Saw it this afternoon with my boys, and we really enjoyed it. Good voice cast, beautiful visuals, good story, and a nice mix of buddy-movie and action-adventure tropes. The montage where they’re traveling across the U.S. was quite good. It had a strong Pixar feel to it (and I noticed John Lassiter credited as exec producer). And, of course, Rhino the hamster stole every single scene he was in. Loved that little guy!
Best animated movie this year, I’d say. What did you think?
Saw it with my kids (5 and 3) today as well…they both thoroughly enjoyed it, although the TV show inside the movie concept threw them worse than I expected.
Loved the pigeons!
Having been lucky enough to see both Bolt (in its 2-D form) and WALL-E for the first time last night, I would say WALL-E is the best animated movie of the year, but Bolt is a respectable number two.
Since the purchase of Pixar by Disney, Lasseter has served as chief creative officer of Disney. Bolt was originally known as American Dog. Helmed by Chris Sanders of Lilo and Stitch, the original plot also focused on a TV-star dog who was told he really was the character he played on TV, but he was stranded in the desert with a cat and a radiated rabbit. Lasseter thought the “character is stranded in the desert and has to come to terms with his new place in life” premise sounded too much like Cars, and asked Sanders to make changes. Sanders refused, and Lasseter fired him from the project (a controversial move that offended a number of fans online). Of course, we’ll never know if Sanders’s original vision would have been better than Bolt, but Bolt is a pretty darn good film.
Rhino is voiced by one of the animators. Although Pixar has done this often (the late Joe Ranft voiced a number of characters), it is uncommon for Disney. The animator apparently did such a great job reading Rhino’s lines during the storyboarding process that he ended up as the actual voice. He was indeed a highlight- although the entire cast, including headliners John Travolta, Susie Essman, and Miley Cyrus.
A number of people- myself included- thought when first seeing the New York pigeons that they looked and sounded similar to the Goodfeathers from Animaniacs. Seeing the film itself, I can now see that the New York pigeons are meant as humorous counterparts and juxtapositions to the LA pigeons, each of which entertainingly play on the vocal and lifestyle stereotypes of the two cities.
The opening sequence featuring an “episode” of Bolt’s show was actually pretty exciting and funny to boot. A real Bolt show would probably become repetitive, however (as they point out in the film itself).
Good stuff (and the Little Golden Book, like most of Disney and Pixar’s, has a nice old-fashioned 2-D style- as do the film’s closing credits). Pardon the Shalitesque pun, but Bolt is a doggone good film.
So basically, they were confused as Bolt was when they found out he was just an actor?
Except that the changes they made made Bolt too much like Toy Story instead (albeit Toy Story with Buzz Lightyear instead of Woody as the main character.)
That, in fact, was my only problem with the movie – too similar to too many other movies. It’s Toy Story, it’s The Truman Show, it’s The Incredible Adventure, the pigeons are from Animaniacs, etc. Yes, I know you can play that game with any movie, but somehow it stuck out to me more with Bolt. (And I wasn’t alone – that was the first thing the friend I saw it with commented on when we were leaving the theater.)
That said, it’s still a really fun movie and I’d recommend it to anyone. And the animation – beautiful!! Anyone here get a chance to see it in 3-D? I thought it was really well done – exciting, easy to see, not gimmicky. They played previews for three or four other 3-D movies that will be coming out over the next year at the screening I went to, so it looks like this trend will be with us for a while.
Yeah, that was probably my favorite part.
We loved it. The character of Bolt was clearly secondary to Rhino, Mittens, and the Pigeons.
“I’ll go get my ball” is my new favorite line.
I was thinking the same thing- until I realized that Toy Story didn’t have a second character who also believed that Buzz was the real deal and thus tagged along (Rhino, in this case). It may have some similarities to other things, but all stories do, and in the end, Bolt is its own creature.
During the 2-D version I saw, there was a trailer for the 3-D film Dreamworks Monsters vs. Aliens, which looks really clever. (“Aliens have once again landed in America, which seems to be the only country they ever land in!”) Impressive voice cast, too.
Yes, me too, second only to “Are you hungry for adventure?” “STARVING!!!”
The actual version was slightly different if I recall correctly (and funnier, IMO) -
Rhino: I eat danger for breakfast!
Bolt: Are you hungry?
I saw it with my 6-year-old daughter, and we both liked it. We saw the 3-D version, and I thought it was well done – it was a convincing effect, but didn’t overwhelm the movie (no cheesy “something is flying right at you!” moments). All the voices were well-cast, but I liked Susie Essman the best; she has a very distinctive voice, and it was nice to see (hear) her do something more nuanced than her role on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
My favorite line was from the L.A. pigeons: “Calm down! This is how you blew it with Nemo!”
Funny how different lines stick out to different audiences. I don’t even remember the “I’ll go get my ball” line. When I saw it by far the biggest laugh from the whole audience was when the guy shouted “BEAT IT, STUPID CAT!”
I thought it was adorable. We only went because our electricity went out at home so we needed someplace warm to spend the evening. I’m glad we picked it.
Saw it in 3-D with my 8 year old. Liked it. (Althought I still say Wall-E was a better movie.) My guy was roaring and laughing at times to the point I thought he was going to fall out of his seat, but I’m not sure that he got that Bolt really didn’t have any powers – I think he thought the Styrofoam peanuts were really powerful.
I’m simply amazed by how great animation can look.