on 24 June 2007
I'm a fan of Don Bluth's films. As is natural however I will have some that I favour above others, but I find that this film in particular (which I do enjoy) is often overlooked within Bluth's stellar portfolio. Perhaps I was just at the right age when I had seen it but I have always found it to be entertaining. I would rank other films like Land Before Time, American Tail and Secret of Nimh above it for the more in-depth character development and they're ability to pull at your heartstrings, but this film still has the power to communicate in different ways. Its main moral is to believe in yourself, no matter what life has dealt you. Aswell as being a story about learning to work together. It is more of a 'fun adventure/romp' that can be an enjoyable ride.
As with all of Bluth's work, the animation is wonderful. This particular film feels as if it has alot of colour and vibrancy. The more ominous parts of course offer a stark contrast to this. I feel that Bluth has certain characteristics within the way that he shows emotion in characters and this film of course is no different. Each of the protagonist characters, have their own distinct personalities and are fun to watch. The antagonists have a bit of the 'bumbling' rabble feel, with a few standout characters. The leader in particular in hindsight reminds me of Cat R. Waul from An American Tail 2, and his little sidekick is quite insane adding a bit of chaos to the film!
They got some very good voice actors on board. Each of which I feel fit the character very well. If you watched the Polar Express you may even recognise one.
The film begins with live action before moving into animation and again mixing the two for the finale. This is dealt with very well and cleanly.
This is of course also a musical. The points at which the songs come in however feel right and compliment the film pretty well. Each of the songs convey a different part of the film, whether it be a comedic sinister dance by the 'baddies', a romantic lovesong or some more upbeat ones they're all quite lively. There is also some Elvis stylings due to the main character becoming a popular rock singer. Although probably less noticed, I really enjoy the background music/score soundtrack, especially some of the medleys. Its really quite sweet and beautiful in places.
A brief synopsis:
The main rooster of the film, Chanticleer is originally from the fables of Edmond Rostand (the main character of the film is also called Edmond).
Two worlds collide in Rock-A-Doodle as the sun mysteriously disappears and rain and darkness shadow both the animated and real world. A young real world boy finds his farmyard home threatened by a flood and as things start to crash down around him he is transported into the animated world and transformed into an animal. It is here he meets a whole range of animals who tell him their story of the famous rooster, Chanticleer, who they believed had the power to call the sun up in the morning. When the sun rises without him one morning he loses the trust of the others and leaves for the city. Now, whatever they might of believed, the animals are forced to search for him as the neighbouring darkness-loving owls set their sights on the defenseless animals for a tasty meal. Hoping that finding this rooster will also help him, the boy embarks on an adventrue with his new companions. Time is not on their side however.
At the time of this review the DVD is a mere £2.99, an AMAZING price for something as fun as this. Well worth a try at that price.