Bolt (2008) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
213 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Some of the most fun you'll have at the movies this year
Simon_Says_Movies8 January 2009
Standing out in the crowd is not always the easiest thing to accomplish for an animated film, but above what you may expect, against WALL∙E's heart, and Kung Fu Panda's slapstick hilarity, Disney's Bolt jumps forward as simply the most fun.

What makes Bolt noteworthy as well as a success on its own terms is its ability to take an age-old message about being true to oneself and finding your inner hero, and mesh it with a unique storyline that ends up spawning what, at first glance at least, seems wholly unique. Coupled with the expectedly bright crisp animation and stellar voice work, makes Bolt better yet, and a sure contender for best animated film at this years Oscars. Bolt also reclaims the original song work of Disney past, conceived between its also star and teen sensation Miley Cirus and Jenny Lewis and both compilations are memorable and sweet. Bolt never dives for the heartstrings, but scores its emotional points through well developed characters and thoughtful situations.

Bolt opens with a very entertaining action sequence in which Bolt (voiced to surprising effect by John Travolta) and his master Penny (Miley Cirus) are chased by well equipped super villains which plays out in the vein of The Incredibles. The genetically altered canine can leap helicopters in a single bound, melt evil with laser eyes and destroy villains at a whim with his super-bark. It is soon revealed that the action speckled lives of Penny and Bolt is in fact a hit television show, which requires Bolt to be kept in the dark about the nature of his existence; in brief, he actually believes he has super powers. But after a cliff-hanger ending of an episode in which Penny is taken, prompts Bolt to escape, determined to reclaim his friend and master. Embarking for the first time into the real world he haphazardly enlist the help of a very reluctant cat (Susie Essman) and a fan-boy hamster named Rhino (Mark Walton) and along the way learns, and earns, the true stripes of a hero and that of friendship.

If everything I mentioned above was not enough to make you see this film, I can also reveal that Bolt is an at times hilarious send-up of the movie industry and genre clichés. Propelled by the hilarious supporting voice work including Malcolm McDowell, Dietrich Bader and James Lipton the blend of comedy, drama, and flat out entertainment value is unmatched. Also worth an enthusiastic mention are the pigeons that show up throughout the course of Bolt's adventure. Not only (as with all) is the voicing perfect but the physical humour implored is gut-busting, with the feathery fools twitching their heads in a pigeon- esquire way during their meetings with Bolt to glorious results.

If you have a chance, you obviously should see this film in 3-D, however it is still well worth your money viewed in a traditional medium. Bolt is a reminder of why Disney was such an animation juggernaut and it is pleasant to see them recapturing some of their past glory. And just in case you want it mentioned bluntly, yes there are many jokes that older patrons will more then enjoy. It is always refreshing to see an old formula revamped so effectively and certainly always welcome to see a movie that can put a smile on faces of all ages.

8.5 / 10.0

View all my reviews at Simon Says Movie Reviews:
26 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A VERY fun movie for old and young alike
NightBiker15 November 2008
Its an animated movie about a dog. GIVEN, its a 'kids' movie. Unlike many animated movies, the dialog isn't full of innuendos or 'hidden' humor that only adults would 'get'. Its easily understood by kids, the animation is top-rate (as would be expected) and the characters are engaging and easy to enjoy. I admit that even though I love animation, I went to this sneak preview with a few misgivings. The trailers didn't look all that exciting, and I didn't expect to see anything I hadn't already seen. On one hand, I was right. The animation WAS very good, but nothing that hadn't been done before. But on the other hand I was pleasantly wrong. The formula works perfectly for Bolt. It was fun, didn't have any 'dull' spots, and while my theater was filled with a fairly consistent mix of children and young teens, and a relative smattering of adults, everyone seemed to enjoy it. Laughter was pretty consistent among the old and young, and at the end of the flick I heard something I rarely get to experience in theaters these days: applause. Granted, the adults were the ones applauding, and I joined in enthusiastically. The wife and I agree that this was one movie where we felt we got more than our dollars' worth. Thats a rare treat. Bolt did not disappoint on any level -and will find a spot in our library when the DVD eventually hits market. I fully expect this movie to do very well.
161 out of 194 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Bolt brings back true Disney
radioactive_man219 November 2008
I have been anticipating the release of Bolt for several months. I had an opportunity to see a screening of it and it exceeded all my expectations. Bolt is a wonderful movie with a good story and heart, something that Pixar has done well but Disney has struggled with. I believe the addition of John Lasseter to Disney Animation has made a significant impact on the quality and continuity of this film. Yes, it is CGI. You may ask, "Why is Disney doing CGI when Pixar already does?" All the studios are doing CGI right now. I have been very impressed with Pixar's CGI detail, however the detail in Bolt is even better. Creating a dog with fur that gets dirty, wet, wind-blown and looks real is very impressive (at least it is to me). In addition to better detail, the color and light of this film is so true to life, you'll think it's the real thing.

I laughed, cried, and was on the edge of my seat. Disney has created some lovable characters who will definitely win the hearts of millions. Congrats to the entire Disney Animation studio, well done.
162 out of 204 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Easily my favorite Disney film, and perhaps my absolute favorite movie of all time
Apemangalore14 February 2009
The 2000s have not been very kind to Walt Disney Animation. While there has been the occasional Emperor's New Groove or Lilo and Stitch, the majority of their films from this decade have been rather mediocre (most notably 2005's Chicken Little, which - ironically - remains the studio's highest-grossing film of the 2000s). With that said, I initially had some doubts about Bolt, despite hearing that it would be Disney Animation's first film supervised by Pixar founder John Lasseter. The surprisingly positive reviews posted shortly before the film's release convinced me to buy a ticket. Thankfully, I was forced to eat my words; welcome back, Disney.

The film revolves around Bolt, a white German Shephered who has spent his entire life on the set of a TV show in which he portrays a "superdog". As a result, he believes that the events on film (and his super powers) 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 alley cat named Mittens and a TV-obsessed hamster named Rhino who also happens to be an extreme Bolt fanboy.

First of all, the effects in this movie are unbelievable. Everything in the movie looks so realistic and yet doesn't contradict with the animated cartoon-esquire characters. Also, while Bolt is obviously the star of the movie, the real comedy comes from his unlikely companions. In fact, my favorite character of the bunch is Mittens the cat, voiced excellently by Susie Essman. Very seldom do I hear/see a character and say "I can't imagine anybody doing a better job playing him/her", but Essman really brings a lot to this already memorable character. And though I found him to be pretty irritating at first, some of the best lines in the movie come from Rhino the hamster.

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 I had to have a complaint, it would be that it takes some ideas from several other films (such as Homeward Bound, Toy Story, and The Truman Show). That said, it still manages to feel like its own film, and with grace.

With terrific animation, an incredibly heartwarming story, and some of the most endearing characters I've ever seen on film (animated or otherwise), Bolt has not only become my favorite Disney film (Pixar included), but perhaps my absolute favorite movie of all time. It feels strange saying that, especially considering that I didn't even expect to like the film, but I simply can't think of a movie that I've loved more. It's also one of the very few films that manages to bring me to tears every time that I watch it, and when a movie is able to affect me on that kind of level, it automatically becomes a winner.
78 out of 103 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
So delightfully entertaining!
Gordon-1113 January 2009
This film is about a dog that believes his friend is in grave danger. What he does not know is that he is the star of a reality TV show.

Who would have thought "Bolt" would be so thrilling and entertaining! The opening action sequence is rushed with adrenaline, it excites me even though it is an animation! The plot is intelligent, interesting and fun, the great thing is that it entertains without the need of any toilet or gross out humour. The super-bark and laser eye scenes are so hilarious, in a cute and mesmerising way. In addition, the transition of Bolt from being a super dog to realising he he has no powers is very well presented, that it makes me feel sad for Bolt. The animation is flawless, and all the characters in the animation are super cute. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of "Bolt", I think it makes perfect family entertainment.
52 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Iulians200215 November 2008
I was really not expecting much, was looking to one of those generic "newgen" 3D animations but, oh, I was so wrong. I can easily say Bolt is pretty much at par with Wall-E, the 2 21th century animations that conquered my heart.

Few times I laughed, few times I had watery eyes, and it's impossible not to adore the characters and be at the edge of the seat as you follow the story. Also really loved the "authentic" finale with Penny and Bolt.

The Real D (my first ever 3D glasses movie too) was the cherry on the cake with the astonishing graphics.
112 out of 162 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Truly A Disney Film!
g-bodyl30 March 2009
I can't remember any film produced by Disney that I ever disliked. Every movie they made, whether it's Pixar or not, is a great movie to watch. Bolt is no exception. In fact, this brings Disney to another level.

This film is about the bonds of friendship between Bolt, a "superdog" and Penny, a young actress. Bolt thinks he has super powers but he he obviously does not. He realizes that when he takes a cross-country trek with a mangy cat and a weird hamster to save his human companion.

I guess you could say the voiceovers are great. John Travolta and Miley Cyrus certainly did a good job.

I liked the music in this film. I shouldn't be surprised because Travolta did star in Grease thirty years ago. The duet with Cyrus is a great song.

This movie deserved to win some bigtime awards. The only reason this did not happen because Wall-E overshadowed this film.

