review Bobby Blakey
There are a ton of animated films that hit theaters every year and you never fully know which ones will end up being hits. Sadly there are a lot that get lost in the mix with some working, but more often not. The latest that kind of seemed to come and go was Rock Dog featuring a great voice cast including Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliott with Surf’s Up director As Brannon at the helm, but does it hit the right notes or will it fail to even be a one hit wonder?
Rock Dog follows a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff who leaves home to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician, setting into motion a series of completely unexpected events after a radio falls from the sky. Going into this film I had little to no expectations as the one trailer that I originally saw kind of fell flat. While the film doesn’t break down any walls in the animation world it did manage to still entertain on some level. For the most part it is pretty generic and doesn’t offer up any characters that really stand out, but the story as silly as it is manages to work. The use of music tends to help films along a lot more than it might have without it. This film pure focus is on the music and when they are dealing with that it is enjoyable, but it’s the nonsense around it that struggles at times.
While the look and personalities of the characters don’t really stand out the voice cast all do a good job bringing them to life. They are helped a bit some fun visuals and direction that makes a film that is pretty forgettable and make it something that might work for some. Let’s be honest though, these films are for the kids and this will no doubt connect with the majority of that audience. It has high quality animation and direction making it not feel like one of those straight to video flicks, but just doesn’t pack that punch it needs to be more than just average.