tek's rating:

Bolt (PG)
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Caution: spoilers.

So, this came out in 2008. It was accompanied theatrically by the Cars Toon Tokyo Mater. I suppose it seemed like something I'd like to see, but of course I didn't get a chance. Wanted to get it on video for a few years, and then in 2011, when I had a few roommates, I saw it sitting around the house. So I reckon I could have watched it any time. But I didn't. Finally, in 2012, no longer living with those roommates, I joined the Disney Movie Club, and this was among the introductory movies I ordered. So I'm watching it. Finally.

So. It begins with a little girl named Penny (Chloe Grace Moretz) choosing a puppy to adopt from an animal shelter. Then if flashes forward five years, where we see that the girl, Penny (now a teenager, voiced by Miley Cyrus) is like some kind of... I dunno. She has like awesome adventures with her dog, Bolt (John Travolta), who had been enhanced by Penny's scientist father, so now Bolt has all kinds of super powers. But Penny's father had been kidnapped by a villain named Doctor Calico (Malcolm McDowell), so Penny and Bolt have to try to rescue him. But after awhile, we learn that in fact all this is just a TV show, and Penny is an actress. The only thing that's real is how much she and Bolt love each other. However, the people who make the show have prevented Bolt from learning that his and Penny's adventures aren't real, because it makes his performance more believable if he believes it's all real. Yes, it's a redonkulous concept, but just go with it, okay?

Anyway, the network isn't happy with the show's recent ratings, and want it to become less predictable. So in the new episode, Penny gets kidnapped by Calico, so he can get her father to share his knowledge. Of course, Bolt ends up running off the set to try to rescue Penny for real. In an unlikely plot device, he gets shipped to New York, where he meets some pigeons, who take him to a cat named Mittens, who can supposedly tell Bolt where to find Penny. (The pigeons have their own rather amusing reason for lying to Bolt.) Meanwhile, Bolt is confused by the fact that his super powers don't work anymore. But he's still tougher than a cat, obviously, and takes Mittens as a prisoner. She begins taking him across country, hitchhiking to get back to Hollywood. Along the way, they meet a hamster named Rhino, who is a fan of Bolt's show (though he also seems to think Bolt's a real super hero). From what Rhino says, Mittens figures out the truth about Bolt, and eventually manages to convince him of the truth. But he still wants to find Penny, and Rhino comes along for the adventure. Meanwhile, Penny is heartbroken that Bolt is gone, but has no choice but to continue doing the show with a new actor dog (who's not as good as Bolt, naturally).

I won't say how it all ends, but it's a pretty funny movie, as well as pretty sweet and cute. I quite liked the animation and everything. It's not exactly a Pixar-quality movie, but it's still pretty good. Also, I should mention the DVD has a short film called "Super Rhino," which is also pretty funny, in which Rhino dreams he's a super hamster, and has to save Bolt and Penny from Doctor Calico. The funniest part is when he also turns out to have a singing career, and sings part of the theme from "Hannah Montana," which is amusing because Penny was voiced by Miley Cyrus. (I'm not a fan of that show, but I still dug the gag.)

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