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A movie directed by Byron Howard and Chris Williams

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Try Not to be Killed By all the Cuteness

  • Oct 22, 2009
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Within the past few years, Disney movies that don't have Pixar attached typically tend to be forgettable.  Meet the Robinsons was funny but so random and jumbled that telling anyone just what the movie was about was a pain.  So when Bolt came out without Pixar to it (and having to follow the absurdly over the top Meet the Robinsons) it was easy to be a little skeptical.  Without Pixar (or Johnny Depp) it doesn't seem that Disney does so great on their own.  Yet for what it's worth--in spite of its problems--Bolt ends up being a good and lovable movie because it manages to do what Disney used to be very known for, but it also does it in ways that aren't quite so over-the-top.  There are still major questions and a couple of plot holes that make one scratch their head, but kids aren't likely to pick up on these things, and they hardly detract from the enjoyment of the film (okay, most of them don't detract from the enjoyment of the film).

Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus) is a star who has known Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) as a puppy.  The two become famous and make a television series in which Bolt is a Super Dog that protects Penny from the Green Eyed man.  The producers are some kind of wizards because they are able to make sure that Bolt thinks the entire thing is real.  And they're able to do this without ever reshooting.  It takes A LOT of suspension of disbelief to let this one slide.  A hit television series that NEVER has to reshoot?  This essentially means that these guys can't afford to make mistakes and they somehow never do.  All for the sake of making sure the dog believes it's all real.  Because if the dog believes its real then the audience will believe it's real (because you know a dog that has the powers of Superman is something audiences will totally believe is real)  The network comes into some problems, however.  The first being that the 18-34 year old Demographic (that's right... a TV show about a kid and her super dog has a key demographic of 18-34 years old... uh-huh, again your suspension of disbelief has to be REALLY big here).  Some of it is funny, but it was just hard to get over these things.  A crew that never has to reshoot any of this stuff... and a key demographic of 18-34 for a show about a teenage girl who runs around with a Super Dog?

Okay, so Bolt doesn't actually get off to a great start.  I'm actually still confused how Bolt doesn't know it isn't real.  This staff must be a bunch of wizards because they never have to reshoot... and apparently never have to edit in special effects or anything either.  It might be entertaining for some, but suspension of disbelief runs high.  From the opening moments I was almost certain I would hate the rest of the movie.  But once Bolt "escapes" the studio and gets out into the real world to discover he has no powers... the movie actually picks up.  He gets shipped off to New York by mistake and has to travel across country back to Hollywood.  The "twist" of course is that he actually believes Penny is in danger and thinks there's a reason for him losing his powers.  Along with a cat name Mittens and later a Hamster named Rhino, Bolt embarks on a cross country trip across the United States where he'll not only have to come to the realization that he doesn't have super powers, but also what it means to actually be a dog.

As I said, the beginning of the movie never struck a huge chord because it asks too much of its audience to suspend their disbelief.  Getting beyond that however, what you get is a movie about friendship, courage and many more simple themes.  And it's actually very funny and very hilarious.  It's also--dare I say--adorable as all hell.  Because of how enjoyable everything after the first bit is, we can quickly sit back and enjoy the movie.  That doesn't excuse the first fifteen minutes or so of the movie, but it is to say that as the movie goes along it gets better.  Besides, a kid probably doesn't really care too much about those first fifteen minutes anyway. 

In the end, Bolt is fun and adorable.  The animation itself isn't quite as fantastic looking as such films as Ratatouille or Wall-E, but the story in and of itself, but what you get is still an enjoyable movie.  It's also short and sweet without overstaying it's welcome.  The only thing I caution is that when I say this movie is adorable I'm not kidding.  There are points when the cuteness can aboslutely make you melt.  Nevertheless, for what you get it's enjoyable.  If you have kids they'll probably love it.

