Rock & Rule (1983)

ROCK & RULE (1983)
Article 3566 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-27-2011
Posting Date: 5-20-2011
Directed by Clive A. Smith
Featuring the voices of Paul Le Mat, Susan Roman, Don Francks
Country: Canada
What it is: Animated Rock and Roll fantasy

In a post-apocalyptic world where animals have evolved into human-like forms, a legendary rock performer tries to circumvent his waning popularity by summoning a demon from another dimension at his next concert. To do so, he needs a special voice, which belongs to a female singer in an unknown band. He kidnaps her, but the other members of her band set out to rescue her…

The first animated feature produced entirely in Canada owes a lot more to Bakshi than it does to Disney. Still, it’s not as jagged as some of Bakshi’s work, and overall, the animation is quite good. The story is merely passable, and the movie doesn’t really make much use of either the “evolved animals” or the “post-apocalyptic world”. What it does use, and what is probably its big selling point, is the talents of the rock artists involved; the music is provided by Cheap Trick, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed and Earth, Wind and Fire (Iggy Pop is also in there somewhere). The movie also models its characters off of some of the rock performers; the main rock group in the movie more or less resembles Cheap Trick (with Debbie Harry sharing lead vocals with Robin Zander), with characters clearly modeled off of Bun E. Carlos and Rick Nielsen, the latter being played like a certain Bowery Boy who Nielsen resembles, though it should be pointed out that the rock stars only provide the singing voices and not the talking voices. Lou Reed does the singing voice for the main villain, who looks not so much like Reed as he does a cross between Mick Jagger and the Grinch. Overall, the movie was quite entertaining, if nothing really special.

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