This is one of the best Disney animated films this decade. Actually, most of them are great animations. Anyway, I rate this film 10/10.
43 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Extremely entertaining - especially in 3D
aes6413 November 2008
We got the opportunity to see this in a sneak preview in 3D and were very entertained. Great plot, great animation and the 3D was amazing. Sometimes felt like Bolt's head was towering over the audience. Good thing he didn't drool!

All the characters were great. The pigeons were great comic relief. It's amazing the amount of detail the animators put in. Watching the way the pigeons moved their heads was entertaining in itself. Rhino and Mittens were also hilarious while having more depth as well. A lot of Rhino's great lines were in the preview but didn't exactly play out in the story the way they seemed like they were going to. Even with that, he was hilarious. Obviously the plot is predictable but it's a very fun story. We were laughing out loud throughout this movie.

Skip Bond and see Bolt.
88 out of 126 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lost Super-Puppy, Answers to the Name of Bolt. If Found, Please Contact The Incredibles...
Anonymous_Maxine12 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I've read that Bolt is the first computer animated feature to come from Disney Studios since Pixar's John Lasseter took control of it, and it's easy to see the Pixar presence in the movie. John Travolta and Miley Cyrus provide the celebrity voice talent for the movie, about a dog who stars in a superhero TV show but who is just as unaware that he's an actor as he is that he's a dog.

Remember at the end of A Bug's Life when they animated together some outtakes where shots from the movie were messed up because of various mishaps on set? I thought that was one of the most charming ideas in an already fun and entertaining movie, and in Bolt they have taken that and centered an entire movie around it. Bolt and Penny are a team battling the evil green-eyed man, who has kidnapped Penny's father and are attempting to extract information out of him.

Between shooting sessions, Bolt lives in a trailer, unaware that Penny is going home to her real life and that the world returns to normal when he's not around. He believes that he is exercising extraordinary restraint in not using his superpowers to teach a lesson to a couple of wise-cracking alley-cats who tease him through the roof vent of his trailer at night.

Through a series of unfortunate events initiated by an encounter with the cats, Bolt finds himself accidentally shipped in a box to the east coast, from where he must travel across America in the real world in his quest to become reunited with Penny.

In watching a movie about a cute superhero who suddenly finds himself in the real world and must gradually accept the heartbreaking news that there's nothing special about him, it's impossible not to think of Buzz Lightyear, who suffered through exactly the same situation in Toy Story almost 15 years ago, but even though this seems to point to a disappointing characterization weakness in the movie, it is the characters who are the most interesting.

There is nothing particularly fresh or interesting about Penny, who is really nothing more than a catalyst to drive Bolt's adventure, and even Bolt himself is giving us a predictable performance of a dog who thinks he has superpowers, but the characters that he meets along the way are the best things about the movie.

He encounters a hardened alley-cat in New York named Mittens who has been bullying pigeons into making regular food donations to her (a clear homage to the bullying grasshoppers in A Bug's Life). She and Bolt become tied together with a leash and he forces her to help him get to California. But it's the even smaller characters that are the most interesting and charming. The Italian-American pigeons that Bolt meets in New York, who just know that they know his face from somewhere but can't quite place it, are incredibly well-animated and cleverly voiced.

But my favorite is Rhino, a superfan of Bolt's TV show whom Bolt and Mittens meet in a trailer park on their way to the west coast. Rhino will be a popular favorite character from the movie. He's overcome with excitement at meeting his hero, and it provides a unique comedic situation when both he and Bolt think that Bolt has super-powers, while Mittens must pacify them in order to get what she wants. She has been dragged scratching and screaming into this situation, and her disbelief at her miserable luck provides a good portion of the movie's comedy.

The family content of the movie plays up the ongoing cats and dogs rivalry that I don't remember seeing this directly portrayed since the relatively disappointing 2001 film Cats & Dogs. In one of the movie's more amusing sequences, Mittens teaches how to beg, and he successfully gets one trailer park family after another to offer food to his puppy-dog begging skills. When Mittens tries it, she gets a frying pan flung at her.

The movie knows how to work the comedy of a computer animated feature, which is why it was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar and is also why it's a lot of fun, but beneath the clever screen-writing and occasionally amazing animation, the standard-issue cartoon-messages of never abandoning a friend in need make the rest of the movie pretty un-spectacular.

Bolt deserves to be nominated as one of the best animated features of 2008, but it also deserves to come in behind Kung Fu Panda, the second best animated feature of the year, and WALL-E, which will win.
15 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A fun action packed Disney adventure
jonconnormustlive-462983 December 2018
Bolt follows a canine actor known for playing a super hero on a TV show, he is supported from his owner and must find his way back to her, all while believing he truly has super powers.

