Rock Dog 2 (Chinese: 摇滚狗2) is a 2018 Chinese-American 3D-computer animated comedy-drama film produced by Mandoo Pictures, NicThic Productions, Huayi Brothers, and Summit Premiere. The film was directed by Ash Brannon and Kurt Voelker and written by D.A. Nichols and Abbey Thickson. Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Deng Feng, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliott reprised their roles from the previous installment. New additions to the cast include Ming-Na Wen, Idris Elba, Aziz Ansari, Brad Garrett, and Salma Hayek.
The film takes place 2 years after the events of the first film where Bodi suddenly falls into depression after remembering his mother Khari and her demise.
The film was released on November 17, 2017, in China by Huayi Brothers and on February 23, 2018, in the U.S. by Summit Premiere. It received mixed reviews from critics, and despite grossing over $124 million worldwide against a $70 million budget, was a box office disappointment.
Taking place 2 years after the events of the first film, Bodi (Luke Wilson), now as a young adult, suddenly falls into depression after he remembers the death of his mother, Khari (Ming-Na Wen). His father, Khampa (J.K. Simmons), comes in and talks to him about it. After a talk, Bodi goes to sleep.
The next morning, Bodi begins his usual guard duties, with no threats since Linnux's defeat, until he sees Darma (Mae Whitman) and Germur (Jorge Garcia) coming up to see him. He tells them about his mother and the trio visit his mother's grave. Afterwards, they go to the movies.
After the movie, Khampa breaks up a fight with two sheep, named Carl and Jack, who were arguing after a game of checkers. He then sends the two back to their homes as Bodi comes home, whereupon he tells him that gambling is forbidden.
With the sheep back in their separate homes, Khampa decides to send Bodi to college, so that he can study more on music. Bodi is thrilled and goes to tell Darma and Germur while Khampa goes to find a local college for Bodi to go to. Darma suggests that Bodi could stay at Rockenmall University, which Bodi agrees and goes to tell his dad about it.
He returns to his house and tells Khampa about Rockenmall University, and he eventually decides to put him there, since it has a shortcut that Bodi could use to go back to Snow Mountain every now and then, and it's the right college for him.
The next morning, Bodi packs up his things and gets on the bus, with Darma, Germur, and Angus inside it, as it heads down to Rockenmall University. When they arrive, they get to their dorm room as well as tour the campus. During this, they meet Augustus Flatterson (Aziz Ansari), the leader of his team, the Lizards, and the music contest king, as well as Trey (Matt Dillon). Augustus then makes a wager that if Bodi wins, he can be the music contest king, but if Bodi loses, then he would be the towel boy of his team.
Later that night in the dorm room, Bodi had a nightmare regarding the death of his mother. During this, he and Darma appear in his dream, managing to sacrifice their lives to save his younger self from being touched by a hot iron, held by Linnux (Lewis Black).
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- Luke Wilson as Bodi, a young Tibetan Mastiff who is now a rock star.
- Adam Friedman provides Bodi's singing voice.
- Felix Avitia voices a young Bodi
- Mae Whitman as Darma, a fox who is Bodi's partner, girlfriend, and love interest.
- Jorge Garcia as Germur, the most mellow goat who is a part of the rock band.
- J. K. Simmons as Khampa, an elder Tibetan Mastiff who is Bodi's father.
- Kenan Thompson as Riff, a wolf who is now friends with Bodi and his group.
- Deng Feng as Skozz, Riff's partner.
- Ming-Na Wen as Khari, the deceased wife of Khampa and mother of Bodi.
- Eddie Izzard as Angus Scattergood, a British cat who is a rock legend and music teacher at Rockenmall University.
- Matt Dillon as Trey, a snow leopard who is arrogant, egotistic and finds pleasure in humiliating any opposition he has. Like the best schoolyard basketball players, his great talent on the electric guitar is overshadowed by his inability to play well with others. He is also Bodi's arch-nemesis.
- Salma Hayek as Samantha, one of Bodi, Darma, and Germur's classmates at Rockenmall University.
