Review: Rockford’s Rock Opera

I had heard of Rockford’s Rock Opera and was really glad to have an opportunity to review it with the children.

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Rockford’s Rock Opera  is about a boy from Battersea called Moog and his Dog, Rockford. It was first launched in 2009 on the web as an enhanced audio book which combined pictures, animation, songs and dialogue to give the story a unique format and delivery.

Throughout 2009 Rockford’s Rock Opera built a loyal fan base among children, families and schools (so much so that lesson plans were created around the story). Then, in 2012 the project’s creators, husband and wife team, Matthew and Elaine Sweetapple working with writer and comedian, Steve Punt, launched the story as Apple and Android story apps and, before long, with no promotion, the story became one of the world’s most downloaded children’s audiobook apps.

Although principally aimed at 6 – 12 year olds and their families, via Apps the story is now reaching a far wider audience, from pre-school children to teenagers and grandparents.

Rockford’s Rock Opera is NOT the creation of a global entertainment company. It is the work of award winning alternative entrepreneurs, ‘Sweetapple’, (www.sweetapple.co.uk) and a handful of dedicated people working for the love of this amazing, original story. The project is entirely self-produced and financed.
Featuring and scripted by respected BBC writer and performer, Steve Punt, this is also a story with an original ecological message – a unique ‘take’ on the threat of extinction and the effect man is having upon life on earth. The Rockford’s Rock Opera website is full of fascinating information about the story and the facts behind the fiction. As a result, the project has been acclaimed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Herc in clouds

The Story

Far away in the Sea of Tranquility lies the Island of Infinity, home to the last one of every extinct species. Infinity has a secret for the world but Moog, a boy from Battersea in London, and Rockford his dog, are the only one who can deliver its message. Travelling to Infinity Moog and Rockford get drawn into an adventure in sound that threatens the entire human race.

Our views

We quite enjoyed the story. The animation/imagery is colourful and very appealing to children. The children (and I) enjoyed the music which is very catchy and it’s nice to have the lyrics to be able to sing along.

The storyline is quite novel and quite different to other animated movies which is what makes it so unique. I like that there is an underlying message in the story – the threat of extinction and I felt it was a good platform to have a chat with the children about wastage and going green!

I would definitely recommend having a look at the first part, as it is free. Here are some details on how you can get it –

ON THE WEB

The first hour of the story is available free as a stream or downloads, you can then buy the whole story on CD, as downloads or streamed as an animated picture book and read-along: http://www.rockfordsrockopera.com/home
ON iPHONE/iPOD TOUCH and iPAD.

Visit the Apple App Store where Part One of the story is available as a free App (Parts 2, 3 and 4 are available as paid for Apps):
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id345554761?mt=8
ON ANDROID PHONES AND TABLETS.

Visit Google Play where Part One of the story is available as a free Android App (Parts 2, 3 and 4 are available as paid for Apps): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.uk.sweetapple.RROPart1

Disclaimer: I was sent the DVD and codes to download the apps for an honest review. All ideas and opinions are my own.

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