It's also much better than especially anything from Video Brinquedo and, although to me critics do not deserve anywhere near the over-the-top bashing they get on the internet, 'Rock Dog' is another case of liking it much more than they did and going against the grain. 'Rock Dog' is less than perfect, but for the imperfections there are it has its heart in the right place, it knows who to aim it at and really tries to appeal to all ages and it doesn't try too hard or attempt to do more than it needs to.
'Rock Dog' may not be ground-breaking in story, a good deal of it is derivative, and some of the plotting concerning the villain's plan is a bit strange and takes away at times from the rest of the story. The film is also too short, if it were twenty minutes longer it would have fleshed out the slightly underdeveloped lead character Boni more and done more with the disapproving parent cliché.
However, the animation may not be mind-blowing or imaginative but it's colourful and detailed enough and at least the characters don't look ugly. The music is truly amazing and along with the supporting characters steals the show. In particular "Glorious", which lives up to its name.
Writing is witty and heartfelt and while the story execution is less than perfect it goes at a bright and breezy pace, is fun, is inspiring, is well-meaning and has a heart of gold that comes over movingly. Although he could have been better fleshed out more, the lead character is an easy to relate to one. Stealing the show though is the hilarious character Angus Scattergood, a character so rich in personality and so much fun he is worthy of a solo outing of some kind. Fleetwood Yak (nostalgic adults will have a good chuckle at this) is fun too.
Voice acting is good, with the best contribution coming from a note-perfect Eddie Izzard. JK Simmons is perfectly gruff as well and Luke Wilson is a likable lead. On paper, Lewis Black didn't seem right to me for a villain but he won me over, making Linnus a suitably formidable and somewhat cool villain. Mae Whitman is charming.
Overall, didn't love it but liked it better than thought. 7/10 Bethany Cox