- B.D. Wong as Aldric, one of Bodi, Darma, and Germur's classmates at Rockenmall University.
- Lucy Liu as Katrina, one of Bodi, Darma, and Germur's classmates at Rockenmall University.
- Idris Elba as Chief Rocko, the Australian-accented black rhinoceros who is the police chief of the big city.
- Aziz Ansari as Augustus Flatterson, a green iguana who is the main antagonist and former rock music fanatic who is bent on world domination and the leader of his college team, the Lizards.
- Lewis Black as Linnux, the CEO of Linnux Industries, alpha male wolf of a sinister gang, and club owner of the Fight Palace. He is now Augustus's sidekick and the secondary antagonist of the film.
- Brad Garrett as Kommando, a patient and emotionless Komodo dragon with the muscular build and a scar over his right eye who is one of two secondary antagonists and is Augustus' loyal enforcer and the Komodo dragons' co-leader. He is a bit taller than his three assistants, Dennis, Hack and Drake and wears a black multi-pocket vest, a dark blue undershirt and black cargo pants. He is a parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his name is a reference to two things; Komodo, which is technically the island of the Komodo dragons, the largest lizard on Earth, which is named after the island, and a commando.
- Jim Cummings as Dennis, a tough Komodo dragon who is one of Augustus' henchmen and of Kommando's assistants. Dennis also wears a white t-shirt, red suspenders, and grey jeans.
- John DiMaggio as Drake and Hack, twin brothers who are ones of Augustus' henchmen and of Kommando's assistants. Drake wears a green t-shirt with the picture of the Chinese dragon, blue jeans and black eye-patch. Hack wears a green cadet cap, a black t-shirt with the picture of the skull, and green and black camouflage pants.
- Sam Elliott as Fleetwood Yak
- Liza Richardson as Radio DJ
- Ash Brannon as Ian
- Will Finn as Floyd/Carl
- D.A. Nichols as Jack
- Stephen Apostolina
- Dave Boat
- G.K. Bowes
- Ranjani Brow
- William Calvert
- June Christopher
- David Cowgill
- Julie Craig
- Wendy E. Cutler
- Deng Feng
- Dann Fink
- Jeff Fischer
- Eddie Frierson
- Jean Gilpin
- Kellen Goff
- Jackie Gonneau
- Jennifer Hale
- Wendy Hoffmann
- Karen Huie
- Sean Kenin
- Ashley Lambert
- Lex Lang
- Mela Lee
- Hope Levy
- Danielle Judovits
- Caitlin McKenna
- Scott Menville
- D.A. Nichols
- Devika Parikh
- Jessica Pennington
- Moira S. Quirk
- Lynwood Robinson
- Michelle Ruff
- Dennis Singletary
- Kelly M. Stables
- Pepper Sweeney
- Shane Sweet
- Fred Tatasciore
- Matthew W. Taylor
- Abbey Thickson
- Kari Wahlgren
- Joe Whyte
- Lynnanne Zager
In March 2017, following the increasing popularity of Rock Dog, director Ash Brannon has stated that there is a possibility of a sequel in the franchise. On April 3, 2017, Robert Friedman, the CEO of Summit Entertainment, officially announced that Mandoo Pictures had begun pre-production on Rock Dog 2. Ash Brannon is returning to direct the feature. Kurt Voelker, who wrote the script for the first film, was added as co-director. D.A. Nichols and Abbey Thickson became attached to the project and announced that they were writing the script for the sequel.
In July 2017 at the CinemaCon, screenwriters D.A. Nichols and Abbey Thickson stated that the film would have Bodi going to college to study more on music. Additionally, they stated that the name of the college that he, Darma, and Germur will go to is Rockenmall University. In addition, a full map of the campus was unveiled by Nichols and Thickson.
