My Dad The Rock Star – Willy Unplugged
Executive producer: Gene Simmons
3 episodes
Nelvana 2003-2004
kaBOOM! Entertainment 2005
English and French Versions

My Dad The Rock Star totally rocks as a cartoon. A favorite on Teletoon (the Canadian Cartoon Network) and shown on Nickelodeon, this really cool and rocking cartoon is about the life of Willy, a grade school kid who must deal with the fact his father, Rock Zilla, is a famous rock star, his sister is a pain, and his mother dresses as a groupie. One of the executive producers on My Dad The Rock Star is KISS front man Gene Simmons so it is no coincidence of Rock Zilla (also a KISS tune) bears a very strong tongue in cheek resemblance to Simmons.

Nelvana, a Canadian animation studio with a long and solid track record when it comes to cartoons and other kids’ shows, is behind My Dad The Rock Star. This means the animation is superb and more than the generic stuff you often see in cartoons. The writing in the 3 episodes available on Willy Unplugged (the title episode, Angela D’Angelo, Rebel Without A Nose Ring) is also excellent. There is something for the whole family to enjoy as the kids will love Rock Zilla, the very weird rock star dad, and relate to young Willy. Parents will enjoy the rock background, appreciate how clean this cartoon is without being syrupy, and approve of the “message” behind each cartoon episode.

Willy Unplugged is an episode where Willy performs in a talent show. This becomes a problem when his best friends, Quincy and Alissa, decide they want to share the spotlight with Willy. Worse, Willy’s rock star dad Rock Zilla decides it is his job as a father to help his son with this project and starts inventing a series of trumpet amplifiers that are dismal failures. But, as Zilla says, “Nothing exceeds like excess!” The lesson here is that parents do sometimes get a little too involved in school projects and you have to learn to say no to your friends sometimes.

Angela D’Angelo is an episode dealing with Willy’s first date, a pre-date with the school’s hottest girl. Willy goes to his dad for advice: Rock Zilla says, “Never mention the girl you are dating on television in case she turns out to be a guy!” Willy’s mother tries to Zen him with advice but breaks down because her baby is too young to date. This pre-date is basically a disastrous meet the parents event.

Rebel Without A Nose Ring is the third episode on My Dad The Rock Star. It features a great running gag about Rock Zilla preparing his chili con carnage, Mr. Malefactor, a Richard Nixon like principal, and something about a dress code at Willy’s school. I t is okay but not the best of the three episodes on this DVD.

The one annoying thing about My Dad The Rock Star, Willy Unplugged is how the picture tends to strobe when the camera pans from one character to another within a scene sometimes. Otherwise, My Dad The Rock Star is one very cool cartoon for the whole family.

Extras on this DVD include an interview with Gene Simmons, a rock video which is just a scene from episode 2, and a shameless product tie-in featuring Ronald McDonald in three exercise videos, that’s right, exercise videos


Related Posts