Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look69.57%
Just Average: 26.09%
Pretty Crappy: 4.35%
Sucks: 0%

3 reviews, 5 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Koko-di Koko-da by Jay Seaver

Shirley by Peter Sobczynski

Dreamland (2019) by Peter Sobczynski

Lucky Grandma by Jay Seaver

Vast of Night, The by Peter Sobczynski

High Note, The by Peter Sobczynski

Taking of Tiger Mountain, The by Jay Seaver

Trip to Greece, The by Peter Sobczynski

Night God by Jay Seaver

Alice (2019) by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Mel Valentin

"Not quite Pixar, but definitely the next best thing."
4 stars

"Bolt," the latest film from Disney Animation ("Meet the Robinsons," "Chicken Little"), is a computer-animated family film shot in Disney Digital 3-D™ that delivers (near) Pixar-level quality. Not surprisingly, "Bolt" is the first animated Disney film conceived and supervised by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer for Pixar and Disney. The story, characters, animation, and message are all unmistakably influenced by Pixar and the decade and a half run of near-superlative to superlative animated films (e.g. "Wall-E," "The Incredibles," "Finding Nemo," "Monster’s Inc.," "A Bug’s Life," "Toy Story I and II") that have made Pixar synonymous with excellence on both narrative and visual levels (not to mention merchandizing worth billions of dollars). While "Bolt" isn’t Pixar-level original, story wise, it’s still a significant step up for Disney Animation from its previous efforts (and bodes well for the future under Lasseter’s continuing leadership).

Bolt opens with an action set piece that could have been easily mistaken for a scene from Pixar’s Oscar-winning superhero film, The Incredibles. Bolt (voiced by John Travolta), a five-year old white German Shepherd with superhero powers (e.g., speed, strength, an earth-shattering bark), saves his owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus), and her father, Dr. Forrester (Ronn Moss), from the nefarious clutches of Dr. Calico (Malcolm McDowell), the “Man with the Green Eye” and power-mad villain and his henchmen. What Bolt doesn’t know, though, is that he’s the star of a weekly television program. The show’s director (James Lipton), s stickler for naturalistic acting, even from his canine star, has decreed that Bolt must be protected from the knowledge that’s he’s not a superhero.

Through a series of mistakes and mishaps, Bolt finds himself inside a cardboard box stuffed with Styrofoam peanuts and shipped cross-country to New York City. Still believing he’s a superhero (but somehow weakened by the Styrofoam peanuts) and that Penny’s in mortal danger from Dr. Calico, Bolt tries to make his way back to Hollywood as quickly as possible. After coercing a wily alley cat, Mittens (Susie Essman), to help him find Penny, Bolt heads west, hitching rides where he can and riding trains when he can’t. Along the way, Bolt and Mittens befriend a Rhino (Mark Walton), a hyperactive hamster-in-a-plastic-ball who also happens to be Bolt’s biggest fan. The journey west, of course, includes its share of life lessons, primarily for Bolt, but also for Mittens, who has a complex or two of her own to work out. Meanwhile, the producers of Bolt’s television show want to replace him with an identical dog.

It’s easy to see where Bolt’s writers found their inspiration:Toy Story, The Truman Show, and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. From Toy Story, co-screenwriters Dan Fogelman and Chris Williams (who also co-directed), borrowed the hero’s ignorance of his true nature. In Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear didn’t think he was a toy, but eventually came to grips with the realization that he was. From The Truman Show, Fogelman and Williams borrowed the idea of a character being filmed for a live-action television show without his knowledge. From Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Fogelman and Williams borrowed the central character’s motivation (i.e., returning to his owner and home) and the misadventures along the way that fuel the central character’s growth toward maturity.

What "Bolt" lacks in originality story wise, it makes up in smooth pacing, a solid mix of visual and verbal gags that will keep both parents, small children, and everyone in between entertained, dramatic and emotional beats that avoid cheap sentimentality, appealing performances by a mix of name stars (e.g., John Travolta and Miley Cyrus) and character actors, and computer animation influenced by Edward Hopper’s paintings and Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography ("The Deer Hunter," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "The Long Goodbye," "McCabe and Mrs. Miller"). Of course, everything looks better (at least 37% better) in 3D and "Bolt," Disney’s first film conceived and produced in Disney Digital 3-D™ (previous efforts were converted from 2D to 3D).

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=17383&reviewer=402
originally posted: 11/21/08 05:31:12
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

7/09/17 Suzanne A sweet story; Mittens was hysterical. 4 stars
12/24/09 Dr.Lao Keep your "hip" and "sassy" comedies and give me some funnny ones please! 2 stars
11/29/08 Samantha Pruitt touching and funny, Mittens is a great character! 4 stars
11/25/08 brian Take the preteens. You might like it better than them. 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  21-Nov-2008 (PG)
  DVD: 24-Mar-2009


  DVD: 24-Mar-2009

Directed by
  Chris Williams
  Byron Howard

Written by

  John Travolta
  Miley Cyrus
  Susie Essman
  Chloe Moretz

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast