So, as every year, the family goes to a movie on Black Friday. Only for the past 3 years I’ve been working my ass off at Toys R Us. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for a job. Anyway, this year’s lucky winner was Bolt in 3D.
For the past few years, as I’m sure you are all aware, Disney films have been at a bit…. utter shit. That’s as nice as I can put it. I mean Home on the Range? Seriously? But as family friendly choices were scarce, I went with it. And I can’t deny, I was very impressed.
First off, the 3D. A few years ago some friends and I went to see The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D for Halloween and were all very surprised at the technology. Of course, then it was called Disney 3D. And may I go out on a tanget and say that throwing the name "Disney" in front of something does NOT make it special or improved in any way. You know what I’m talking about. That being said, I was blown away completely in every way by how good the 3D looked in this movie. In fact, I was so awe-struck that I spent the entire movie staring at the lighting and surface texture effects they were able to make pop. Yes, I’m a nerd. Shut up. And fortunately, there were none of those "OOO! I’m throwing something toward the audience. Marvel at how it looks like it’s coming at you!" Good move, Disney.
The opening of the film was quite a surprise. It’s about a 5 minute long action scene that takes place in the world of the Bolt tv show. Let me say, this wasn’t just impressive for an animated film. This opening sequence rivals many big-budget Hollywood action flicks. It was just that good. After the sequence, we see that Bolt is all smoke and mirrors, but only Bolt doesn’t realize it. After a bit of semi-annoying exposition, we get the setup for Bolt’s escape. Thinking the "bad guy" has taken his owner Penny, Bolt accidentally finds his way into a shipping box and miraculously survives a trip all the way to NYC, proving animals can’t die in the animated world.
This is where we first meet the pigeons, which becomes a running gag throughout the rest of the movie, and a good one at that. The scenes with pigeons from across the country were some of my favorites, but the first one is definitely the best. Anywho, Bolt manages to capture a cat, thinking that she can lead him to Penny. Thus begins a trek across the country with Mittens the cat in tow.
Not far into their journey, they come across an energetic hamster, Rino, who is a huge Bolt fan. He becomes Bolt’s second hand man and delivers some of the best moments of the movie. Seriously, that’s one funny hamster. Upon making it half-way across America, things start to be come more apparent to Bolt. His super powers have yet to return to him and the styrofoam, which he thinks it his kryptonite, doesn’t seem to be the reason why. Fortunately, Mittens seems to know everything about being a dog, and educates Bolt to the ways of K9dom. How lucky.
After making it back to Hollywood, Bolt sees he’s been replaced with a fill-in dog and makes to leave Penny forever. But with the accidental breakout of a studio fire, Bolt is the only hope for his trapped owner. Once rescued, Penny and Bolt retire from the biz and the family, now with Mittens and Rino in the picture, takes up residence in the country to live their lives like a normal group of hicks.
I ended up really liking this movie, though I can’t say it goes down as a Disney fave. Now that John Lasseter is head of animation, it seems Disney is finally back on the right track after many years of critical failures. This could definitely be the beginning of the new Disney Renaissance like we had in the 90s. I say see this one and especially if it’s available in 3D in your area.