Bolt is loads of fun! There are lots of creative action scenes, plenty of funny jokes, and even some emotional scenes. Bolt has the makings of a Disney classic, but it does come up a little short of the usual Disney magic.

Firstly, the story lacks depth, the story basically tells itself in the first 30 minutes, then fuels the rest with action, comedy and drama. Secondly Miley Cyrus proved to be an annoying choice for voicing one of the main characters, not only is she an ear-sore, but she struggles to express different emotions vocally, her voice feels fake and just detracts from the overall film.

Luckily there's still plenty good in Bolt, it's definitely a great choice for a family friendly action comedy!
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The best animation of the year
Mihnea_aka_Pitbull23 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Wall-E" was superb, I love and admire it/him, but "Bolt" does beat it! While the above mentioned (excellent!) movie did have some slow, insipid and predictable moments, in the spaceship setting - well, "Bolt" is coherent, self-consequent and true to itself from beginning to end!

The script is based on a treasure of meanings: the world seen by the eye of a dog; the difference between fantasy and reality; the role of the audience in an entertainment project; and, first and foremost, the main idea: A DOG'S SUPER-POWER LAYS IN HIS FAITHFULNESS! Anyone who ever owned a dog knows how true (and sacred) a fact is this!

Further, the same script is really intelligent - well structured and built up, with a solid dramaturgy and a captivating narration, right from the beginning. The starting premise, as expressed professionally, is:

  • WHAT IF a dog, loyal with his life to his master, plays next to her the part of a super-dog in an action TV series?

  • BUT WHAT IF, for him to act well, the trick is to make him believe that everything is true, and his super-powers are real?

  • ...AND WHAT IF he gets lost by accident, and has to face the REAL WORLD (and his REAL SELF) to get back to his master?

...And this is how starts this truly initiatic trip, from New York City back to Hollywood, for the engaging Bolt, his acolyte Mittens (the stray cat who begins by being his sarcastic hostage, only to become his main supporter), and Rhino the hamster, his devoted fan. While the script continues in the same compact and fast-paced spirit, the direction adds up to it by being more than just adequate: it's expressive, enriching, imaginative, creative, bright. And what an admirable humor, what an elegant satire, what a perceiving look all over the American society, from the East Coast to California...!

Of course, one should add that the graphics are superb, and the 3-D DOES WORK, friends and neighbors - it ceases at last to be just a cheap trick, and invests the story with style and perspective (not only at an optical level!)

One last word, and the most important: yes, I'm an old bastard, harshly dragged along thousands of movies - but, when Bolt chose to die next to Penny, I wept.
37 out of 55 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pixa- I mean Disney at its finest
Vartiainen5 June 2016
Lets face it, the early 00s were not kind on Disney. The Renaissance was over, their loyal target audience was in college and thus not interested, Pixar was doing the whole CGI thing way better than them and all in all they seemed to have lost their touch. Until this film. Oh sure, it's still very much like something Pixar would have done and a bit missing on that Disney magic, but it's still a very good film that allowed them to get back on their feet.

And when I say it's something Pixar would have done, I mean that in a good way. Kind of. The plot features a dog, raised to believe he has genuine superpowers, suddenly being separated from his loyal owner Penny and now having to make his way back across USA to reunite with her. All the while having to learn that the world does not in fact play by his rules. Sounds like a Pixar movie, doesn't it. But then again, Pixar is a great film studio so that's not exactly an insult.

And the story and the characters are very good in their own right. Bolt, the eponymous main character, is very gruff and no-nonsense, but also delightfully naïve about the realities of the world, while Mittens, his new cat sidekick/helper/kidnap victim is pretty much the exact opposite. And then there is Rhino, a hamster trapped in a plastic ball and also one of Bolt's biggest fans. Rhino is awesome.

And yeah, it's kind of silly that I keep complaining about the fact that it's so much a Pixar film. It does make it seem a bit artificial in a way, because you know that they're copying much of their good material. But it's a good film, when all is said and done. Do see it, if you have the chance, is what I'm saying.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disney finally puts out a winner!
intimidate3815 November 2008
Over the past few years Disney track record in new movies has been questionable. With the exception of Meet the Robinsons (which I quite liked), Disney has done nothing but pump out rehashed ideas in the form of inane sequels to classics loved by my generation or weak under developed characters. Well not this time. I managed to see an advanced screening of this tonight with my daughter and it had both of us highly entertained. Bolt the "super" dog was full of funny and emotional characters the likes of which Disney has not produced in a while. And for once the comic relief characters, of which there are many, did their jobs and pulled even the slowest of moments out of the trash and send you rolling in the aisles. Rhino the hamster was my personal favorite. After seeing this movie all my daughter could say was how awesome it was and ask if we could see it again. I had to remind her that it actually does not come out until next week. Well to sum it up I would recommend to children young and old and while I have not seen it yet in 3D I plan too because it was easy to see that 3D is going to make the movie even more exciting.
39 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Wow, this is Disney at it's best
Feral11317 February 2009
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of animation and I loved recent films like WALL-E and Kung Fu Panda, but this one is without doubt the best animated film this year or the last.

