Attention party animals: Unleash your inner shredder with Lionsgate’s Rock Dog 2: Rock Around the Park, the family-friendly sequel to the hit film that, like its predecessor, is filled with crazy adventure, awesome guitar licks, and a ton of rock references.
The movie takes place one year after the events of the original Rock Dog. Bodi and his band, True Blue, have become locally famous in the village of Snow Mountain — and even have devoted fans! But when a music mogul named Lang gives them the opportunity to tour with pop sensation Lil’ Foxy, Bodi and his friends learn that fame comes at a price, and ultimately discover that only by staying true to yourself can you unleash the power of rock ‘n’ roll!
Watch the exclusive Rock Dog 2 / Parentology trailer here, then learn more about the movie below.
A Who’s-Who of Rock Iconography
True to its title, musical tropes abound in this rollicking film. References to song lyrics and bands from rock history are thrown out at a dizzying pace; even our 8-year-old resident rock n’ roll connoisseur (and my personal co-reviewer) caught many of the musical motifs.
Ashleigh Ball, who voices True Blue bandmate Darma, is fortunate to have a foot in both worlds. As the lead vocalist for the Indie-pop band Hey Ocean!, Ball has a unique perspective on the music industry, which definitely helped her performance.
“It was really cool to be able to combine those worlds,” Ball tells Parentology. “These are both of the things that I’ve thrived in or grown up doing. I really related to Darma’s character because I’ve been in that position. I’ve had bad breakups and breakdowns. The relationship of the band really resonated for me because the band becomes your second family. These are the people that you are choosing this path with; it really rang true to my experience.”
A Critique of the Fame Game
Thematically, one can’t help but notice the thinly-veiled appraisal on the cult of celebrity, and the struggles that Bodi and his bandmates contend with when old world values collide with newfound fame. There are several references to “playing the game” — a commentary on over-produced, pre-packaged products posing as real musical talent, and how the fame machine can chew you up and spit you out if you’re not careful.
As the nefarious Lang/Linnux — literally a wolf in sheep’s clothing — tells his lackeys: “Control the talent, control the music.”
Ball herself is no stranger to the music business or getting swept up by powerful influences. She recalls a time when Hey Ocean! was approached by none other than Gene Simmons, the enigmatic performer and business persona behind legendary band KISS.
“Our band was in a pretty new stage. And we were doing really well in the indie Canadian pop scene. Because of our label, Gene ended up coming to Vancouver, watching a showcase, taking us out for dinner and talking to us about the music business,” says Ball. “Those conversations, they were really valuable for us as a band, but also, some of the things he was saying about what we needed to do and the kind of music we should be making was very different from the trajectory we were on. He wanted to sign us to his label, and we ended up passing because it just didn’t make sense.”
Similarly, Bodi and his bandmates learn that it’s not about playing the game, it’s about trusting your instincts and staying true to who you are.
The Fight in the Dog Matters Most
There’s a lot to love about Rock Dog 2; fighting for what you believe in, self-awareness, authenticity, having deep roots in your community, and knowing where you come from.
“I love how Darma really knows who she is as a performer; it’s about the bond of the band,” Ball says. “When Bodi is led astray, she really calls him out on it. I think that’s a really amazing quality to have, not to get swept up in all of the madness. She just really knows who she is and she stands by that.”
As for Ball herself, she is in the process of releasing music as a solo artist, with an album set to release at the end of June. “I broke away from the band. I’m doing my own Bodi moment — my BB moment,” Ball laughs.
These universal truths about the connective power of music and honoring your inner voice will make Rock Dog 2 appeal to rock-hungry animals big and small, young and old. Even Gene Simmons would approve.
About the Movie
Rock Dog 2: Rock Around The Park arrives on Digital Friday, June 11th, and on Blu-ray (plus Digital) and DVD Tuesday, June 15th. The film features Andrew Francis (Germur), Ashleigh Ball Darma), Brian Drummond (Khampa), Graham Hamilton (Bodi), Jason Simpson (Linnux) and Kathleen Barr (Lil’ Foxy).