Ostensibly a funny animated film about a dog who thinks he has superpowers, Bolt
is also a movie about friendship, perseverance, and the power of believing in oneself. Everyone knows that superheroes on television are not real, but TV star super dog Bolt (John Travolta) is a canine star who was carefully raised to believe that he really possesses superpowers. In true loyal canine style, Bolt is completely devoted to his human co-star Penny (Miley Cyrus). When Penny is captured by the evil Dr. Calico (Malcolm McDowell) in their latest television episode and Bolt gets accidentally let loose in the real world, he sets off on a journey to save her. Bolt is confounded when his super powers are suddenly ineffective, but inspiration strikes and Bolt quickly discovers the mysterious, power-stealing effects of Styrofoam packing peanuts. An encounter with alley cat Mittens (Susie Essman) gives Bolt some eye-opening lessons about being a real dog in the real world, while star-struck, ball-enclosed hamster Rhino (Mark Walton) revels in the opportunity to serve as Bolt's sidekick in the quest to rescue Penny. The trio traverses the United States from waffle house to waffle house on a hysterical quest to find Penny and prove that the relationship between Penny and Bolt is real. In the end, Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino learn that everyone is special in their own way and they discover the true power of believing in oneself and one's friends. Selected cinemas showed Bolt
in 3-D, but the film is probably equally enjoyable in the traditional format. A fun film with a nice message and a huge dose of cute, Bolt is good entertainment for the entire family. --Tami Horiuchi
In this 2008 computer-animated Disney film, an adorable dog named Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) has been trained to believe that he has superpowers, and that his young owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus), is in perpetual peril, thanks to the schemes of the dastardly Dr. Calico (Malcolm McDowell). However, the loving and protective Bolt and his human companion are really actors in a popular TV show, a production that goes to great lengths to make sure its star pooch remains in the dark about his fictitious life. When Bolt is accidentally transported off of his show's Hollywood lot, he must find his way back home and contend with his not-so-super reality, aided by a scrappy alley cat (Susie Essman) and a very enthusiastic hamster (Mark Walton).
Helmed by animation vets and first-time feature directors Byron Howard and Chris Williams, BOLT benefits from executive producer John Lasseter's sterling Pixar touch, often echoing themes of that beloved company's canon, particularly 1995's groundbreaking TOY STORY. A fun movie that will delight children, BOLT is excellent family fare and easily one of the finest dog-themed films in cinema history.Stills from Bolt (click for larger image).