Bolt (2008)

Rating: PG
Length: 1h 36
Release: 6.2.2009
Dir: Byron Howard & Chris Williams
About: Bolt is a dog who stars in a superhit television show in which he possesses superpowers. However, things change when he believes his powers are real and embarks on a purposeful mission.

The Good

  • Rhino! Who doesn’t love that crazy bastard in the ball. He’s a maniac, he’s outrageously deluded and I am here for it. He has some of the best moments in the film and provides some of the biggest laughs.
  • The plot is quite savvy. It’s essentially Planes Trains and Automobiles meets Galaxy Quest with the cast of Homeward Bound. What is not to love about that elevator pitch?!
  • The relationship between Bolt and Mittens will win your heart. Bolt has you from the very start as he’s a Disney puppy. That’s like cinematic kryptonite for the audience. Then you are introduced to a street cat who is not all she seems. It’s the age old buddy pairing in which they’re chalk and cheese, but they learn to get along.
  • I do feel like John Travolta was a unconventional choice to voice Bolt given it could be argued at the time he didn’t have the box office pull he once did and doesn’t have an overly distinctive voice either. However his voice does work for Bolt. He has charm, innocence and, when required, authority.

The Bad

  • It’s a bit unclear from the opening act as to whether Bolt was picked to be part of the film, or if Penny picked him as a family pet and then they were both picked up. It’s not something that really matters, but I’m curious.
  • Penny gives up way too quickly when the dick PR guy brings her the replacement dog. She put more effort into trying to get Bolt home for the weekend than the rescue.
  • Some of the visuals, mainly the backgrounds that are trying to have dept of field, haven’t aged too well. Not too much of a problem, but it certainly not long has the ‘state-of-the-art’ feeling to it.

The Ugly

  • The subtext within this film is really dark. In my early 20s it went over my head, so little ones should be okay, but Mittens and Bolt are both victims of animal cruelty. Watching it this time, I really struggled with the fact that the plot does come at the expense of Bolt’s abuse at the hands of the tv network.

Final Thoughts

I love this movie. It has so many ‘I love this bit’ moments and the script really makes you chuckle.

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