Monday, November 24, 2008

You'll want to reach out and hug "Bolt"

My freelance review:
If you love dogs, you'll love Bolt, Disney's new cartoon movie. (And if you don't love dogs, you should.)

The voice of John Travolta is the voice of Bolt, a dog who -- day after day -- faces danger and intrigue to rescue his "person" Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus) from a new set of bad guys. He's quite the super-hero, but he's just doing what a dog should do -- kind of like an exaggerated version of barking at the mailman!

But it's all a facade. Bolt doesn't see the special effects crew making all of his Indiana Jones-style antics possible -- nor the cameras filming it all. That is all kept from him, for fear that if he finds out what's going on, neither he nor his #1 TV show would be quite the same.

Bolt is a delight, a sweet story with plenty of action, comedy and heart. Bolt says things that I imagine my own dogs saying, if they could talk. And after he accidently falls into a shipping box that sends him from Hollywood to New York, Bolt teams up with a jaded cat named Mittens and a sarcastic hamster named Rhino. Mittens helps Bolt realize the joys of being a normal dog -- for the first time, and the trio head cross-country to get Bolt back home to his "person."

I think Bolt is going to have great appeal throughout the holiday season. The animation, most of which is computer-generated, is superb but not overly-done. There's an overall beauty to the visuals that hark back to the old hand-drawn Disney classics.

And in select theatres, Bolt is in 3-D, making it all the more tempting to want to reach out and hug Bolt!

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