|Elvis met The Wizard of Oz in this animated fantasy from director Don Bluth. The ex-Disney animator left his old studio in the late 1970’s to make his own features, including The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, The Land Before Time and this 1992 rockabilly musical, Rock-A-Doodle.
The movie’s Elvis quotient is supplied by a rooster named Chanticleer, who believes his crowing causes the sun to rise. When Chanticleer fails to crow on time and the sun rises anyway, the humiliated rooster packs up and leaves the farm. Unfortunately, Chanticleer’s departure leaves the farm in a state of perpetual darkness and rain.
This suits the purposes of a crafty owl called the Grand Duke, who prefers the night life anyway. Meanwhile, in a live-action frame story, a boy named Edmond is troubled by heavy flooding near his own farm home. After hearing the story of Chanticleer, the boy determines the only way to save his family is to bring back the rooster. The Grand Duke, overhearing the plan, turns the boy into a small white kitten, hoping to impede his journey.
Instead, kitty Edmond hooks up with a trio of farm animals—dog Patou, mouse Peepers and magpie Snipes—to accompany him to the Big City. The farm gang finally locates the missing fowl, but Chanticleer has now become “The King,” a rockabilly star complete with bodyguards, a groupie girlfriend and a southern-fried manager named Pinky. Forget getting him back to the farm; they’ll be lucky just to get past his entourage.
Pop/country star Glen Campbell provided the voice of Chanticleer/”The King,” headlining a voice ensemble that included Christopher Plummer, Phil Harris, Sandy Duncan, Eddie Deezen, Sorrell Booke (TV’s “Boss Hogg”) and Charles Nelson Reilly. While not as successful as Bluth’s earlier films, Rock-A-Doodle was still a rocking good time for the kiddies, and that’s more than most roosters accomplish in a lifetime.