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Bolt: Not every animation is by Pixar

“Bolt” was quite a fun movie. I went and saw it with Will this afternoon, and it was a fun kids movie. But evidenced by the above title, of course every kids movie can’t be by Pixar, or at Pixar quality level. That said, this one did benefit by having John Lasseter as executive producer, and there was at least one Pixar touch evident (the closing credits animation).

Bolt is a regular dog that a TV show has convinced is a superhero, to get some kind of odd method acting out of him in their increasingly complicated action plot lines. In this, the movie starts off like “The Truman Show with a dog instead of a person”, which is a clever conceit, then goes into a road movie adventure as he tries to get himself back to Los Angeles to his “person”, his owner Penny. You have the requisite sidekicks, this time a streetsmart stray cat named Mittens and a fat TV-addicted gopher named Rhino. There’s a lot of action — some of it in the end a little too much for my four-year-old son (who probably didn’t quite get the main “fake TV show in the movie” key element that made most of the violence fake), and some cute one-liners, especially from Mittens. Some good character moments again, and an exciting, but understandably obvious, ending.

The characters are fun and well voiced, with John Travolta as Bolt, Miley Cyrus and Penny, and best of all being the less well known Susie Essman and Mittens and Mark Walton and Rhino, both funny and perfect in their roles.

Bolt doesn’t do anything really amazing, but it is an entertaining and fun kids movie with a lot to recommend for itself. Not all animated movies can be Pixar, but I think you can see Pixar’s influence rubbing off on the rest of Disney.

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