Disney's Bolt turns man's best friend into man's most powerful superhero.
Well, at least on the sound stage he is.
In order to get a genuine reaction from their canine lead actor, TV producers purposely lead Bolt (voiced by John Travolta, Hairspray) to believe his person Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana) is in danger and he must use his superpowers to save her.
An attempt to boost ratings leaves the show in a cliffhanger, and the heroic hound is determined to make sure Penny is safe. His efforts find him accidentally shipped to New York and without his "powers" for the first time. To get home, Bolt captures an agent of evil, an alley cat named Mittens (Susie Essman, Curb Your Enthusiasm) who teaches him the joys of being a real dog along the way.
Things we liked about the movie:
1. The style of this movie proves why Disney is and will always be the biggest name in animation. The quality of Bolt far exceeds anything rival studios can come up with and falls just short of some of Pixar's biggest titles. It's directed with style and grace, featuring some pretty exciting sequences. The opening action scene is a blast and hints at that dizzying, freewheeling exuberant style that made The Incredibles one of life's little joys.
2. The animal characters are a rarity in animation - they look and behave like their respective species, but are still recognizable individuals. We especially enjoyed Rhino the hamster (voiced by Mark Walton, Chicken Little) and the recurring pigeons.
3. Executive producer John Lasseter deserves his own bullet here. The Pixar head took over Disney Animation during the company's merger and, subsequently, fired Bolt's original directors and retooled the lead character from a sarcastic, gun-toting know-it-all to an adorable little ball of awesome. Thanks, John. The movie is much better your way.
Things we disliked about the movie:
1. The plot of Bolt gets no real points for originality. It's basically both Toy Stories rolled into one, only a bit furrier.
2. Because of the aforementioned intense action, smoldering fires and bad guys who harness electricity in their hands like the evil Emperor, this movie might be too intense for really young kids. It definitely deserved its PG rating.
3. It's a shame this movie only came in No. 3 in its box office opening weekend. Stupid Twilight stealing Bolt's thunder. Bad Twilight! Sit!
All in all, Bolt's loyalty and innocence will warm your heart. The movie is funny, touching, well animated and will become an instant favorite for both kids and adults.