March 17, 2009
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (chuckles) Stop me if this sounds totally ridiculous. A singing rooster dresses up like Elvis...
(NC is stopped dead in his tracks, holding his hands up with a pained expression of sorts)
NC: Well, if you can't even make it that far, then you're going to have a real hard time with Don Bluth's strangest of animated creations - and that's saying a lot - Rock-A-Doodle.
[title of Rock-A-Doodle appears, accompanied by music from the movie, then it cuts to various posters of Bluth's works, first from the eighties and then the nineties]
NC (VO): Director Don Bluth was by far one of the greatest animation gods who ever lived...in the '80s. In the '90s, I think he left his brain at the FUBAR convention, because he turned out some very strange, very mediocre material. The good stuff seemed to end with All Dogs Go to Heaven, and the bad stuff seemed to begin with Rock-A-Doodle.
[clips from the movie play as NC continues speaking]
NC: (VO): It's strange, it's nonsensical...it's kind of like a bedtime story if read by Andy Warhol.
NC: So, why is this movie such a mother-clucking mess? Take a look and decide for yourself.
[The movie begins.]
NC (VO): The film begins in outer space as the narrator's voice comes in to fatally attempt to tell the story.
Narrator: Once upon a time...the sun came up. Imagine for a moment, if instead of rising up like this, she took a look around and decided to go back to sleep. Let me tell you all about it.
NC: (as the Narrator) And let me warn you, I've been drinking extensively.
[Back to the movie, singing can be heard as the camera zooms down to Earth, to a farm, past many rotoscoped haybales until the camera zooms a little too close for comfort on Chanticleer's mouth.]
NC: WHOA! Okay, that zoom in was a little too extreme! I could practically see his digestive system.
[The clip repeats with the zoom in going much further and showing the inside of his throat.]
NC (VO): So...as the movie begins, you kind of can't really believe what you're watching. I mean, these look like cartoons from the thirties, where everything has a face, everyone seems to be bouncing and singing...
NC: What, did they make this movie for kids or something? (NC mulls over this for a second and realizes he's asked a rhetorical question) ...Still no excuse.
NC (VO): So, I know what you're probably thinking... what current, washed-up singer did they rope in to do the voice of this personality-deprived character?
NC: I'm gonna say...Garth Brooks.
[Cut to an album cover with words in yellow saying "GLEN CAMPBELL" overlayed on the cover art]
NC: Damn it, Glen Campbell! I was so close!
[cut to the movie again]
Chanticleer: Hi, Patou! What'cha doin'?
Patou: I'm tryin' to tie these doggone shoes!
Chanticleer: Huh, again?
NC: It's probably not best to tell you that this is the highlight of the movie, is it?
NC (VO): So all of the animals on the farm have their own special job to do, and the rooster's job is to crow so he can bring up the sun. What's the name of the rooster, you might be wondering?
NC: Well, I'm sure it's something cutesy, like Clucky, or Feathers, or...
[A clip of Chanticleer is show as his name appears overlayed over the slowed footage.]
NC (VO): Chanticleer?
NC: ...Okay, so they live on a very pretentious farm. What do you want from me?!
NC (VO): But one morning, Chanticleer forgets to crow, and yet, the sun still comes up. So the animals reject Chanticleer and toss him out of the farm...which makes things very happy for the villain, simply known as the Grand Duke of Owls.
[Suddenly, a live action hand pops up and puts its finger on the Grand Duke's monocle, scaring the Critic.]
Boy: What's that, Mom?
NC (VO): DAH! What the hell?!
[The clip continues to show that the movie has gone live-action, a rarity in Bluth films, really. A little boy is in bed, having a storybook read to him by his mother.]
NC (VO): Oh... o-kay. I guess the story was just a book a mother was reading to her kid. Fair enough.
Patou (Narrating): His name is Edmond, 'course he didn't quite look like this when I first met him.
NC (VO): Well, now, wait a minute! Who's telling the story?
NC: The narrator or the mother? That's a really bad sign when you have two people fighting over who's narrating the movie!
NC Narrator 1: And so, the little boy looked out from his window, and then he-
NC Narrator 2: And then another narrator stepped in to tell the story-
NC Narrator 1: Hey! Who's telling this story, anyways?
NC Narrator 2: Well, I thought I was.
NC Narrator 1: You couldn't read your way out of an alphabet book!
NC Narrator 2: Hey! Them's fightin' words!
NC Narrator 1: Come over here, you meatsack!
[Sounds of the fight are played]
NC Narrator 2: My pancreas!
NC (VO): So it turns out the little boy is named Edmond, and he's concerned because the rain is picking up and flooding the farm that his parents work on.
Edmond: I wanna help!
Edmond's Mother: Well, then pray for the rain to stop, and that'll help.
NC: (mocking Edmond) I'm not asking God for anything! He still owes me an Xbox!
NC (VO): So the parents go outside, as apparently the farm is being attacked by the biggest storm of the century.
Farmer: THERE'S THE TRUCK! SHE'LL BE OKAY! HEY! HEY!
[cut to clips of Twister]
Dusty (Phillip Seymour Hoffman): It's coming! It's headed right for us!
Bill (Bill Paxton): It's already here.
[The movie continues, Edmond is calling out his window for Chanticleer, but due to the actor's voice, it's hard to precisely make out.]
Edmond: CHANTICLEER!!! CHANTICLEER!!!
NC: That's Christmas, you moron! Santa Claus only comes at Christmas!
NC (VO): No, he was calling Chanticleer for help. Even though he's just a fictional character in a book. But that doesn't stop the Duke of Owls from breaking the laws of reality, as he crashes into the house to intimidate our little hero.
Grand Duke of Owls: Oh, dear, now I've gone and spoiled the surprise.
NC (VO): (Upset) Oh, no...tell me that owl isn't voiced by Christopher Plummer.
Grand Duke: The Duke...is going to eat you.
NC: (Completely abhorred) Oh, God, what some people will do for a paycheck! He couldn't have thought this was a good movie! Nobody could've! He MUST have been under contract or something! That's the only excuse.
[clip from The Sound of Music are shown]
NC (VO): In fact, I can just imagine him trying to sneak away from this movie.
NC as Max Detwieller: I hear they're going to announce the casting for the villain today.
Captain Von Trapp: By the time they've made the announcement, we'll be over the border.
[Headlights turn on, and Herr Zeller, the Nazi, appears]
NC as Herr Zeller: Trouble with your car, Mr. Plummer?
Von Trapp: Yes, as a matter of fact, we couldn't get it started!
NC as Herr Zeller: Surely you've heard that the studio wants you to provide the voice for the owl in their latest family romp, Rock-A-Doodle?
Von Trapp: I'm...afraid that's going to be...quite...impossible.
NC as Herr Zeller: Now, Mr. Plummer...surely you don't think you can defend yourself against the awesome power of studio-funded lawyers? No man has ever survived their verbal slaughter. So, I take it you'll change your mind about the role?
Von Trapp: ...Yes.
NC as Herr Zeller: Excellent. My men will escort you to the recording studio.
Von Trapp: No escort will be necessary.
NC as Herr Zeller: I insist. We wouldn't want you to get lost on your way over... would we?
Von Trapp: ...No.
NC as Herr Zeller: Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get Abe Vigoda for Good Burger.
[cut back to the movie]
NC (VO): Okay, back to the story. So the Duke of Owls in front of our little hero explains his evil plan.
Grand Duke: But you see, we Creatures of the Night have worked very hard to make absolutely sure that that... BIRD... does not return! And besides... I positively LOOOOOOOOOATHE... Rock and Roll.
NC: My God, are you still talking?
NC (VO): So the owl turns him into a kitten because he claims they're easier to kill, but I think it's because they're easier to draw, as he turns the rest of the room into a fully animated backdrop.
NC: I guess owls see better in watercolors.
NC (VO): But then the animals from the book also come in to save Little Edmond, as it turns out the only thing that can scare the Duke away is light.
[Edmond turns a flashlight on the Duke, as he screams and shoots out of the house.]
NC: Ah, he must have the bright light syndrome that the Gremlins had.
[The same clip plays with NC dubbing "bright light!" over the scene. The focus then shifts back to Edmond, who finds out he's turned into a kitten. Predictably, Edmond's response can be easily misheard.]
Edmond: Jeepers! I'm a(ll) furry!
[NC looks particularly shocked.]
NC: (Confused) Wait, what did he say?
Edmond: I'm a(ll) furry!
NC: (beat) Kid, you're a little too young to know what that word means. I'm an adult, and I'm still not exactly sure what it means! Nor do I wish to find out.
NC (VO): So a bunch of other animals come in to tell Edmond that they're also looking for Chanticleer. Why? Because it turns out his crowing DID bring the sun up. And thus, they need him back for the sun to return.
Patou: We gotta find Chanty, and apologize.
Chicks: So that he'll forgive us, come home, and raise the sun!
NC: But...if that's the case, why did it rise without him that one time?*
(*Actually, according to plot summaries on both Wikipedia and IMDB, the Grand Duke did something- they're not clear as to what- that tricked the animals into thinking that the sun rose without Chanticleer.)
Edmond: Oh, Chanticleer...
Edmond: If he doesn't come back and crow, the sun won't ever shine again.
NC: (Slightly annoyed that his question hasn't been answered) Uh, hello? Uh, why did it rise without him that one time?
Edmond: The story's true! You all laughed at him, and he ran away!
NC: (Growing even more annoyed) Why did it rise without him that one time...?
Patou: You're right, son. We've done wrong, and that's why we're searchin' for the city.
NC: (angry) WHY DID IT RISE WITHOUT... you know what?! Fine! Forget it! I'm gonna make up my own reason!
[cut to NC's pictures of God bored, pointing at Chanticleer, and playing yo-yo with the sun.]
NC (VO): God got bored, wanted to fuck around with a rooster, so He played yo-yo with the sun!
NC: There! I'm happy! Let's see how else they're gonna confuse me!
NC (VO): So the gang all decides to go to the city... because, apparently, there's a city right across from the farm... to find Chanticleer. Meanwhile, we see the Duke acting as the Phantom of the Owl-pra, as he tells his henchmen to find the cat and kill him. Actually, no, I tell a lie. He doesn't talk about it. He sings about it.
[The Duke laughs as his henchmen begin to sing.]
Song: Never Let Him Crow/We Hate The Sun
Owl Henchmen (singing): We hate the sun/That much we know...
NC (VO): Wow!
NC: WOW! I can literally tell from the first lyric that this song is gonna suck! That's incred--you don't have to TRY in order to be that bad!
Owl Henchmen (still singing): We hate the sun/From head to toe...
Grand Duke: Never... let him crow.
NC (VO): So the animals float down the river as they encounter many horrible, disastrous obstacles in their way... like...
Edmond: GIANT TREE! A hundred feet and closing!!!
NC (VO; sarcastically): My God! We'll hit that eventually!
NC (VO): So the henchmen find the animals and try to attack. But Edmond sticks to his guns by doing what he knows best; shouting the words 'oh, no'.
[Cut to several different clips in the movie of Edmond saying 'oh, no' and 'uh-oh' numerous times in response to anything bad happening.]
NC: (mocking Edmond) I haven't discovered swear words yet, so my range of negative vocabulary's limited. AAAAAAH!!!
NC (VO): So the animals escape and finally make it to the city. The owls have returned to tell the Duke the bad news.
Grand Duke: YOU IMBECILE! (He breathes his magic breath, turning Hutch, the small owl with the pilot's cap, into something resembling one of those bird aliens from the Marvin the Martian shorts.) That's not an adequate pipe!
NC: Oh, yes... I forgot to mention that the Duke's breath contains magical powers. (beat) You know what this is? This is the animated version of Mad Libs. It makes just about as much sense!
[Text is overlayed in the style of Mad Libs as NC narrates.]
NC (VO as Mad Libs Director): So our main hero gets turned into an... animal.
NC (VO): Okay. He's transformed by the villain's... noun.
NC (VO): Breath! Alright! They have to travel to the city to find an... animal.
NC (VO): Rooster! Okay! Who makes the sun rise by... verb.
NC (VO): Singing! Yes!
NC: Wow! Doesn't that sound ridiculous? Imagine if they made a movie based on that nonsense! (chuckles, then switches to his normal voice) ...that'd be stupid.
NC (VO): So they search all throughout the city for Chanticleer... which is also populated by animals... Well, now, how does that make sense? I mean, did the parents, when they needed farming supplies, just drive to the city filled with cartoon animals?
NC (impersonating farmer): Well, thank you, Mr. Pig! This frying pan will really help us out when we're cooking up some bacoooooooooo-oooooon that note, how about them Bears? The team, not the people that own the hardware store down the street.
NC (VO): There's also this weird running joke about how the dog doesn't know how to tie his shoes.
Edmond: No, Patou. That's not how it goes. For the hundredth time, it's over...around...under...and through.
NC: (mocking Edmond once again) No, kid! That's not how you act! For the hundredth time, emote, connect and be credible!
NC (VO): Finally, they find Chanticleer, as he now makes his living as a world-famous rooster Elvis impersonator. Is it me, or are all these characters sounding like sports team mascot rejects?
Chanticleer: (singing) Well, you're the number one chicken in the chicken coop...
NC (VO): But one character named Goldie looks on Chanticleer's fame and can't help but feel a tad bit jealous.
Pinky: AW! Goldie, would you not bother me with this right now?! You've got to go on in two minutes!
Goldie: But I'm too good for the chorus. What's he got that I ain't got?
NC: (impersonating Pinky) Well, a penis for starters.
NC (VO): So the gang tries to talk to Chanticleer, but is pushed aside by a team of bodyguards.
Bodyguards (singing, yes really): MOVE IT! MOVE IT! MOVE IT! MOVE IT!/WE'LL BOUNCE YOU ALL OVER THE PLACE/BOUNCE! BOUNCE! BOUNCE! BOUNCE!
NC (VO): Oh, you know, good God! You can make a song about anything, can't you?
NC: (singing) I'm talking, I'm talking/I'm drinking my coffee/And then I'm going to SLEEEEEEEEEEP!
NC (VO): Meanwhile, back at the farm, the flood's getting worse, as Edmond calls up to see how the pig, rabbit, and mouse are doing. (sighs) This is a strange world of randomness, isn't it?
Stewey: Oh, great! Um, goodbye. (runs off)
Edmond (on phone): Stewey? Stewey?! STEWEY!!!
(The phone is picked up by the Duke)
NC (VO): (as the Duke) Ha-ha! I'm going to waste all their minutes! Muahahahaha!
Edmond (on phone): What about my family? Are they alright?
NC: (impersonating Duke) Your family? They left this movie hours ago! They know a stinker when they see one.
The Duke: Heh, bye. (The Duke snaps the phone cord in half with his beak)
Receiver: The number you have dialed is no longer in service.
Edmond: Oh, no...
[The owls are marching around the hole in the house's roof while music starts up.]
NC (VO): God... just by the way they're walking, I can tell they're going to sing.
Song: No Batteries!
The Duke (singing): TWEEDLY-DEE (TWEEDLY-DEE)...
NC: Okay, no song that begins with the lyric "TWEEDLY-DEE" is going to be good. GO BACK AND TRY AGAIN!
[The Duke and his henchmen laugh]
NC (VO): So they try to get a note to Chanticleer, this time disguising themselves as penguins so they don't get spotted.
Patou: Hey, whataya doin', little fella?
Edmond: Something I learned in school.
NC (mocking Edmond once again): Somefing I werned in school!
NC (VO): So they get the note to Chanticleer, but is distracted by the love of his feathery life, Goldie.
[Cut to footage of Sin City]
Marv (from "Sin City"): (narrates) She says her name is "Goldie".
[Cut back to the movie, where Goldie kisses Chanticleer.]
NC: Hey, look at that! She kissed him on the pecker! (long beat) ...Next scene.
NC (VO): So Goldie seduces Chanticleer as they make sweet, horribly written music together.
Song: Kiss 'n' Coo
Goldie (singing): Love has said... hello/You don't know/What this means/Really means to me...
[The action cuts away to Edmond and Patou, but the song keeps going]
Patou: Oooooh! I think we've lost 'em!
Edmond: What do you mean?
NC: (chuckles) I love the fact the a song is so bad that even the movie is trying to ignore it. It's like they're ashamed that they made a musical. LIKE THEY SHOULD BE!
NC (VO): So the gang is captured by the Battletoads here and tied up in one of the trailers.
[One of the toads leave the trailer and kick a grill out of the way... for no reason whatsoever.]
NC: Ha-ha! Take that... grill! [NC is understandably as confused as we are]
NC (VO): But one of the owl henchmen (Hunch again) still wants to destroy them, as he breaks into the trailer and...
[A rather odd sequence takes place where the animals, due to Hunch's bumbling, are able to escape.]
NC: I... blinked. What happened?
NC (VO): I don't know. Somehow, they escape. And as that's going on, Chanticleer finally discovers the note, as he rides off on a motorcycle to save his friends.
[Chanticleer manages to break into where the other animals are... but he gets smacked upside the head with a frying pan Patou brandishes.]
Patou: Oh, no, no! I've killed him!
Peepers: Jumping Jehosephats!
Edmond: He's not dead! Untie me!
NC: (mocking Edmond) He's not dead! Untie me! [Critic looks off to the side with contempt and sighs]
NC (VO): So the characters partake in what looks like Ben-Fur as the bad guys are close behind them.
[Hunch manages to blow out one of the tires on the trailer, causing the trailer to jerk upward and disconnect from Pinky's Cadillac, leaving Peepers hanging for her life.]
NC (VO): You know, this movie provides many ample opportunities for them to die. Why don't they just go with it?
[The chain keeping the trailer in check snaps as the trailer is left behind and it smashes right into a nearby water tower, supposedly killing Peepers.]
Edmond: PEEPERS!!! [It echoes, as the camera zooms into Edmond's eye. He runs into his own pupil and encounters spirits that taunt him for being a scaredy-cat which will ultimately cure him of his scaredy-cat mentality... even though this character flaw was barely brought up throughout the movie. Nostalgia Critic looks surprised and keeps being surprised for the duration of the scene.]
Peepers Ghost: Of course, if you're a fraidy cat... fraidy cat... fraidy cat...
Edmond: I'm not afraid of anything...
Patou's voice: Hey, lay off the boy...
Peepers' voice: ...such a scaredy cat! ...such a scaredy cat! ...such a scaredy cat!
Edmond: NOOOO! STOOOOOOP!!!
[The landscape Edmond has supposedly entered shatters as Edmond gets braver all of a sudden.]
NC: What the hell was that?! [The Critic rewinds the footage and watches it from the beginning of the sequence.]
NC: Is the movie... flashing before his eyes? Or rather, in his eyes?
NC (V/O): And then we're in his brain?! An-and all of these characters and...
NC: (groans and buries his face in his desk) Ugh... Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
BLAM Logo: A BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT! [At the end of the saying, the Critic puts his hand up and points off in one direction, with an accordion 'ta-da' noise.]
NC (VO): So after that...strange slip of consciousness, Edmond saves the mouse and they escape the bad guys, as we jump back to the farm, where we see the other animals have run out of batteries in their flashlight.
Song: The Owl's Picnic (Don't question it... just go with it...)
Owls (singing): We are the creatures of the night...
NC: THESE ARE THE GAYEST VILLAINS EVER!!!
NC (VO): Do they really have to sing everything?! Just because it's a musical doesn't mean you HAVE to sing! You can just...quietly shut the fuck up. I would prefer that! But thank God our heroes arrive to put that all-bird choir in its place.