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October 22, 2009
"Salem's Lot" followed by Disney. Now that's what I call eclectic. What's next?
More Bolt reviews
Quick Tip by . May 31, 2010
Fun for the whole family
review by . April 16, 2009
Welcome back Disney. Far too long have you been in Pixar's shadows. The last big hit you had was with "Lilo & Stitch," a movie that stood out in a sea of duds and lessor attempts, and that was back in 2002. That movie was based off an idea by Chris Sanders, a longtime animator who hit box office gold. Now, after "Home on the Range," "Chicken Little," and several other poor attempts to reclaim your former glory, you have brought us "Bolt," a movie about a dog who run faster then a speeding bullet, …
review by . July 23, 2009
The main reason for putting off watching this movie was lack of a child visitor in the house. With the arrival of my 3-year-old niece, we've been catching up on 'family' films.    I had pretty neutral expectations of this movie only to find my level of satisfaction rather high at the end.    It reminded me a great deal of 'The Brave Little Toaster' from back in the day, but is otherwise a classic tale of a motley crew finding friendship and making their way …
review by . July 03, 2009
This was such a great film. The visuals are stunning and you can tell the animators actually cared (no thrown together film for these guys!). It's funny - really funny. I think Rhino stole the show myself though :)    Yes, it's about a dog and it's a feel good family movie. Ho hum, Ho hum, right? Not quite. It's a little bit more than that, I thought. A stand-out film to be sure. My kids loved it and so did the adults. I think this might be the most surprising film I saw last …
review by . June 20, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
You know the formula, classic Walt Disney. Some cute and cuddly lead character, attacked by a black evil character, scare the little kids for a while, there's a big fight, and the cute and cuddly lead character wins. If you love the Disney formula, this film is a total winner. Hate that formula, and well you just won't enjoy this film.     Animation has certainly made a ton of progress in the past few years. This movie is no exception. Where the Incredibles (The Incredibles (Two-Disc …
review by . January 30, 2009
Mittens: [to Bolt] The real world hurts, doesn't it?     Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):     1. Bolt (John Travolta) is a pup with super strength, laser vision, and all the other good stuff that comes with the portfolio of "superhero"   2. That is, once he's on the movie set of his hit series   3. He's never been off the movie set   4. He's totally devoted to his owner Penny (the ubiquitous Miley Cyrus)   5. Unforeseen …
review by . April 28, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I admit that I really wasn't that excited to see BOLT. An animal road trip movie featuring the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus? It really didn't sound that interesting to me. However, I was wrong. BOLT is a much more entertaining and enjoyable movie than I expected and after viewing it I would gladly watch it again.    Bolt (John Travolta) is the star of his own tv show with his owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus). In the show, Penny's dad is a world-class scientist who is wanted …
review by . April 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Frankly, I did not know what to expect when I took three grandchildren to see this film immediately after it arrived in Dallas months ago. We saw it at an IMAX theater in 3-D, an experience that reminded me of a time when (at their age) I was startled when Vincent Price began to hit a rubber ball with a wooden paddle at me and others in the audience at the Shore theatre in Chicago. This time around, I was soon unaware of the paper glasses and concentrated on an especially clever plot. Briefly, Bolt …
review by . February 10, 2009
Bolt is such a good movie! Bolt is a dog with superpowers working in the world of espionage with his "person" Penny...or so he thinks. Truth is that Bolt works in a T.V. show and he doesn't even know it. The producers have gone to extreme lengths to hide this from Bolt (hiding the microphones, etc.) just so that his "performance" is real. But then Bolt is inadvertently shipped all the way across the country and exposed to the real world. He must come to terms with the fact that he does not have …
review by . August 18, 2007
posted in Music Matters
Pros: Zesty, exotic, hard, perfect for the movie     Cons: Not as gripped as I thought I would be.     The Bottom Line: I thought I would be listening to this soundtrack over and over. Sad to say I was wrong.     Hans Zimmer with bite. That’s how I would describe this soundtrack. Tyler Bates, the composer, has a bit of Zimmer’s style, but throws in some spices, plenty of flair, and a lot of violence. You get 300 out of it. I enjoyed …
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #6
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this movie


Boltis a funny animated film about a dog who thinks he has superpowers. It is also a movie about friendship, perseverance, and the power of believing in oneself. Everyone knows that superheroes on television are not real, but super-dog Bolt (John Travolta) is a canine star who has been carefully raised to believe that he really possesses superpowers. Bolt is completely devoted to his human co-star Penny (Miley Cyrus), so when Penny is captured by the evil Dr. Calico (Malcolm McDowell) in their latest television episode and then Bolt accidentally gets loose in the real world, Bolt sets off on a journey to save her. Bolt is confounded when his super powers are suddenly ineffective, but inspiration strikes and Bolt quickly discovers the mysterious, power-stealing effects of Styrofoam packing peanuts. An encounter with alley cat Mittens (Susie Essman) gives Bolt some eye-opening lessons about being a real dog in the real world, while star-struck, ball-enclosed hamster Rhino (Mark Walton) revels in the opportunity to serve as Bolt's sidekick in the quest to rescue Penny. The trio traverses the United States from waffle house to waffle house on a hysterical quest to find Penny and prove that the relationship between Penny and Bolt is real. In the end, Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino learn that everyone is special in their own way and they discover the true power of believing in oneself and one's friends. Select theaters showed Bolt in Real-D 3-D which features some nice effects, ...
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Movies, Comedy Movies, Comedy, Animated Movies, Animation, Kids, Children, Disney, Family, Animated, Adventure Movies, 3d, Cartoons & Animation, Abc Video, Feature Film Family, Animal Picture, Adventure Comedy


Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Release Date: March 24, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Chris Williams, Dan Fogelman
DVD Release Date: March 22, 2009
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
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