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Trivia / Rock-A-Doodle

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  • Box Office Bomb: Famously so. Its budget of $18 million and paltry box office return of $11,657,385 directly led to Don Bluth's studio getting shut down, although it made slightly more money than "Thumbelina" by around $400,000.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: The plot outline on the current DVD states that Chanticleer forgets to crow and raise the sun because he overslept. Apparently "oversleeping" is a slang term for "fighting with one of the enemy's goons".
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  • Creator Killer: After The Little Mermaid financially curb-stomped All Dogs Go to Heaven, what remained of Don Bluth's studio was reduced to dust with Rock-A-Doodle. Its failure forced him to close down his studio and sell the rights to his first four films.
  • Dueling Movies: The movie was up against Disney's brand new hit princess movie Beauty and the Beast, and the sequel to the fairly popular 1980s Don Bluth film, An American Tail, as well as Felix the Cat: The Movie. Both Beauty and Fieval Goes West crushed it at the box office. Bluth also shot himself in the foot by inadvertently shooing animators back to Disney and their movie, and an attempt to avoid the Dueling Movies trope by delaying Rock-A-Doodle well past Disney and Steven Spielberg/Universal instead led to Bluth getting caught in the undertow of the movies' newfound legacy. For better or worse, Rock-A-Doodle outperformed Felix The Cat: The Movie, which completely flopped with critics and box office and managed to come out after Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog effectively succeeded him as a "cute mascot with attitude" the summer before (Disney had mostly dropped that trait for Mickey Mouse, but did give it a revival in The Prince and the Pauper).
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Bluth had to change some potentially scary aspects, such as giving the Grand Duke "Lucky Charm breath" and cutting out a scene of him eating a skunk in a pie. They also made him change wine into "soda" (see Frothy Mugs of Water on the main page) to avoid a PG rating.
    • Incidentally, the Skunk Pie sequence was cut not because the idea of an evil giant owl threatening to eat a live baby skunk in a pie is inherently scary in itself (even though it is). It was cut because of a note Bluth's studio received from the preview audience. The scene was too scary and had to be cut because "most cases of child abuse happen in the kitchen, and involve baking instruments". Considering that the star of his previous film had just recently been murdered by her father, you can understand why he was so quick to cut it.
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    • Somebody along the line decided we needed to see the final live-action/animation sequence in an attempt to cash in on the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Goldie was an attempt to replicate the sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit — except that by making her a bird (some animals just... don't make for cute furry girls), it created a whole slew of other problems. And then Goldie still had to be censored to cover up many cleavage shots and skimpy costumes.
    • Patou's Captain Obvious narration was literally thrown in at the last minute when test audiences complained about certain scenes being too incomprehensible.
    • Goldie and Chanticleer were going to have more dialogue with each other that included a number of double entendres.
  • Follow the Leader: the live-action segments were created in part to replicate the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which famously blended animation with live-action.
  • Old Shame: Not surprisingly, Don Bluth isn't too fond of this film. Also, Eddie Deezen (voice of Snipes) admitted on Facebook that he has never even watched this film (although he did once say that Bluth was a nice person to work with)!
  • Relationship Voice Actor: The Japanese dub has many voice actors which they reunite a few years later in Naruto: Edmond is Konohamaru, Chanticleer is Kurama, Snipes is Pain/Yahiko and Tobirama and Hunch is Might Guy.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: The film was set to bow initially in November 1990, then was pushed back to the Spring of 1991, but the film's intended American distributor, MGM, pulled out due to the studio's own fiscal problems. The Samuel Goldwyn Company picked up those rights, and the film's Stateside release was pushed to Easter 1992. (It still managed to be released in the UK and other European territories in late-1991, something that's even more bizarre when you consider that Glen Campbell was almost totally unheard-of in the UK.) Ironically, MGM got the rights to this film again after they bought Orion Pictures, the legal successor to The Samuel Goldwyn Company, in 1998.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: One of the reasons Glen Campbell agreed to voice Chanticleer. The other reason was he always wanted to be involved in some kind of project that paid tribute to Elvis.
  • Star-Derailing Role:
    • Was a major blow to music legend Glen Campbell's career, as he was laughed at by even his most loyal fans throughout much of the 1990s. After that, Campbell continued to perform music for the rest of his life.
    • May also count as such for Toby Scott Grainger, who voiced Edmund, as he didn't do much after this movie (mostly appearances in Disney Sing-Along Songs for the next few years before moving on with his life).
    • And it led to Christopher Plummer not taking another cinematic animation job until 2009, when he appeared in Pixar's Up.
  • Troubled Production: Reflected heavily in the final product due to the copious amounts of Executive Meddling as well as the fact that the voiceover narration provided by Phil Harris was added near post-production when test audiences complained of being confused by what they had watched. The fact that its release was delayed by well over a year is further indication of the troubles that plagued it.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The film was originally pitched at Disney as Chanticleer and Reynard, which would have been a crossover between the myths about Reynard the fox and Chaucer's Chanticleer fable. Instead it was rejected, and after being in Development Hell for several years, was snatched up by Bluth.
    • In a recent retrospective about the film, Bluth said the film was originally planned as an adaptation of the story "The Book of the Dun Cow" (1978) by Walter Wangerin, Jr., loosely based upon the beast fable of Chanticleer and the Fox adapted from the story of “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. They tried to get a licensed for a film adaptation, but it didn't go through because he insisted on the film being exactly like the book.
    • In a behind-the-scenes special on the film, Bluth said that the Roger Rabbit Effect sequence might inspire him to take up a career in live-action filmmaking, a decision he immediately retracted once he found out how much he hated it. The closest he came was doing live theater in the 2000s.


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