Disney’s Bolt Review

Thanks for checking out Rodney’s Bolt review.

When I first saw the preview for Bolt, I honestly didn’t see that much that made me want to go to this. But it didn’t look like it would be bad either so I checked it out. This was Disney without the aid of Pixar, doing 3D so at very least I would see what they came up with on their own. I was overwhelmingly impressed.

THE GENERAL IDEA

The film is about Bolt, a small white German Shepherd who has lived all his life on the set of a TV show in which he portrays a superhero dog. As a result, he thinks that his superpowers, and events on film, are real. When he is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he embarks on a cross-country journey to reunite with his owner and co-star, Penny. Along the way, Bolt teams up with a jaded housecat named Mittens and a TV-obsessed hamster named Rhino who also happens to be an extreme Bolt fanboy, and eventually he discovers that he doesn’t need superpowers to be a hero.

THE GOOD

Holy crap the effects in this movie were staggering. The opening scene shows the front of the pet store where we are first introduced to Bolt before he is adopted. It looked SO REAL. Seriously, I wondered if it really was until I saw the stylized shop owner walk into the screen. Very much a Pixar styled human, but so seamlessly blended into this picture perfect scene. Everything in the movie looks so realistic and yet doesn’t contradict with the animated cartoon-esque characters. One particular scene where they pan along the strip in Las Vegas had my hetero-plus-one guest (who had just recently returned from Vegas) literally gasping in shock at the realism and perfect translation they made.

Bolt himself is the star of this movie, but the real comedy comes from his unlikely companions Mittens the cat and Rhino the hamster. When I first saw the scene with the Hamster, I was ready to write him off. He was a little irritating at first. But some of the best lines in the movie come from this drooling fanboy hamster. I fell in love with the character and had many a good laugh at his expense.

Lastly, in one of the opening scenes we see Bolt as he is in the TV Show to set the understanding of Bolt’s world. Seriously, that was made of awesome. The scene was action packed and full of excitement. I would watch the show that Bolt is in. If they make a spin off on TV about this (They did it for Buzz Lightyear!), I hope they show us the Bolt show. Damn that was good. I was almost disappointed when the rest of the movie kicks in at the end of the scene. I wanted more of that! But the rest of the movie doesn’t disappoint either.

THE BAD

Now the basic premise is that Bolt thinks he is the character he plays on TV. When he enters the real world he still carries on like he has powers and this leaves him in a multitude of situations where he is pretending to have powers like his super bark, or laser eyes. Meanwhile everyone around him is rolling their eyes and think he is insane. I kept waiting for one of them to vent their frustration and shout “YOU ARE A TOY!!!” Yeah, the parallels to Toy Story and the delusional Buzz Lightyear were there. Almost distracting. They handle it well, nearly better than in Toy Story and at very least on par. Once I forced Toy Story out of my head, I got past it.

Also, the character of Penny in the Bolt show is a teen superspy with unreal gadgets and faces off against “The green eyed man” a cat loving evil nemesis. Clearly the show is a tribute to Inspector Gadget, Penny and her Dog saving the day. Much like the Toy Story similarity it took away from the awesomeness.

OVERALL

So I wasn’t all that interested in seeing it, but very glad that I did. I didn’t even mind that Miley Cyrus was the voice of Penny, they needed a cute girl’s voice and Miley provided that and conveniently got the closing credit song as well. Fortunately it was a duet with John Travolta and is a pretty catchy song suiting the film perfectly. Once I got over the minor hurdle of the “tributes” feeling too much like a ripoff, I really enjoyed the movie.

It was a great entertaining flick with jokes for the grownups and lots of fun for kids to get a kick out of. Animation was spectacular, the characters were all very enjoyable. The wit of their lines was sharp and laugh inducing. Go see this movie. Even if you don’t have a kid to make it look like you have to. Seriously.

Overall I give Bolt a 8 out of 10.

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