In this acclaimed, animated rock and roll feature, Angel, a member of a punk rock band in the apocalyptic future, is kidnapped by Mok, a legendary super rocker. Obsessed with an evil experiment, Mok plans to use Angel s vo... more »ice to summon a demon from another dimension. The rest of the bands follows Mok to Nuke York in an attempt to rescue her and then the ultimate battle of good vs. evil begins.« less
Excellent movie, Excellent soundtrack, Excellent DVD set!
K. Cannon | USA | 06/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rock & Rule is truly one of the greatest undiscovered gems of early 80's animation. Barely being released in theaters and having limited TV and video releases, not too many people had the chance to really see this masterpiece. Taking more than a few years to make, and more than 200 people working around the clock on the project, it was truly a labor of love.
This new 2-Disc Collector's Edition is a very nice set, however you look at it. You can tell that much time and care went into this one. Packed with a new Anamorphic 16X9 Widescreen transfer and a jaw-dropping Dolby 5.1 remix, Rock & Rule has never looked and sounded better! The package is a custom box with a pullout gatefold digi-case, and exceptional artwork on all sides.
Now let's talk about the extras on the first disc, which is also available as the cheaper stand alone single DVD release of Rock & Rule. An audio commentary with Director Clive A. Smith is well worth listening in on, you'll learn tons and never get bored. A 22+ minute vintage making-of featurette also reveals many facts concerning the production of Rock & Rule. A short restoration comparison is included, where you can see just how great this new DVD transfer looks! Lastly is an extensive stills gallery of pre-production sketches.
Now let's talk about the special features on the 2nd disc, only available in the 2-Disc Collector's Edition. A nice collector's booklet is included featuring various interviews, artwork and photos. Perhaps the real gem is the alternate Canadian version of Rock & Rule presented here in fullscreen format. The main differences are that a different actor was used to voice Omar, much of the dialogue is more risque, and it runs a few minutes longer in the credits. The original negatives for this version were lost in a fire and the best remaining print source was used, so the quality is sometimes not too great and has imperfections, yet it's well worth watching. Also included is "The Devil And Daniel Mouse", an earlier half-hour animation piece, which was the inspiration for Rock & Rule. Next is another lengthy making-of featurette about the production of "The Devil And Daniel Mouse". Next we have a 12+ minute workprint version of the end of Rock & Rule with various scenes in rough form. There's also a short workprint title sequence containing the alternate "Ring Of Power" title name of Rock & Rule. Included are two trailers, one being for Rock & Rule. Another extensive stills gallery is included again on this disc. Lastly, if you have a DVD-ROM drive on your computer you can pop this disc in and view the original script for Rock & Rule in Adobe PDF format.
Did I forget to mention the soundtrack? With performances by Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Cheap Trick, Debbie Harry and Earth Wind And Fire...every song is simply excellent and stays in your head long after the movie ends. It's a real shame that this never got a full soundtrack release, since the music does for Rock & Rule what the awesome animation visuals do for the atmosphere of the film. And the effective synth score by composer Patricia Cullen (who sadly passed away) works perfectly and is often very creepy.
Even if you never had the chance to see Rock & Rule before, you almost can't go wrong if you enjoy other early 80's animation films like Heavy Metal and American Pop."
Awesome animated rock opera!
John Lindsey | Socorro, New Mexico USA. | 06/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
Set in the future where man has destroyed himself, the only survivors were rats, cats and dogs that have mutated into humanoid beings. An aging rocker named "Mok" has plans to take over the world using an experiment to bring a demon from another dimension by using a special voice, he kidnaps a beautiful singer named "Angel" to use her voice, but only Omar ( her boyfriend) and friends must stop Mok before it's too late.
A magnificent, entertaining and well made animated Sci-fi fantasy rock opera with the music of Debroah Harry, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Earth Wind and Fire and Cheap Trick. The Animation is what i call spectacular even on the characters, there's a fairly decent plot but still this is a very impressive underrated cult animated flick that will now have it's audience thanks to DVD, that Angel is a total knockout.
The 2-Disc set includes the American version with great pictre & sound quality and the alternate Canadian version with a different voice track for "Omar" some omitted scenes and a alternate ending. There's also commentary by the director Clive Smith, behind the scenes, the Nelvana short " The Devil and Daniel Mouse" with behind the scenes of that short, trailer to "Rock & Rule", still gallery, collectable booklet, and conceptual art.
A highly recommended movie and a highly recommended DVD for lovers of animation, Sci-fi, fantasy and rock.
Also recommended: Heavy Metal, American Pop, The Fifth Element, Blade Runner, Total Recall, Wizards, The Black Cauldron, Fire & Ice, Hey Good Looking!, Robin Hood (Disney), Akira, Ghost in The Shell, Metropolis ( both 1927 and 2001 versions), Princess Mononoke, The Dark Crystal, The Wizard of Oz, Treasure Planet."
Maybe it's the nostalgia talking...