Bolt is a hilarious, funny, sometimes sad and incredibly enjoyable film. The characters are highly memorable and the story far more engaging and exciting than most other animations, yes WALL-E included.

It carries the classic elements of a children's story, combined with a modern day setting. Think Dick King Smith's 'Find the white horse' mixed with 'The Incredibles' and that gives you a scope of the feel of this film.

Without doubt this is a classic that brings back Disney's claim to fame. The plot is clever, with several homages to earlier Disney films and will keep you engaged all the way through unlike in WALL-E or Kung Fu Panda, which are both brilliant (The latter more so) but have some scenes where you want to leave the cinema quickly and go buy more sweets until the good stuff comes back.

WALL-E will beat this film in rating (Thought this one deserved to be better) for the simple reason that more people will pay attention to a film about a little lost robot, than a film about a dog who thinks he has superpowers. Go into the cinema, with an open mind and no prejudice, i.e. 'said film' is better so I refuse to enjoy this!and you'll see exactly what I mean. Trust me I didn't think it would be good but Wow was I wrong.

This is an excellent film with none of those, 'Geez i'm glad the kids didn't understand that joke' moments which makes it all the better than films that try to sneak those in every so often. Bolt is awesome!

I wont give you any spoilers other than rhino the hamster is hilarious and all three of the main characters will make you laugh out loud, I've never been in a cinema with so many people laughing before! Long story short, watch this film, trust me, it's engaging where others are not, its funny and the characters are lovable. This is Disney's best yet, that includes anything PIXAR have done and deserves to win whatever awards it's nominated for. Great for kids and adults alike, you wont be disappointed. It has those great moral undertones everyone seems to be such a fan of on here too! No seriously though, they work. very well.

Enjoy the film and watch out for Styrofoam!
19 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
davidhicks-115 February 2009
I think the title of this review, in my opinion, sums up Bolt in one word. The adorable characters and the action-packed sequences left your emotions going all over the place in this one of a kind animated adventure.

The outline story is about a dog, but this dog is slightly different from the rest, he is a legend of the small screen as the star of his own TV show, Bolt; a super-dog that will do all it takes to protect his owner and best friend, Penny. There is just one big problem, Penny is Bolt's actual real owner, who never gets any time with Bolt outside filming for the TV show, and Bolt believes that the show that he stars in is actually for real. He believes he has superpowers and is always on the looking out stop the 'green-eyed' villain from getting hold of Penny.

One day in film production, a scene featuring Penny being kidnapped by the bad guys sends Bolt running out of the studio and going to look for Penny believing that she really has been kidnapped.

The film sees Bolt in the real world (where he has no super powers) and discovers who he really is. Along the way he 'captures' a cat (who he sees as a villain) called Mittens, and bumps into a rather hyper-active hamster (Rhino).

The films has a mix of genres, and Rhino provides a lot of funny dialogue, which works really well.

Another treat in this film is that you can see it in 3D, and it really makes it so much more realistic, I loved how the 3D made the action sequences so realistic. at you from the screen, one bit that really sticks in my mind was the syringe coming at you! I would definitely recommend seeing it in 3D.

However, there is one thing that, for me personally, made this fantastic. From what I've heard and read many people have said that it was 'hilarious' and a great animated comedy. For me, I don't think the comedy was the best bit. What I really liked about this film was that it had heart. I loved watching Bolt making discoveries about himself that he never knew about (e.g. the window on the trailer scene) which was full of warmth, music in these scenes in particular worked very well indeed. It left you feeling really emotional. But then it was a scene near the end that really did it for me, after all the action, the heart and determination of Bolt really did bring a tear to my eye, something I don't think any other animated film has ever done. Was it the 3D that made it so realistic (you could almost feel Bolt's fur) or the great work done on the animation, a combination of both? Never have I come out of an animated film feeling so emotional. Before seeing this film I read a quote from the chief creative officer of Disney animated studios who said that he believed in the words of Walt Disney himself "for every laugh, there should be a tear". They got it spot on in 'Bolt'.

