Walt Disney Animation’s latest offering is the stellar Bolt, which boasts a voiceover cast of Hollywood top-listers like Miley Cyrus and John Travolta.
Bolt is the canine star of a hit TV show about a dog with superpowers and his owner, Penny. Here’s the twist: Everyone is aware of Bolt the superstar except Bolt himself — this dog believes he really does have superpowers, never having left the production studio since he was a pup.
In a bid for higher viewership ratings, the producers throw in a cliffhanger ending to the show: Penny gets abducted by the villain.
This sends Bolt into a frenzy that takes him out of the studios and into the real world where his “superpowers” no longer work. Confused and battered, Bolt now has to find his way home. The movie chronicles his journey across the states with the help of Mittens, an abandoned cat, and Rhino, a hamster obsessed with the TV hero Bolt.
The heart of the story is Bolt’s journey of self-discovery — as everything he has ever known falls apart, he discovers the joys and woes of being a normal dog.
Therein lies the magic of Disney — the simple charm of Bolt as the audience grows fond of the characters and eventually, start feeling for Bolt’s dogged determination to find his owner (pun intended).
The casting is superb, with John Travolta successfully bringing out the earnestness and fierce loyalty of Bolt. Miley Cyrus of Hannah Montana fame does a decent job of voicing Penny and you will love Susie Essman’s sarcastic drawl as Mittens and Mark Walton as the adorably maniacal Rhino.
Even the animation is a noticeable improvement from Disney’s last few efforts.