Seth Paul | Troy, MI United States | 06/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...but I simply do not get a lot of "official reviews" of this film. While I do not wish to impugn the above editorial review (his opinion is certainly as valid as any other), with the possible exception of "Heavy Metal" many animated films of the early 80s simply seem to be ignored or berated. Somehow, movies like this and Ralph Bakshi's equally brilliant "Fire & Ice" just never clicked with the populace at large and fell through the cracks, where only a few managed to see them.
But, thanks to the miracle of DVD and the dedicated staff at Unearthed Films, maybe the film will finally reach an audience that can appreciate it.
The movie itself, if you are unfamiliar with the plot, takes place in a dark, sinister future, many years following a nuclear war which has eradicated mankind from the planet. The cities are now inhabited by mutants that evolved from dogs, cats, and rats.
Enter Mok, a declining rock superstar who more than slightly resembles a cross of Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger. Utilizing black magic, he seeks revenge on the world that is turning its back on him by opening a dimensional gateway and releasing a demon. All he needs is a certain voice that can open it...and as the movie opens, that voice just happens to be singing at a local bar. When Mok spirits her off to work his evil will, her band, led by the co-singer/jealous boyfriend, follows her...ending in a concert finale of epic proportions.
While the movie has confusing sequences and a slightly disjointed narrative, it is cleverly written, with plenty of slapstick, visual gags, and dark humor which work really well...all crammed into a scant 79 minutes. Like many of the Japanese animation films of today, it is a movie not really intended for children (though I saw it when I was 6; go figure). It is dark, edgy, and has a lot of music industry jokes (the good guys are not only musically vocalized by Cheap Trick, they look a lot like them, too) that might go over the heads of younger viewers. It ain't rated PG for nothin'. This is also the reason the movie gets four instead of five stars...let's face it, it's too off-beat to appeal to everyone.
But the real strength is in the music. With a soundtrack specifically written for the movie by artists like Cheap Trick and Debbie Harry, it is a movie best experienced with the sound turned way up. A major point of the film is the power of music, and on this end it does not disappoint; unlike other films which merely use music to heighten the mood, here the soundtrack is actually an interwoven part of the story.
The DVD version of the film is extraordinary. The 5.1 mix, which on many older films tends to merely provide it with better music while the rest of the sound goes to the center channel, is actually quite remarkable. While I do remember my VHS tape being slightly more dynamic (some vocals during one of the Cheap Trick songs on the VHS have a more gimmicky-sounding surround than the DVD version, for instance), it is clear, vibrant, and most of all, best heard loud on a good surround system (the end sequence sound so powerful I almost wept; seriously). The 1.85 anamorphic widescreen looks crisp and clear, and considering the limited budget the clean-up crew did an amazing job removing scratches and burns (there are a few dinky ones, but nothing to cry over). As for those of you with the two-disc edition...well, let's say "Collector's Edition" actually applies here. Besides a two-page booklet, commentary, and bonus features like a still gallery, the second disc includes two bonuses worth purchasing on their own: namely, an alternate version of the film with different footage and more sarcastic, cynical voice for Omar (voiced in the theatrical version by Paul LeMat, who is much more laid-back and wisecracking) and "The Devil and Daniel Mouse," an entertaining twenty-minute short made in the late '70s which is more family-friendly, humorous, and an obvious inspiration to the longer film.
DVD has proven to be a great resource for those of us who have waited far too long for our films to get the recognition they deserve. If you like your animation a little less "Disney," or the darker films of the early 80s, or you just like offbeat stuff, check it out."
Charles Solomon is an idiot
Chlamydia | City Of Crime, State Of Confusion | 04/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't believe the "it's not a memorable film" garbage from Charles Solomon. He's a clueless nitwit who doesn't know what he's talking about. This is a "cult classic" BECAUSE it's a memorable film.
It's dark, funny, bizarre, and filled with vieled commentary about the music industry. There are some interesting morality issues brought up as well. Obviously not one for the kiddies. Though the music (of that era) plays a heavy role, it's not JUST about music...there's alot more going on.
If you want an intelligent movie that doesn't treat it's viewers as morons, with a great rock theme/score, you can't go wrong.
Long time fans have been rabbidly screaming for this movie, and now it's finally here. Get it while you can!"
Charles Solomon can go suck a rock!
Mason J. Rourman | North Yorkshire, UK | 05/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Please ignore Mr. Solomon's review of the movie - if that's all Amazon is going to give it as a review, why even bother selling the new upcoming 2-disc set? Sheesh!
This was my favorite movie at age 17. Maybe I'm going to buy it just for the notalgia, but I *love* that movie, plot troubles or not. It's still a far-cry better than other animated movies I've seen, and *MUCH* better than some live-action flicks I've seen (or avoided). If you get this for your 17-year-old metal-loving, guitar-playing son, he will love you, and never forget the flick. Okay, it's not rated G, but you see less than you did on Janet Jackson on live television, and it's more socially nourishing than, say, "Catwoman" or "Battlefield Earth" or "Highlander II". So ignore Charles Solomon, and grab a copy for yourself, if you like animation at all! The music is good, the movie is fun, and you won't be sorry!"