Overall, I can't express enough how awesome 'Bolt' is. By far I would recommend you see this one of a kind film.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It was a BOLT of entertainment
shizznick8516 November 2008
This movie was enjoyable all around. I saw a special screening last tuesday and it was great. I found that kids felt they were intwined with in the movie. It made you feel like you were right there helping out Bolt and his friends. The character traits and development were well done. From the pigeons of New York to the pigeons in California every character had their own special personality. The graphics were superb and it made you feel as if the movie was real. John Travolta does the voice of Bolt. I wasn't sure if at first he was a good choice, but he made Bolt his own. Miley Cyrus was really good as the voice of Penny. She did well and her timing was great, but the real character that made this movie was Rhino the Hamster. He steals every scene and you and your kids will be quoting his lines for weeks to come. I saw take your kids to see this and don't worry it is great for adults too.
42 out of 70 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Near-Perfect Family Comedy
cjd-1615 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It's official. Disney is finally back! "Bolt" is a return to the old formula of having a story that works on both the level of entertaining the kids with jokes, and keeping the parents watching with a touching character-based story.

At its base level, "Bolt" is quite possibly the funniest animated film that Disney has ever made. And thankfully, the best humor was not wasted on the movie's trailers. You think you've seen it, but oh, there's so much more! The audience at my theater, kids and parents alike, were laughing like crazy throughout the film, including one joke that kept them laughing for a good minute afterward. (I wouldn't dare spoil it here.) Rhino, the little hyperactive TV-obsessed hamster who has no idea how small he is, steals the show. Almost everything that he does is worth a good laugh, and all of his humor is perfectly in-character... not annoying in the least bit, unlike the Disney sidekicks of the 90's. And there are no fart jokes or potty humor, or other such overly-easy kid-friendly jokes that make adults smack themselves on the heads. It's classic character-based humor, which everyone can appreciate, throughout the film.

The movie's base premise, a character who thinks he's something extraordinary when he's really not, may sound like a rehash of "Toy Story," but it isn't. They only sound similar on paper. The execution, and what the film's drama and basic plot points focus on, are completely different. In "Toy Story," Buzz's ignorance was self-induced, while in "Bolt," Bolt's ignorance is the fault of the studio, who keeps him ignorant for the sake of making a more convincing show. "Bolt" is more of a story about love overcoming cruelty than a self-actualization one.

As a serious film, "Bolt" works for the most part. The first 30 minutes or so, from the opening pet shop scene to the end of the Ohio trailer park scene, are spectacular, showcasing the lightning-fast action scenes that Bolt thinks are real, plus using the wonderfully detailed and subtle character animation, (which is remarkably lifelike,) to capture the tender Penny-playing-with-Bolt moments. You really feel for Penny and Bolt because of how believable the animation is, and those first images of them together really stick in your head throughout the film.

The only place where the story fizzles out a bit is in the middle and some parts of the end. The parts where Bolt actually learns that he is not in fact a super dog, and has to cope with it, were not redundant, but they certainly weren't inspired either. It kind of rushes through them, and doesn't dwell on them, which makes such an intense change in character a lot less significant than it could have been. (This is not a spoiler, by the way... the plot shifts in a completely different direction once this part, which everyone knew was coming, is over.) I personally think this lack of perfection is because the team had only 2 years to finish the film after Sanders left, and didn't have time to iron out the story and dialog in the middle. This keeps the movie from being a masterpiece. If the whole film was as good as the first 30 minutes, it could have been. As is now, it is still a sensational family comedy achievement, but falls just short as a serious character-study film.

Nonetheless, "Bolt" is one of Disney's best films from the last 10 years, and is not to be missed. The kids at the theater unanimously loved it, especially loving the hamster. If you have a family, don't miss it! If you like good light-hearted comedies, don't miss it! If you're a lone Disney fan holding out for the return of the near-perfect character, music, and epic animation, though, you might have to wait until next year's "The Princess and the Frog." "Bolt" is certainly a treat, but is still just short of the levels of the 90's Disney Renaissance.
15 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very entertaining animated film.
TxMike24 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this on a flight out west, so picture and sound are impossible to judge and comment on, but I was able to enjoy the cute story. It is an old one, about the bond between two people being stronger than the situations around them. The two "people" in this story are a little girl and a dog.

As the movie begins we see a fantastically powerful and faithful dog named Bolt (voiced by John Travolta). As the scene goes on we eventually realize that we are seeing the filming of a TV series on a set. We further see that Bolt doesn't really have any special powers but the scenes are set up to fool even Bolt, and he thinks (as a dog may be able to "think") that he really is a super dog.

As script fate would have it, Bolt finds himself in the real world, and accidentally in a shipping box headed across the country to New York. There he escapes and soon finds out his super powers are not super anymore. Much of the middle of the movie involves Bolt's escapades in trying to get back to Hollywood, and partner up with Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus) who he thinks is his real owner instead of just an actress.

