Bolt
2008
Nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar and Golden Globe, this tale of adventure follows dashing German shepherd Bolt, a canine actor forced to make an action-filled cross-country trek when he's mistakenly shipped from Hollywood to New York City. Believing that he and his fictional character are one and the same, Bolt gets a glimpse of what it takes to be a real hero. Celebrity voices include John Travolta, Miley Cyrus and Malcolm McDowell.

Steve West: “It was ok.”

Back to the Columbia Mall again, this time to see Bolt. FLK1 and FLK2 are absent this time but these once a month Saturday showings appear to be gaining popularity in the autism community. There must have been fifty families represented today. Some children I haven't seen before and this is our sixth outing. There is an incredible display of affection among this crowd with more hugging and kissing of children than I normally see at public gatherings. Just an indication of how much these parents love their special children.

The adventure began before the movie started. One young man sitting about seven rows behind us was hilariously announcing that he needed to be quiet now. Hilarious because he was nearly shouting this. This child also acted as a human TiVo throughout the film, loudly repeating the last few words of each spoken line and a few of the sound effects as well. It was like watching the movie twice, the second time on a two second delay. There were kids crying, biting themselves, parents cooing and comforting, and in the middle of this cacophonous symphony - a movie was playing.

The first five minutes of the film were awesome, a representative clip of the TV show in which Bolt starred. The last five minutes were equally entertaining as Penny (Bolt's human) and Bolt are reunited after a long separation and he helps save her from an enormous fire without benefit of superpowers. Superlative. Then there was everything in between...

I'm starting to dislike the use of celebrity voices in an attempt to drive the popularity of a film as opposed to using talented voice actors to display their talents. Using Patton Oswalt in Ratatouille was inspired. John Travolta was okay in this one but didn't really lend anything to the role with his voice alone. Susie Essman did her best in her role as Mittens, the former house turned alley cat. Using gimmicky choices for some of the voices was hit and miss. Malcolm McDowell was fine as the villain (typical) but I didn't know it was him until afterward but James Lipton was a superb choice as the director. I didn't know it was him but as I watched the movie and heard his pretentious prattling, I was thinking how much that character reminds me of James Lipton. I found out after the film and was surprised to see he was doing a parody of himself.

A few lines were very memorable. A gushing hamster says to his hero, Bolt, "Every minute in your presence becomes the newest greatest moment in my life." And one half of an overtly gay pigeon couple wants to throw a TV plot idea at Bolt but defers to his partner with the line, "Tom's better at pitching." Oh, and the entire recue from the animal shelter scene was very funny.

I'd say go and watch it for the beginning and final scenes. And there's just enough in the middle to get you through it. But just barely.

− December 6, 2008 • more by Stevelog in or create an account to reply

Jackie Mason: I'm starting to dislike the use of celebrity voices in an attempt to drive the popularity of a film as opposed to using talented voice actors to display their talents.

I wholeheartedly agree with you there. I think it started to bother me around Shrek. I'm sure they could have found someone better than Camron Diaz to fill the lead female voice role. − December 10, 2008 • more by Jackie

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