Altitude Film Distribution has acquired U.K. rights to family animation “Rock Dog,” featuring the voices of J.K. Simmons, Luke Wilson and Eddie Izzard. It is the first time the distributor has released an animated pic in movie theaters.
The film, which received its European premiere this month at the BFI London Film Festival, is expected to be released next summer. The sale was handled by Ralph Kamp’s Timeless Films.
“Rock Dog” is helmed by Ash Brannon, who co-directed the Oscar-nominated “Surf’s Up” and “Toy Story 2,” and was produced by Amber Wang, Joyce Lou, David B. Miller, Rob Feng and Zheng Jun.
The film, which is based on a graphic novel by Chinese rock star Zheng Jun, centers on Bodi, a Tibetan Mastiff. He is expected to take over from his dad, Khampa, the job of guarding his village’s flock of sheep, but fears he doesn’t have the necessary passion to assume the role.
“Everything changes when a radio literally falls out of the sky and Bodi hears a song by rock legend Angus Scattergood, opening his heart to a musical world he must explore,” according to a statement. “Leaving home to chase his destiny in the big city, Bodi attracts the attention of Khampa’s nemesis, Linnux. Leader of a hungry wolf pack, Linnux believes that Bodi is his ticket back into the village and closer to delicious sheep. It is up to Bodi to save his family and friends without giving up his newfound dream.”
Altitude’s slate includes Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro,” narrated by Samuel L. Jackson; “Lady Macbeth,” helmed by stage director William Oldroyd, and starring Florence Pugh; “The Eagle Huntress,” directed by Otto Bell and narrated by Daisy Ridley; and “Daphne,” directed by Peter Mackie Burns, and starring Emily Beecham and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.