Penny also considers herself more than just an actress, and missed Bolt, while studio bosses try to convince her that a different dog can play Bolt, since "the show must go on."

SPOILERS: Bolt eventually makes it back, with the help of a cat and a hamster in a plastic bubble. At the studio Bolt makes it just in time for a big fire in the soundstage, one that the fake Bolt runs from. Meanwhile the real Bolt rushes in and saves Penny. They are reunited, more than just two actors.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Makes a change to see a kids film that was good.
Nephilims_child19 February 2009
Being a mom means you have to take the kids to the cinema. Over the past couple of years I have seen some awful films, Monster House and Cars are two that come to mind.

Bolt, to be honest I wasn't looking forward to seeing it, but I am glad I did, I loved it, it wasn't overly preachy or sentimental. It was well paced and didn't try to be something it wasn't. There were no innuendo jokes that were there for the parents and the thing I did notice was that the parents were laughing a long with the children.

Some wonderful lines, good animal characterisation, and a kick-ass hamster. What more could you ask for.
23 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Tough to rate, it's cute but very unoriginal
Smells_Like_Cheese26 November 2008
Bolt, I honestly don't know what to say about this film because honestly I feel bad about saying this, I love Disney so much, but this movie didn't do anything for me. First off this was one of the strangest casts, I do like John Travolta, but I just couldn't see him as Bolt for some reason, his voice just threw me off completely. Miley Cyrus, this movie became more about her and I think they were just trying to attract her fans to this movie. The only thing that I really did enjoy from Bolt was the hamster, Rhino, he was just absolutely cute, he could have been annoying, but he's like the ultimate fan that loves you so much that it turns around and you like him right back. The animation, it was decent, 3-D is just becoming so huge this year I think. The story is just The Truman Show with a dog, it also kind of reminded me of Homeward Bound, so this is something we've seen before.

A super-dog named BOLT, whose days are filled with danger and intrigue-at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood sound stage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet-a cross-country journey through the real world to get back to his owner and co-star, Penny. Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and the help of two unlikely traveling companions-a jaded, abandoned house cat named Mittens and a TV-obsessed hamster named Rhino -Bolt discovers he doesn't need superpowers to be a hero.

While I wasn't into this movie, I think it's a great family film, especially for the kids, it's a guaranteed fun time for them. The characters are cute, but it's Rhino and Mittens who steal the show. I don't know about you, but I think this movie had a little bit of a rip off from Animaniacs, those pigeons in the beginning reminded me too much of the Goodfeathers and Mittens reminded me a bit of Rita, if you've seen the show, you know what I'm talking about and will agree with me. Bolt is worth the look, but I'm not that impressed with it, watch it with the kids and for the fun 3-D stuff. The story is just a little unoriginal but the characters make it worth your while.

38 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A good day guaranteed!
jemps9187 December 2008
Ridonculous! Bolt has the audience in the pad of his paw from beginning to end.

A white American shepherd who plays a hit TV series' superdog hero, Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) leads a Truman Show life: he thinks his superpowers are real and believes that his sci-fi adventures with his person Penny (Miley Cyrus) are serious. When Bolt accidentally strays from the confines of his studio lot world, he embarks on a real-life quest to find his person and protect her from the evil Dr. Calico. He gets into true-to-life troubles himself, encountering genuine characters along the way: a trio of pigeons, Mittens the alley cat (Susie Essman) and fan-hamster Rhino (Mark Walton). Ally McBeal's Greg Germann provides the voice for Penny's scheming Agent, while The Drew Carey Show's Diedrich Bader is the voice for the Veteran Cat.

It may be executive-produced by Pixar's John Lasseter and has tinges of his comedy stylings, but Bolt is fully a Disney creation. Having Lasseter on board ensures that the adults in the audience will probably have an even better time than the kids. The animation is impressive, as it delivers the drama and emotion, as well as the laughs and the Fully Awesome action! It would just be really difficult not to smile and swoon at Bolt and his sidekicks. Watch it and have a good day guaranteed!
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Best Disney cg Movie Ever!
anniemations25 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this at a screening w/ the directors. it was completely totally awesome. =] I had an awesome time. The movie was fantastic. I saw some of the production work (final and storyboard) phase of the movie and I could tell already that this movie will touch the hearts of many and especially pet lovers.

The film - I really enjoyed the beautiful lighting and how Disney just blows the minds my mind with it. The different colors used to set the moods, the different palettes at different locations, the patter, and etc to set the environment as he travels across N. America. I can see the old traditional side of Disney is coming back especially with John Lasseter heading up the creative side. The color to this movie really does set the mood and the beautiful details and painterly affect developed by Disney really made the movie just much more unique and emotional... with the soft brush effects.

