrified gate. Ouch!
Certificate PG. Runtime 90 mins. Director Ash Brannon