1992 Directed by Don Bluth. Starring Glen Campbell, Tony Scott Granger, Christopher Plummer.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., April 3, 1992

This lastest animated feature from Bluth and team (The Land Before Time, An American Tail, The Secret of NIMH, All Dogs Go to Heaven) proves that you can take the rooster out of the farm but you can't take the farm out of the rooster. Chanticleer is an animated rooster whose crowing raises the sun every morning. Then one morning he forgets to crow and the sun rises anyway. Having become the laughing stock of the barnyard and also having lost his faith in his abilities, Chanticleer hightails it to the big city. But once Chanticleer leaves the farm, it begins to rain without stop and the evil owl, Grand Duke (who likes things dark), takes over. So Chanticleer's friends come to the city to find him and apologize and convince him to return home. Unbeknownst to them, Chanticleer has now become the toast of the big city, crooning to the masses like some knockoff Elvis Presley. And that's one of the problems with Rock-A-Doodle. There's not enough music. While it lasts, the animated rockabilly tunes (sung by Glen Campbell) and Elvis-spoofing are fun and enjoyable. But the songs are few and you've got to wade through a lot of noisy narrative commotion getting to them. There's very little plot, yet it seems like most of the movie is spent busily getting from one scene to the next. The animation is at first promising, especially when it mixes the cartoon with live-action sequences. But once the story gets underway, the animation turns routine and uneventful with subdued colors and uninspired narration. Nevertheless, when it was through, my five-year-old companion asserted that she'd like to see it again which, I think, is the highest compliment she knows.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Don Bluth Films
Titan A.E.
With five writers -- among them Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Joss Whedon -- it's no wonder that Titan A.E.'s rambling storyline is such a gorgeous ...

Marc Savlov, June 16, 2000

The Land Before Time

Jan. 18, 2021

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
The Reason I Jump
Poetic insight into autism, based on Naoki Higashida memoir

Jan. 8, 2021

Marjorie Baumgarten's Top 10 of 2020
Marjorie Baumgarten's Top 10 of 2020
"An eye toward 2020 hindsight"

Dec. 18, 2020


Rock-A-doodle, Don Bluth, Glen Campbell, Tony Scott Granger, Christopher Plummer

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle