Western Animation: Rock & Rule
The war was over . . . The only survivors were street animals - dogs, cats and rats. From them, a new race of mutants evolved. That was a long time ago. Mok, a legendary super rocker, has retired to Ohmtown. There his computers work at deciphering an ancient code which would unlock a doorway between this world and another dimension. Obssessed with his dark experiment, Mok himself searches for the last crucial component: a very special voice.
In this gloriously insane animated film from Canada (The first entirely produced within that country, done by Nelvana
), a dark magician
and aging rock star's wicked plan to summon a grotesque demon
are thwarted by Furries
who sing early 80's rock music
about The Power of Love
Yes, that is the actual plot.
Two distinct versions exist - the original Canadian television version, which currently exists only as a transfer from a VHS source, and the American theatrical version (AKA Ring of Power), which features a different voice actor and somewhat altered dialogue for Omar, an extended prologue narration explaining the animalistic appearance of the characters, and some minor changes to the ending.
and Kidd Video
Provides Examples Of:
- After the End: There's some jazz in the prologue about how an apocalyptic war killed off all the humans and now extremely anthropomorphic animals have taken their place as detailed in the quote above. It has absolutely no bearing on the plot at all, just go with it.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Cindy Schlepper escapes this way every Saturday night, apparently, which is convenient for Angel.
- All Drummers Are Animals: Averted by Dizzy who is both The Smart Guy and the drummer.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Angel for Omar, probably, though she's not a saint herself.
- All Part of the Show: After the demon is sent back and Mok vanishes, Mylar states this, and claims that Mok's just backstage relaxing.
- All Take and No Give: Omar to Angel, to the point where his character arc is learning to overcome his ego and appreciate her talents, as well as let her share the spotlight and pursue her own dreams.
- Anti-Love Song: Born to Raise Hell ("You're so pretty / Pretty useless!")
- Humorously subverted with its reprise, "Ohm Sweet Ohm" ("I like the girls/And they like me")
- An Axe to Grind: In a manner of speaking. Omar wields his guitar (aka an 'ax') as weapon almost as much as he does an instrument.
- Bald of Evil: Mok. Any hair he has is really a wig.
- Band Toon: Technically. Omar fancies himself the lead singer of his band, and promises Angel a chance to do lead vocals, but his ego prevents him from doing so until the end of the world is at stake. There are also other performing bands in the film.
- Big Damn Heroes: Omar's attempt at rescuing Angel.
- Big "NO!": Omar's reaction to the sight of an Angel impersonator snuggling up to Mok.
- The B Grade: Mok's motivation—no, really.
Mok: My last concert was not completely sold out!
- Bland-Name Product: Fold, Disa, Nuke York, Carnage Hall (Car-NAH-Gee).
- Bragging Theme Tune: "My Name Is Mok (Thanks A Lot)."
"I'm the biggest thing since World War III!"
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Multiple examples.
- Mok brainwashes Omar, Dizzy and Stretch in his mansion with the Edison balls, then again when they try to rescue Angel.
- Dizzy believes Angel is under some kind of mental compulsion after she appears to be happily snuggling up with aging, unattractive Mok. She's not. Mok hired a mutant called "Whatserface" to pretend to be Angel to try to make Omar give up.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: Mok is often shown this way, especially in the first twenty minutes of so of the movie where he's only ever shown in shadow, with only his eyes visible.
- Card-Carrying Villain. Mok.
"My name is Mok, thanks a lot. I know you love that thing I've got. You've never seen the likes of me; why, I'm the biggest thing since World War III - girls?"
- The Caretaker: Toad is this with his brothers and sister but it doesn't stop him from being a jerk to other people.
- Cat Girl: Angel may be either this or a rat girl. Singing voice of Debbie Harry no less! (Her speaking voice was Susan Roman.)
- Chekhov's Gun: Ohmtown's name sounds like an Incredibly Lame Pun on "Hometown". Then Mok finds he needs more electrical power for his summoning rite, and you realize "ohm" is a good name for a town with a gigantic power plant.
- The Chessmaster: Mok fancies himself one such, with his plan to make the world pay for losing interest in him such that he doesn't sell out giant arenas anymore.
- City Noir: Nuke York. The entire film is done in dark, desaturated colors, but the grimmer aspects of the film take place once Mok kidnaps Angel to the city.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Stretch, who seems to believe that there are rays coming out of the arcade game he plays, which are slowing down his brain.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Mok looks a bit like either Steven Tyler or Mick Jagger or perhaps Iggy Pop.
- Cool Airship: Oh man, Mok's airship.
- Cool Old Lady: Dizzy's aunt Edith. How many aunties run their own tattoo parlors?
- Deadpan Snarker: Omar, most of the time.
"It was the freak reference, wasn't it?"
- Then there's Dizzy's Aunt Edith (voiced by Catherine O'Hara).
Omar: Aw, are you gonna tuck us in, too?
Aunt Edith: Relax Oscar, I was just beginning to like ya, ya little scumbag.
- Defiant Captive: Angel doesn't put up with being kidnapped and refuses to cooperate with Mok. He finally has her drugged and wired to a computer just to make her sing.
- Deranged Animation: Nelvana created a bizarre world, but that's to be expected from the same group that did the Boba Fett animated segment of The Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Disco Tech: Mok uses music and Angel's voice to conjure up a demon from another dimension.
- Disney Acid Sequence: Care of trippy early-80's CGI.
- Disney School of Acting and Mime: Most of the characters move and emote like this, with emphasis on Angel.
- Disney Villain Death: Mok is tossed into his portal to Hell by Toad while Angel and Omar are unsummoning the demon.
- Don't Think. Feel: Dizzy's advice to Omar, who, still hurt, angry and wounded over believing Angel threw him over for certain fame and sleeping with Mok to get it, refuses to rescue her. Dizzy knows Omar loves her, but is just too hurt and egotistical to let that affect his thinking.
- Dramatic Necklace Removal: As Angel decides to try and sing the demon back into its own dimension, she tears off the computer-linked collar that was forcing her to sing.
- Drives Like Crazy: Dizzy can't drive yet but does so three times in the movie. Two of these end with the car getting wrecked.
- Dual Meaning Chorus: "Send Love Through" refers both to Omar finally overcoming his ego and sending Angel his love by singing a song she wrote and the two of them together literally sending love through the song to overcome the demon.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: "No, you'll get the evidence!" It appears not to work but then the heroes get the cop's car.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Dizzy mistakes a man for a woman in the club scene. Said man doesn't mind.
- Dumb Muscle: Two of the three Schlepper brothers, Zip and Sleazy, are quite brawny but small on brains. Their brother Toad is marginally more intelligent.
- Eldritch Abomination: Mok's demon made possible by the creative use of cow brains.
- '80s Hair: Most of the cast have it, but Angel and Omar in particular stand out.
- Embarrassing First Name: Dizzy's real name is Alphonse. Only his aunt Edith calls him that.
- Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Not as glaringly obvious as most examples, but many of the dancers in the "Dance Dance Dance" sequence are clearly looped. Justified, in that there are a lot of them!
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: What's-Her-Face.
- Evil Laugh: Mok enjoys doing this so much he'll pull it randomly.
- Evil Slinks: Mok moves slinkily when he has a mind to, but that thing he summons at the climax of the movie has it down pat.
- Exact Words: "One Voice, One Heart, One Song." but "No one voice..." Oh, wait. Omar has a singing voice, too.
- Expy: Mok's never-heard full name is Mok Swagger and according to John K. and his analysis of the movie, Mok's character design was an inspiration for Professor Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective, also a villain.
- Fan Disservice: Cindy Schlepper—essentially a Top-Heavy Guy with boobs—is only in a few scenes, yet she shows off more of her boobs and butt than Angel does in the whole movie. It's a plot point, however, since the only thing Omar and the boys know about her when searching for her is that she has a winged heart tattoo. It's on her butt.
- A middle aged homeless woman, referred to as "The Bag Lady" loses almost all of her clothes when she watches a car accident and her clothes inexplicably fall off of her until she is left wearing nothing but a slip. It's not a pretty sight.
- Fantastic Racism: Mutants. Never mind that the opening narration established that they were all mutants. In a more straightforward example, Toad calling a rat a fink.
- Faux Affably Evil: Mok invites Omar's band over "for a spell". He seems to be the consummate host at first, until he kidnaps Angel and takes off with her to Nuke York, and repeatedly tries to kill the boys for trying to stop him. By the end of the movie, he's gone from evil to completely 'round the bend.
- Final Love Duet: How Omar and Angel defeat Mok's demon; singing about love.
- Furries Are Easier to Draw: Justified. If you'd like to see Nelvana's skill at animating humans at around the time they started this film, check out the Boba Fett scene in The Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Furry Confusion: The scene where a Dog-Woman character gives a Rat-man a tattoo of a traditional mermaid (fish tail on a human lady) as a non-anthropomorphic cat looks on is a Lampshade Hanging.
- Funbag Airbag: Stretch turns right and his face wedges into a lady's chest in Club 666. She doesn't appreciate it.
- Genki Girl: Cindie, who despite being a Gender Flip of her brothers, is all about fun and music.
Cindie: Those bruddas of mine really burn my buns.
- Get A Load Of That Square: Cindie's reaction to Angel trying to sound hip.
- Go-Go Enslavement: Angel's outfit during the finale is skimpier than her usual.
- Gonk: Mok is gross.
- Good Bad Girl: Angel is only intimate with Omar, but she's not above using feminine charms to get her way.
- G-Rated Drug: The Edison balls. You wait and wait for someone to say "I'm trippin' balls!". Considering Mok smokes marijuana and snorts cocaine, and at Club 666 they're selling 'ludes and uppers, the Edison Balls are more of a Shout-Out to Sleeper.
- Great Balls of Fire: In-universe, the audience considers the demon that emerges during Mok's concert as nothing more than a special effect for the stage show.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Angel
- Hard Light: The light bridge is a bridge made of light.
- He's Just Hiding: Invoked by Mylar at the end to explain Mok's disappearance. (He isn't hiding.)
Mylar: Good night, Mok, where ever you are. Just kidding folks, he's just backstage... er, I think.
- Heel Realization: Zip, thanks to Uncle Mikey. It leads to his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Zip. Though in the original Canadian verssion, it's not permanent. takes a shot for his brother. Toad, overcome by grief, turns on Mok.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Cinderella "Cindie" Schlepper is the size of her immense brothers but is treated as their much younger sister who is too young to be out partying.
- Humanity's Wake: Nuclear war leads to a civilization of animal mutants.
- "I Am Great!" Song: Seem to be the entirety of Mok's oeuvre.
- Insane Troll Logic: "Evil spelled backwards is 'live', and we all want to do that!"
- Instrument of Murder: Omar uses his curiously-shaped, futuristic guitar as an axe to severe the power cables of Mok's machine and free Angel.
- Insult Backfire: Between Mok and Angel during a creative torture session with Omar and the others.
Angel: "You-you're totally crazy!"
Mok: (completely unfazed): "Thank you. Shall we see them off?"
- It's All About Me: Mok is so self-absorbed it falls squarely into A God Am I territory - this is a man who routinely writes songs solely about how divinely awesome he is, and how everyone must worship him. When people don't completely worship him, he snaps and decides to summon a demon to teach them a lesson.
- "I Want" Song: Angel's song is essentially about her faithfulness to Omar, despite his apparent coldness.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Omar. At first he seems to be an all-out Jerkass, but then he gets better thanks to Angel.
- Large Ham: Mok doesn't laugh evilly because he's evil but he enjoys it so much.
- Latex Perfection: "Get me... Whatsherface!"
- Limited Lyrics Song: The reprise of "Send Love Through" has one verse, a short bridge, and one chorus, with the latter repeated twice over the course of the four-minute song.
- Mad Scientist: Mok. He's even got an outfit for it.
- Manipulative Bastard: Mok fancies himself this. But his plan was assisted by his computer, and the most manipulative thing he does is trick Omar.
- Master of Illusion: Mok has an amazing special effects setup, which he uses in shows, around his home, to trip out his guests, and to capture unsuspecting songstresses.
- Meaningful Name: Angel.
- The Schlepper Brothers as well. "Schlep" is a Yiddish word that means to do some kind of undesired labor, such as carrying something heavy.
- Monumental Damage: Played with in a shot of the Statue of Liberty, still standing but tilted and battered, with ramshackle houses attached to her sides. She survived the war, but is no longer considered anything more than odd-looking real estate.
- Mushroom Samba: Edison balls cause people to trip out and see weird things.
- Never Say "Die": "DESTROY THEM ALL!"
- Nipple and Dimed: Several times in the club.
- No Man of Woman Born: Mok's computer predicts that the demon can only be turned back by "the magic of one voice, one heart, one song," but then adds there is "no one" who can stop his plan. Mok doesn't count on Omar and Angel singing one song together, Angel with her mystically-attuned voice and Omar because his heart finally beat out his ego and let him sing something she wrote.
- No New Fashions in the Future: Despite supposedly taking place in a dystopia centuries (if not millenia) after humanity's demise by nuclear war, everyone dresses like it's the mid-80s.
- Non-Ironic Clown: Zip's favorite cartoon is "Uncle Mikey", starring a short, pudgy cartoon clown with a big, goofy grin. Though his choppy animation and grotesque face can be off-putting, he's genuinely nice and teaches kids the difference between good and evil.
- Noodle Incident: Where exactly did Omar get a Tuna Fishing License?
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: Angel tries thwarting Mok's plans by seducing him, but he catches on too quick.
Mok: "You're a very clever girl, I've enjoyed your little game, but tonight, the game is mine!"
- Nothing Can Stop Us Now: Mok. This lasts about two seconds before the computer calls it cliché and explains that he can be stopped.
- Obviously Evil: Mok. He's so incredibly creepy in everything he does, it makes one wonder how he can be popular enough for an album to go "from gold to platinum to plutonium(?) in one day".
- Off Model: Some of the characters look as though they were animated by different studios!
- Panty Shot: There are none of these, as it's easier to describe when you can't see Cindie's underwear.
- People Puppets: What Mok does to Angel via drugs and a computer hookup; it was the only way to force her to sing.
- Petting Zoo People: The exact species of several of the characters is up for debate, although the rat-peoples' features seem to be the most recognizable of the three stated types. There's also a wino who looks more like a Pig Man than a canine, feline or rodent, so it's possible that still more varieties of Petting Zoo People arose in the post-holocaust countryside.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Stretch, and two of the three Rollerskating Schlepper Brothers.
- Police Are Useless: Officer Quadhole and the Nuke York border guard are no help when it comes to stopping Mok's Evil Plan. Thus, Omar and his friends are on their own.
- Police Code for Everything: Quadhole's got this covered.
Quadhole: "That's a 419. B and F. Bathing felony. You're lucky I'm not running you in for a 431. Improper swimwear."
- Police State: Ohm Town has ridiculous laws against things like "improper swimwear". When Nuke York has a blackout, it means the city is put under martial law.
- The Power of Love: Mok's computer warns him that this is the only thing that can stop his demon; one heart, one song etc.
- The Power of Rock: It is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; rock has the power to summon demons or defeat them.
- Prim and Proper Bun: Dizzy has one, befitting his status as the most careful and law-abiding of the group.
- Rearrange the Song: Six years after Rock & Rule's release, Debbie Harry recorded a remixed version of "Angel's Song", with different lyrics, under the title "Maybe For Sure".
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Toad, after Zip's Heroic Sacrifice.
- Redemption Equals Death: Zip, but only temporarily in the uncut version.
- Rollerblade Good: The Schleppers are always wearing roller-skates for some reason.
- Romantic Rain: Rain falls steadily on the outskirts of Ohmtown, where the protagonists are getting "snuggly" in the back seat of a convertible. Their fun is interrupted when henchman Zip tears off the soft top to hand Angel an invite from legendary musician Mok.
- Screaming Warrior: Omar, particularly at the climax where he lets out an epic rocker scream.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Mok, both in his first Villainous Breakdown and when he's thrown into the dimensional hole by Toad.
- Simpleton Voice: Zip Schlepper has one.
- Sissy Villain: Mok's status as this becomes obvious by the fifth or so costume change.
- Smug Snake: Mok borders on this due to his extreme narcissism.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The news anchor and the narrator in the opening both speak like this.
- Spiritual Successor: To The Devil And Daniel Mouse, which the animation company did before this film.
- Take That: The "Uncle Mikey" scene and the conversation between Mok and his minion afterwards is slam on moral relativism. note
- This Cannot Be!: "You can't do this to me! I! AM! MOK!"
- Those Two Guys: The Rollerskating Schlepper Brothers, Toad, Sleazy and Zip.
Mok: Mes assistantes stupide.
- Thwarted Escape: Angel tries to use Cindie's outing to Club 666 as a cover for her escape, but it's thwarted when the rest of the Schleppers show up to retrieve their sister and take her back to Mok.