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Recommendation: Bolt

April 20, 2010

Bolt is one of those animate “kids” movies that I thoroughly enjoy and highly recommend. It’s not quite at the level of Pixar, but it’s still pretty high up there.

Title: Bolt

Summary: Bolt (v. John Travolta) is a superhero (dog). He has super-strength, super-speed, (super) laser vision, and a devastating super-bark. On TV. What he doesn’t know is that he’s a TV star, filming a show in Hollywood, CA, and none of his powers are real. In a similar vein a The Truman Show (but without all of the philosophical implications), Bolt has been raised to believe that the world of the TV show is real, and he has super powers.

So, when the Green-eyed Man (the villain) captures Penny (his person; v. Miley Cyrus) and the episode ends on a cliffhanger, all Bolt knows is that his person is missing, in the hands of the enemy, and he has to get her back. He escapes from his trailer, and runs off in search of Penny… and in the process he inadvertently knocks himself unconscious and getting himself shipped to New York City. The real-world is quite a shock to him, and while he works his way across the country to find Penny and get her back, he learns a lot lessons about being a dog, friendship, and what it really means to be a hero.

Genre: animation, action, comedy, sappy but awesome, sincere and heart-warming, uplifting

Audience: Anyone who likes dogs, animated movies, or laughing. Should probably have a healthy tolerance for the silly, since most people think this movie is a little silly.

Occasion: Great to watch if you need an emotional boost. The perfect movie to watch with the kids, because it teaches a lot of good lessons and is entertaining for both you and them. Great to watch by yourself if you need a pick-me-up or want to laugh. Could be good to watch with friends if you have some friends who appreciate fun, silly, awesome animated movies.

Watch every minute? Probably not necessary, but if you don’t watch every minute, I recommend watching it a second time, because there are some gems stuck in the script that you’ll want to catch.

Big Screen vs. Small Screen: Any.

Why I liked it: This movie makes me deliriously happy. If you think I’m kidding, you probably don’t know me personally. My husband’s favorite way to tell me he loves me is to say, “You’re ridiculous.” Okay, but why does the movie make me happy?

Because it’s funny. The dialogue is great, especially once Bolt gets out into the “real” world an he’s faced with the “loss” of his powers and trying to make his way without them. Rhino, the Hamster (v. Mark Walton), steals the show with his great lines and accidental wisdom. There are many moments through out the show where, despite having seen it several times, I still cackle uproariously. Or giggle incessantly. Or just grin until my face hurts.

Because it tugs at the heart-strings. The story of Mittens (v. Suzie Essman), who Bolt takes prisoner because she’s a cat, and therefore a minion of the Green-eyed Man, and Bolt’s devotion to his person, and watching Mittens teach Bolt all about being a dog… it’s all just so good.

“Own it” vs. “Once is enough”: I don’t own it yet, which is so sad. I had to wait until it came out on the movie channels in order to see it again. Fortunately, once they start showing a movie on those channels (I watched it a few weeks ago), they play them for several weeks, so I get to watch it several more times before I really have to think about buying it.

If you liked… You’ll also enjoy…: Up, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story, etc.

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