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Thursday
Nov202008

Movie Review - 'Bolt'

Bolt

Featuring the voices of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, and Mark Walton
Directed by Byron Howard and Chris Williams
Rated PG



bolt_galleryteaser.jpg Disney’s Bolt should not be confused with a Disney Pixar film. It’s high praise to suggest that it could be, and while it lacks the remarkable writing of the very best Pixar movies, the quality of the animation and the entertainment value is not far off the pace.

Actually, Bolt may help Disney level the playing field with Pixar, which is already getting much stronger competition from DreamWorks with films like Kung Fu Panda. This is fast-paced, funny, creates memorable characters, and offers as much for adults to enjoy as it does the wee ones.

Bolt (John Travolta) is the star of his own primetime show, on which he saves the planet every week with his adoring co-star, Penny (Miley Cyrus). He believes he’s blessed with superpowers, like heat vision and a super bark, because the creators of the show never let him think otherwise; it’s the only reality he knows.

When Penny leaves the set to go home one day, Bolt thinks she’s being kidnapped and races into action to find her. He slowly realizes that he has no super powers, but is aided in his quest by an alley cat named Mittens (Susie Essman) and a hamster in a wheel named Rhino (Mark Walton). The two supporting characters, as is often the case in animated movies, steal the spotlight from the stars. Rhino, in particular, will be a crowd favorite, thanks to his buoyant personality and quotable lines.

Their journey is actually a cross-country one, and at its outset, I thought the film would kind of drag on and on because of the road trip structure. Happily, Bolt unfolds some of its best moments between its Hollywood bookends, with both interesting and inventive characters that the three animals encounter on the way and just enough emotional depth to make you realize that they actually gave the script some serious thought.

It could have been very easy to make this less of a character study and have Bolt be successful, but to the credit of the writing team and the two directors, they went the extra mile, and it's a better experience because of it.

It’s no secret that animated films have used the fish out of water story over and over again, from Toy Story to Home on the Range to – obviously – Finding Nemo. Somehow, not all of them manage to get it right. But Bolt is an absolute success, giving us plenty to look at and enjoy and a surprising amount to feel.

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Reader Comments (5)

I'm a grown adult and have to fight the urge to go see this just so I can see the hamster Rhino portray the typical fanboy in all it's terrible awesomeness.

Friday, November 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOrinn

No, really ...don't fight the urge just go see it. Laugh yourself silly and have a good time. I know I'll be checking it out and hopefully this Sunday :)

Friday, November 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAsana

Bolt was great! I thought it was touching, and a beautiful film to watch. Still 100 times better than Dreamworks animation any day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAntenna

I love the strory of the movie because Bolt reaches the studio, finding Penny embracing his lookalike. Unaware that Penny still misses him and that her affection for the lookalike was only a part of a rehearsal for the show, he leaves, brokenhearted, so I think that it is one of the best movies to kids! Generic Viagra 22dd

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpepe cadena

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Friday, April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJuan

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