Edmond: All right, you owls! This is Edmond! It's over for you!
NC: (mocking Edmond once more) This is Edmond! [gets angry] It's over for you! [normal voice] GOD! This kid makes Jake Lloyd look like Haley Joel Osment! [the accompanying pictures of the actors mentioned appear]
NC (VO): So they try to get Chanticleer to crow, but he's sadly out of practice.
The Duke: (chuckles) Are you by any chance having trouble with your throat?
NC (VO): Don't give up, Chanticleer! Put that belching Tim Curry in his place!
[The henchmen laugh]
NC (VO): But the Duke uses his magic breath to make things more difficult. How do you get magic breath, anyway? Did he just drink a cocktail of blended fairies and Smurfs? I mean, how does that work? To make things worse, he strangles Edmond...
NC: (whispering with his hands put together in prayer) Thank you!
NC (VO): ...and transforms himself into a giant tornado.
[The Duke utilizes his newfound One Winged Angel form to entrap Chanticleer underneath a tree branch that looks like an owl's talons. He struggles to get out as the Duke cackles evilly.]
NC: (as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz) Auntie Em, Auntie Em! It's a crappy movie, it's a crappy movie!
NC (VO): But Chanticleer finally gets his voice back and crows like he's never crowed before.
[Chanticleer shoots through the air, crowing and sounding much like a warning klaxon. The sun finally begins to rise again.]
NC (VO): (as God) God hears you, Chanticleer! I didn't mean to put the rotation of the planets out of order! I was just fucking with you!
NC (VO): (normal) And for some reason, the Sun turns the evil Grand Duke of Owls into... Cartman from South Park.
[The Duke jumps back at the sight of the cowboy mouse and steps back a couple of times to get away from him.]
NC: (impersonating Cartman) Screw this movie, I'ma goin' home.
Chibified Duke: It's me! Uncle Dukey! [Hunch, who is holding him, drops him back into the water and chases him off, the latter part you don't see.]
NC: (still speaking as Cartman) No, no, no, no, no, screw this movie, home.
NC (VO): So, what directionless fairy tale would be complete without the ultimate cliche: Edmond turns into a real boy.
Snipes: He was a little boy...
NC: (mocking Snipes) He was such a bad actor, I couldn't tell.
NC (VO): And just to make it even more insulting, it turns out that the whole thing was just a dream. Yep. Everything about that chaotic little trip was all in Edmond's head. Why does that not surprise me?
Edmond's Mother: Edmond, Chanticleer is just a story book. Those characters are only make-believe. Now come on. Let's get back to bed.
Edmond: No, Mom! No, they're not! I saw them! I bet they're wondering what happened to me.
NC (VO): I'd say that this ending was just ripping off The Wizard of Oz, but it isn't. It's DIRECTLY STEALING FROM IT. Right down to everything becoming brown and white! Does this movie have any shame? And then, just to give us the ultimate of non-sequiturs...
[Edmond is looking at the book, and still believes in Chanticleer...which literally results in the book coming back to life, Chanticleer singing as well.]
NC (VO): What? What? No, hey... what? No! Hey! WHAT?!
Song: Sun Do Shine (Reprise)
NC (VO): Okay, is this a dream, or did the kid get into the Vicodin again? I mean, this makes NO sense.
NC (VO, mocking Edmond one more time): Wow! They turned me into a crappy bluescreen effect!
NC (VO): And does the movie actually end? Not really. It just kind of stops. It's like, "Whoops! We forgot to make sense of anything! Oh, well, it kept your kids quiet for a few hours, didn't it? Exits to your left."
NC: This...was...weird. It was just weird. It wasn't good, it wasn't bad...well, okay, it was bad, but it was mostly odd.
[The clips from the movie play with the music]
NC (VO): It's sad to see such a great animator deprive himself of his own talent. This movie is literally like they just made up the story as they went. And that is very rarely a good sign.
NC: I don't know about you, but quite frankly, I'm getting...phrase?
Audience: THE HELL OUTTA HERE!
NC: You are good at this game. I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.