(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Bolt)
Doug (vo): The word to describe Bolt is cute. Incredibly, credibly cute. Just look at this opening.
[The opening is shown, showing a young Penny meeting a puppy Bolt for the first time]
Doug (vo): Oh, my God. This is frigging cute overload. I just want to eat this damn movie up. But much to the movie's advantage, it also is very likeable. It has an enjoyable premise, some enjoyable characters, some fun and action-packed animation, which I think makes up for the fact that it's a little clunky and maybe lacking the jokes sometimes. Well, let's dive into the story.
Doug (vo): Bolt and his master Penny are super secret agents who try to stop evil organizations from, what else? Taking over the world. Yeah, yeah. Not doing it. [A photo of M. Bison is briefly shown] Bolt has incredible powers that make him beyond any other type of dog that exists, hell, even beyond any type of human being that exists, so much so that he doesn't exist. It's all part of a TV show, a TV show that Bolt is unaware is completely fictional. But Bolt goes through a crisis when he thinks that his master Penny has really been kidnapped. So he escapes out into the real world, convinced that he can find her and bring her back to safety. He, of course, discovers that the real world is quite different from the fictional TV world, and naturally, he has a hard time blending in. But he comes across a snooty cat to help him out, and a guinea pig who's just as convinced that Bolt is the real thing as Bolt is.
Doug (vo): John Travolta plays the voice of the dog, and I have to say, it's ideal casting. He's very likeable, very energized, and totally convinced that he's in this fictional world. The rest of the voice actors do a good job in giving the world credibility as well, and help out this film that, let's face it, is pretty much based on just one joke. But the joke works, because the character is so enjoyable and you want to see him achieve his goal. The main problem for me, though, is that I wish it did have a few more laughs. And that's not to always say that they're trying to make us laugh and the laughs don't work, though it does happen occasionally. I would say just that it doesn't try to make us laugh. Half the time, it just sort of shows them on their trip and not much else, which is fine, I guess. I mean, I do like these characters and I like being with them. I guess because the premise is just so original and I think so funny, I was thinking that maybe a few more comedic moments would be thrown in there. Not to mention the classic "misunderstanding", which has the character moping and doping around, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's short, at least.
Doug (vo): I get the feeling that if this film upped the comedy a little bit more, it could've been like a really great fantastic kids' film. As it is, it's decent, it's good. I'm glad I saw it, and I may even see it a few more times. I just think with a little retooling, this could be Pixar material, or maybe even like Shrek 2 or some of the other great Dreamworks movies. Then again, maybe it's not supposed to be. Maybe it is just supposed to be a fun, happy, little family picture. And you know what? What's wrong with that? A good premise with good characters and some good lines, that's entertaining enough for me.
[The film's final scene, showing Penny playing with Bolt, is shown]