|Bolt (3D/2D) (2008)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Monday, 07 November 2011|
"Bolt" is an adorable film, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that it is the "best Disney film since 'The Incredibles'" as the box and promos say. "The Incredibles" was flawless, whereas "Bolt" has issues. Still, that did not stop the film from grossing nearly $115 million at the US box office. Home video sales are surely to soar. Who wouldn't want to watch a cute, lovable puppy search for his way home?
Bolt is a cute and cuddly puppy that gets adopted from a pet store by Penny. The film jumps to five years in the future when Bolt is battling the evil one green-eyed man and protecting Penny from harm. Of course, all this is a television show. The catch is, Bolt doesn't know it. He believes everything is real. After every show Bolt is kept in his trailer, never seeing the outside world.
When the network decides that something dramatic needs to happen, Penny is left kidnapped at the end of the show, causing Bolt to panic. He flails through the studio corridors and lands himself in a shipping box that is headed for New York. Upon being unwrapped, he immediately resumes his quest to find Penny. With a little forced help from some pigeons and an alley cat, Mittens, Bolt finds himself journeying back to Hollywood, California.
Bolt and Mittens find a convenient U-Haul truck heading for Hollywood. However, Bolt deems those packing peanuts as weakening objects, and when they are discovered in the truck, he bolts (no pun intended) from the truck, dragging Mittens with him. So, this is the start of their journey across the nation. They pick up a stray, Rhino, a hamster in a bubble along the way. Mittens is finally able to convince Bolt that he is a television star and that none of his powers are real. A wonderful montage shows Mittens teaching Bolt how to be a real dog and not an actor.
Still, Bolt persists and finding his person, Penny. Mittens, disgusted,tells Bolt to leave. When Bolt returns to the studio, he finds Pennyin the arms of another puppy that looks just like Bolt. But don'tworry, Disney films always works out.
The story is really neat. It flows nicely and the characters arelovable. I do take issue with the packing peanuts thing. It is prettydumb, but hey, the writers had to advance the story somehow. Once wemove past that, the film is strong. However, the biggest weakness Ifind with the film is Bolt is voiced by John Travolta. The vocal soundjust doesn't match the personality of Bolt. It would be like having myfun, little puppy start speaking with Barry White's voice. It justdoesn't match the image. Other than that, this is a pretty darn goodfilm. Miley Cyrus has brief role as the voice of Penny, and does abeautiful job with that.
“Bolt” has been available on 3D for quite some time now, but only as amanufacturer exclusive. But we won’t get into an argument with thatmarketing decision. So, I gave the original Bolt Blu-ray video a fivestar rating. It deserved it. The Blu-ray 3D is nearly as impressive. The post-conversion results in minor artifacts here or there thatdisrupt its perfect. Other than that there really isn’t anything tocomplain about. Some might find some crosstalk issues here or there,but this is another release in which proper viewer settings shouldeliminate all ghosting issues. The colors are still lush despite thetint of 3D glasses. It is nice to see a studio compensate for that. The details are nicely textured. 3D extension from the screen is bestduring the movie set action sequences. Helicopters fly around yourtheater, Bolt leaps from the screen, debris spreads throughout theroom. The “real-life” situation that Bolt finds himself in for themajority of the film has less 3D expansion, but it certainly has a lotof depth. While this gets the same rating as “Meet The Robinsons,” itstill ranks second overall in the four films being release by Disney onNovember 8th.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio transfer is flawless. Right from the get-go Iknew the audio was going to be fantastic. The most notable aspect ofthis track is the LFE channel. It is thumping. The opening chasesequence is truly demo material worthy. The dynamic range is superb, asis the frequency spectrum. All the objects are well balanced, music,effects and dialogue. The bass tames out a bit for the majority of thefilm until the riveting final sequences. The surrounds are constantlyused, filled with music, ambience and discrete sound effects. It hasbeen a long while since I felt completely engaged by the soundtrack. Iwas always immersed in this film. Truly fantastic.
The Blu-ray 3D Combo pack includes a Blu-ray 3D disc as well as Blu-ray2D, DVD Copy and Digital Copy discs. As is customary with animatedDisney Blu-ray releases, the Blu-ray package is loaded with extras. There are some cute featurettes, but nothing too substantial. Still,the overall presentation is terrific. The package comes with threediscs. The first disc is the Blu-ray with the movie and specialfeatures. "Super Rhino" is a short film highlighting Bolt's sidekickRhino, the Hamster. "In Session with John Travolta and Miley Cyrus" is afun little feature with the two main voice stars of the film. There isa music video of "I Thought I Lost You" as performed by John Travoltaand Miley Cyrus. "A New Breed of Directors: A Filmmakers' Journey" is abrief featurette on the new directors at Disney/Pixar. There is aselection of deleted scenes with optional introductions by thedirectors. Both deleted scenes are presented in a storyboard format. "Act, Speak! The Voices of 'Bolt'" is another featurette about the voicetalents. "Creating the World of 'Bolt'" discusses the uses of CGIversus the painted technique. "Bolt's Be-Awesome Mission Game" is aninteractive game exclusive to the Blu-ray. Lastly, the first disc isenhanced with an art gallery and BD-Live functionality.
"Bolt" is a family fun movie. It is a light and carefree. The 3D videoalmost lives up to the original 2D quality in terms of technicalaspects. In terms of excitement and immersion, the 3D release blows the2D release out of the water. The audio quality remains beyondspectacular. There is certainly demo material located in this release. Definitely pick this Blu-ray up.