In March 2017, Luke Wilson announced that he would be reprising his role as Bodi, the main character. Two days later, Eddie Izzard was in negotiations to reprise his role as Angus Scattergood. Then in April, Lionsgate announced that Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliott would all be reprising their roles as their respective characters. That same month, Nichols and Thickson stated that the film would include Bodi's mother. On May 10, 2017, Ming-Na Wen was cast to do the voice of Khari, Bodi's mother. On June 3, 2017, Idris Elba, Aziz Ansari, Brad Garrett, and Salma Hayek were cast to voice new characters. The next day, it was announced that B.D. Wong and Lucy Liu joined the cast to voice two other new characters.
On June 7, 2017, it was announced that Lewis Black would be reprising his role as Linnux from the first film, where he's now a secondary antagonist and Augustus' sidekick. In July 2017 at the CinemaCon, screenwriters D.A. Nichols and Abbey Thickson announced that Aziz Ansari would be voicing Augustus Flatterson, the film's main antagonist, who is the leader of his college team, the Lizards.
The animation was provided by Reel FX Animation Studios, who produced the previous film. The 2D animation sequences were handled and provided by Yowza! Animation and Willett Animation.
The film's teaser trailer was released on June 16, 2017 and was shown before Cars 3, Despicable Me 3, Rough Night, All Eyez on Me, 47 Meters Down, The Book of Henry, and Transformers: The Last Knight.
The first theatrical trailer was released online at NicThic's YouTube page on October 6, 2017, and was shown before My Little Pony: The Movie, Thor: Ragnarok, Happy Death Day, The Snowman, Geostorm, and Jigsaw.
The second theatrical trailer was released on December 1, 2017, and was shown before Bad Kitty 4, The Disaster Artist, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ferdinand, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Pitch Perfect 3, and Top Cat.
A third trailer aired during Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018.
TV spots began to air between January and February 2018.
The film was released on November 17, 2017, in China and on February 23, 2018, coinciding with the 1st anniversary of the American release of the first film. The film was also given an early release in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2017. It will also be released in 3D, 2D, and IMAX.
In the United States, Rock Dog 2 was released alongside Game Night, Every Day, and Annihilation, and was projected to gross $10 million from 2,625 theaters during its opening weekend. It made $17.6 million on its opening weekend from 2,726 theaters. As of July 26, 2018, it has earned $68.3 million in North America, and $56.3 million overseas, resulting in a worldwide total of $124.6 million.
Rock Dog 2 was a box office disappointment, and ended up losing about $30.4 million for NicThic Productions and Summit Entertainment.
Rock Dog 2 received mixed reviews from critics and fans. On Rotten Tomatoes, the site reports a 54% approval rating with an average score of 5.8/10 from 135 critics with a critic consensus that reads "Even though it's better than the original, Rock Dog 2 still fails to live up to expectations for older viewers." On another site Metacritic, the site reports a normalized average score of 49/100 based off of 36 critics.
On December 10, 2017, during production, when asked if there are plans for a possible third film, Ash Brannon said, "There's no sequel idea for me at this point." adding, "Never say never." On January 17, 2018, a month before the film's release, screenwriters D.A. Nichols and Abbey Thickson stated that a third film is possible and that they will explore ideas, saying: "We'll see if anything turns up. To us, it's not as simple as: 'We liked it, so let's make another one.' What happens if you design these characters not so much looks-wise but as they are as characters and people for a story. So we'll explore it and see what happens."
- Main article: Samurai Bodi
With the addition of the increasing popularity of the first film, Ash Brannon stated that there was a possibility of a spinoff in the franchise.
On June 13, 2017, it was announced that the film was titled Samurai Bodi, a feature-length parody of Samurai Jack. Ash Brannon is returning to direct, with Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Samurai Jack, joining him. Tartakovsky and Brannon are also writing the screenplay along with Kurt Voelker, D.A. Nichols, and Abbey Thickson.
Luke Wilson is reprising his role as Bodi, and his brother, Owen Wilson, will voice Kevin the Katana. Additionally, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Ming-Na Wen, Lewis Black, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, and Sam Elliott will return as well. New additions to the cast include Michael Dorn, Kyle Herbert, Logan Paul, and Peyton List.