The Magical World Of Disney #53: Bolt

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Bolt is a 2008 American computer animated road-comedy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the studio’s 48th animated feature. Directed by Chris Williams and Byron Howard, the film stars the voices of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Malcolm McDowell, Diedrich Bader, Nick Swardson, Greg Germann, Susie Essman and Mark Walton. The film’s plot centers on a small white dog named Bolt who, having spent his entire life on the set of a television series, thinks that he has super powers. When he believes that his human, Penny, has been kidnapped, he sets out on a cross-country journey to “rescue” her.

Despite a relatively marginal box-office performance, Bolt received a strong positive critical reception and is renowned for playing an important role in instigating what is widely referred to as the Disney Revival, as well as setting the studio in a new creative direction that would lead to other critically acclaimed features such as Tangled (2010) and Frozen (2013). Bolt was also Disney Animation’s first feature film to be produced under the complete creative guidance of John Lasseter, as well as the first computer-animated feature film to implement non-photorealistic rendering.

The film was nominated for a series of awards, such as the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, which it lost to another Walt Disney Pictures release, Pixar Animation Studios’ WALL-E.

The film starts off with a loose rip-off of Michael Bay films but not before an origin scene where a young Penny gets Bolt from a pet shop. Bolt, the star of a similarly named popular TV show, believes everything that happens in the show happens in real life. When the show ends with a cliffhanger where Penny is taken away, Bolt thinks it’s real and runs ramped in the real world. John Travolta was fun as Bolt, the voice suits him and the movie also changed my entire view on Miley Cyrus. She was good as Penny and she proves that she’s more than just Hannah Montana. Susie Essman’s Mittens also is really funny to watch as well as Mark Walton’s Rhino. It’s a fun animated film and at the time at its’ release, I considered it to be Disney’s best animated film since Lilo & Stitch.

Of course, Disney’s revitalization of its’ animation studios were only beginning…

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