Rock Dog, the Chinese-American co-production directed by Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2, Surf’s Up), came out with a new teaser yesterday. The film is produced by Chinese companies Huayi Brothers and Mandoo Pictures.
Rock Dog, based on the popular Chinese graphic novel Tibetan Rock Dog, tells the story of Bodi, a Tibetan Mastiff who dreams of being a rock star against the wishes of his father, who wants him to follow in his footsteps as a guard dog.
The film will be released in China on July 8, 2016. International distributors and release dates haven’t been announced, but the project was designed from the ground-up to be a cross-cultural project that would appeal to both Chinese and Western audiences. The English version of the film has plenty of familiar names in its voice cast including Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliott.
The project is also unique in that it’s one of the first examples of reverse-outsourcing in feature animation, where the Chinese producers sent the animation to be made at Dallas, Texas-based Reel FX (The Book of Life, Free Birds). The film’s budget, reportedly in the range of $40-55 million, makes it among the most expensive 100% Chinese-financed animated productions to date.