Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Walt Disney Animation Studios: Part 48: Bolt

Series Intro: This is Part 48 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors.

Official Title: Bolt
Release: November 21, 2008
Running Time: 96 minutes
Estimated Cost: $150 million
Estimated Revenue: $309.98 million
Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
Bolt is a dog actor, who has been raised to believe that his TV character “Bolt” is his real persona. All is good, until Bolt gets loose one day and finds himself lost in New York. There he meets an alley cat, Mittens, who he believes is part of the TV villain’s plot to capture his human. Bolt forces Mittens to return him to Penny in Hollywood. Mitten does not believe Bolt has special powers.
Mittens and Bolt have several misadventures and along the way meet Rhino, a hamster that believes the TV Bolt is real. As they continue to travel West, Bolt learns that he is an ordinary dog, however he still wants to be with his human, despite Mittens wanting to stay in Las Vegas.
After saving Penny from a studio fire (caused by Bolt’s replacement), Penny and Bolt retire to a farm where they both get to be normal. Penny also adopts Mittens and Rhino.

Not a musical, and the score wasn’t memorable.

Plot Rating: 4 stars out of 5
I was reminded of Cars while I watched this movie, in the fact that for the first third, I really didn’t like the main character. Then, as the “buddy-movie” feeling finally kicked in, I felt like I was watching a childhood favorite, Homeward Bound. I do enjoy WDAS’ buddy movies, so this was when I really liked the movie.
Interestingly enough, there wasn’t a villain in this movie.

Animation Rating: 5 out of 5
Now this is what I’m talking about WDAS. Finally, they have a CGI movie that looks good enough to bare the “Disney” name. The new “Non-photorealistic rendering” made this move so bearable. The backgrounds looked hand painted. The characters had cartoony looks but not overly so nor overly realistic.
For those keeping track, the last time a WDAS movie scored “5 out of 5” in Animation was for Lilo and Stich (only 6 movies have this rating)

The Test of Time:
Where’s Bolt? After he stopped being a jerk, he was cute.

Through the Modern Lens
I hope that this rings in the modern renaissance. It has been too many mediocre movies in a row.

Next Up:
Princess and the Frog

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