Film Review: Rock Dog

Rock Dog is a sufficiently likeable animated adventure. However, the storytelling becomes generic and the film lacks real originality.

Bodi is meant to be a soldier in his father’s army, aiming to protect his village. When a radio falls from the sky, Bodi falls in love with music and wishes to pursue a career as a musician…

Directed and co-written by Ash Brannon, Rock Dog is a coming of age story. The film follows a familiar tread of an adolescent character deciding who he wants to be. In this film, this story plays out through a dog who is due to follows his father’s footsteps. The story that is told has sufficient heart. The trope of the child disobeying the parent plays out well in that it is slightly subverted. Instead of most of the duration being about a child who wants to choose a different path, Brannon’s film clears this up swiftly. This leaves more time for the more interesting aspect of Bodie trying to join a band and meet his idol. 

The main characters in Rock Dog are amiable, if unoriginal. Bodi’s father is not as stubborn as others who fill this archetype. Bodie is a protagonist that the audience can root for. He is not particularly memorable, but fulfils his function well. Angus is lots of fun as the ageing rocker. 

The animation does not feel lovingly crafted. Compared to other animated features, the computer-generated imagery looks cheap. The soundtrack contains a mix of well-known songs and original music. This will no doubt suit younger viewers, although older ones may wish for more rock to match the film’s title.

The film features a decent voice cast, including Luke Wilson, J.K. Simmons, and Eddie Izzard. Unfortunately, even these talents fail to make the film memorable. Rock Dog is watchable enough, yet leaves those craving originality bereft.

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