Rock Dog **
Dir: Ash Brannon. Animation with the voices of: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black. 90 mins. Cert: PG
This makeweight, narratively haphazard digimation synthesises Kung Fu Panda and School of Rock, without going to the expense of hiring Jack Black. Guitar-toting Tibetan mastiff Bodi’s protection of a mountain sheep community proceeds via riffs and lifts: a furry Zootropolis-like menagerie, a robot knock-off of WALL-E, a Poundland reduction of the Sing songbook. (A few seconds of Foo Fighters and – unexpectedly – Radiohead is all we get.) Going solo with shaky material, ex-Pixar man Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2) composes the odd amusing sight gag, but homogenises his notionally Eastern backdrop terribly: set against the artistry of last year’s Kubo and the Two Strings, it is as the hastily assembled toy in the Happy Meal.
Rock Dog opens in selected cinemas, and is available on demand, from today.