You should not go into this movie criticizing it because of Miley or what not... or whatever... go in open minded. =] the movie will take your breath away. Especially the action scenes at the beginning of the movie - completely astounding and breathtaking.

I love the script it was creative and it really hits the heart and soul. As much as this story has changed throughout the production... it still stays true to the main theme. The movie brought tears to my eyes during the climax of the movie when Bolt realize he was not a dog, or when Mittens tells her past life... the movie in itself has so much depth. The entire Vegas scene (Vegas being fake... etc etc.) It really takes you on this journey across North America and you can really emotionally feel what Bolt is going through as he travels and seeing that open landscape... what is real. (pay attention to Bolt's fur color as he travels across N. America. =] They put a lot of thought process into this.) The composition of the movie was great I loved it. the camera angles used was awesome. I think Chris and Bryon and the rest of the creative team did a wonderful job. they put a lot of thought into the characters and its development. Again, the character development in this film did meet its marks. I loved the animation and the subtle movement of the ears on the animals. I loved the anticipation to it and just everything about the Animation... it was mind blowing. I loved the jokes they were very creative. I would go say more, but I'll leave it short and simple. =] You just have to watch this film.
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lightning BOlt
rama-2822 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
BOLT may not be in the same class as WALL-E but it's still just as entertaining, touching and genuine as any other great animated films that have more than meets the eye. I like watching movies like BOLT because you're bound to not only... have a good time but you'll also get that mushy feeling from its heartfelt story. No matter how tough you think you are, the themes of friendship, family, loyalty will always get you every single time. Definitely a must-see! Especially if you have pets If I were to say anything against BOLT's graphics and animation, it would be like having watched the movie with my eyes closed because the fact remains, the amusing 3D visual effects that this movie treats you with will guarantee the most absolute thrilling, adventurous fun a family can enjoy. They say God is in the details, you'll be hugely impressed at the extent that this movie is willing to go to bring us the most surreal looking dogs or cats or pigeons, just as good, if not better than some of the other CG animated movies I've seen in recent years.

Once again, the story will keep you at the edge of your seat. The fast-paced action sequences when BOLT is the show's superhero dog or even when he's not the superhero dog he thought he was. It can often be silly and yet you're glad it is.

There's one character, the hamster named Rhino who is just the funniest sidekick since Dori in Finding Nemo. Rhino will get you laughing and laughing and you will beg for more.

I gotta give props to John Travolta as the voice of Bolt, Travolta's got the ability to connect with his character and the audience, I'm aware it's just voice work but it's still hard work to make it convincing, he's got the comedic timing and the determination that is BOLT, the dog who is in total denial,.. motivated only by its hope that its person, Penny, will love him back.

Watching BOLT is a lot like watching TOY STORY 2, there's that unlikely friendship and teamwork themes to it and at the same time, it's also about how the toy/pets' owners or the humans often would get to a certain point where they'd abandon their toys or their pets resulting in... stray animals walking the streets. The network show that got Bolt famous easily replaces him with another dog, that's how much one can take something for granted. BOLT could be like a spokesperson for animal shelters and adopt-a-pet organizations everywhere. It is truly a movie that's good for everyone of every age.
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
what an awesome and adorable flick
raviu_kanth17 January 2009
personally i'am not a fan of animation movies but when i saw this movie i completely fell in love with this movie.

the bolt character is so well innocently designed that u cant stop laughing at his innocence not only bolt but the rhyno and cat characters are also well placed,i assure u that this movie will definitely keep u into it till the end and it is one of the best animation movies i have ever seen.

if u wana watch a movie worth it then i will definitely recommend you to watch this because it not only entertains the kids but also the elders so its a must watch go get it if u have still not watched it
11 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Incredible Journey...of a Dog, a Cat and a Hamster
Chrysanthepop25 January 2009
After numerous duds, Disney has finally brought some quality entertainment on screen. Perhaps John Lasseter had a lot to do with it. The animation is similar to that of Pixar, detailed, vivacious and colourful. The story moves at a steady pace and even though it isn't anything new, it has its own charm and the adventurous feel. I loved the characters Bolt, Mittens and Rhino. They form a very entertaining trio. Travolta, Essman and Walton are great together. The Penny character is clichéd and Miley Cyrus's bad voice acting doesn't help much but thankfully she's not the main lead. I am also additionally glad that none of her songs appeared in her soundtrack other than the one she terribly sang with Travolta. The pigeons were laugh-out-loud hilarious. I loved how they moved their heads in a darting motion. If one took notice, the three pigeons in the beginning move differently from the three that appear in the end. 'Bolt' is the Disney movie that one has been waiting for. It's probably been ages since they have had a winner (the last one being 'Lilo and Stitch'?) and it's good to see them back with something solid.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed