Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Bolt" (2008) - Movie Review

“Bolt” is a fun ride. I can finish it over there and be done with the review. What is the substance I am going to discuss on an animated feature with a dog Bolt (voice of John Travolta) who thinks it’s a super power dog since it believes the TV series is the real world and an alley cat named Mittens (voice of Susie Essman) having deals with Pigeons on fetching its food and an equally mesmerized Hamster Rhino (voice of Mark Walton) idolizing Bolt? It is possible.

Disney Animation Studios renders its animation on following a dog so serious in its life of guarding its owner, Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus). The opening scene of the TV series is a wet dream for any comedy director. Directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard take the insane spoof of the action films and splash their imagination over it to give a “Hot Fuzz” in total animation. In the middle of the city launches fighter helicopters and lands its bike soldiers and they fire everything they have got while Penny escapes with her omnipotent dog Bolt in her scooter. That is blockbuster entertainment spoofed well.

When the lights go out Bolt goes back to his trailer and thinks Penny is in constant attack and threat from the TV villain and his side kicks. We are informed of its naivety through couple of other animals used in the series casually and in fact taking time to tease Bolt. Obviously to humans the talk between the animals are their barks or meows, do not we all know that by now? Anyways in the fright of losing the ratings and the series the director (voice of James Lipton) puts a twist on the happy predictability into a capture of Penny. Bolt as usual believes it and events occur for him to land in New York. Now he got to find back his Penny who is in Los Angeles and save her and this is the first time he is seeing the outer world.

He assimilates couple of sidekicks and off they go on a road trip. There is a weakness in the viewers for animated films. Because this is where the target audiences play a major roll to mould the content and for them it is an easy fair to be entertained. The kids would be more than happy to be staring and been absorbed by the characters from the screen and more due to the range of fast movements, the chases, funny falls and the cutesy talks. But I should have got bored by now in viewing many films of those. That is when it stuck that the enormity in the content of the project never can be dismissed in any kind of film.

If a film addressed to a particular audience wants to take a serious considerations in its script and invites the viewers to go along with it, the expectations dynamically is altered and depending on the execution the film succeeds or fails. “Ratatouille” and “Wall-E” invited in to a new way of film making or may be reinventing the silent films in the latter while the character drama in the former. It worked and worked best because of the screenplay and the animation accentuated it hitting the right places.

“Bolt” in the voices of Travolta, Essman and Walton is an energizer bunny ride. The agility of this little dog helps a lot in that kinetic choreograph of running amongst people and heavy vehicles with knack and nimbleness. The slow mo in jumping and the expected disaster of the little creature at the end of it floats us and brings a laugh along with the kids besides us. And for the adults comes the funny Italian accented pigeons. This is what amazes me in the creativity of these animations. They take the film’s stereotypes and the cities diverse mix and the dealing in the society into these unexpected animals coming off as the funniest settings every time in all these films.

“Bolt” as most of the animated films I have seen do it better and good. “Igor” amidst my appreciation has a touch of ordinary in it. “Bolt” is a step above it and suffices the conditions for being a successful children’s film. Yet under the criteria of the review, it is a good and better film in the regular flow of movies. “Bolt” is entertaining, funny, and cute and the whole nine yards of the animation films.

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