Andy's Art and Whatever

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bolt Review

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I saw the trailer for this movie during Wall-E and have wanted to see it for a long time. I don’t watch TV, so I never saw any previews for it and always thought it was the next Pixar movie. Turns out I was wrong. It’s a Disney movie (kinda like Chicken Little) which kinda turned me down as their movies have kinda stunk lately. But it IS produced by John Lassetter of Pixar fame, so that made me curious again. Today we finally go to see it. In 3-D no less.

I have to say that the 3-D really made this movie a bit more special than if it were just 2-D. The first 5 minutes of crazy action really brought you into the movie with the depth the 3-D gave, but it was the emotional journey of the characters which made you completely forget it was 3-D and just enjoy it for what it was, a really good movie.

At times it kinda felt like a hodgepodge of various sources. The main female protagonist named “Penny” who has a special dog and fights an evil corporation who have evil cats? Hmm... kinda sounds like Inspector Gadget.

The notion that a film company is taking great lengths to keep a character deluded and not aware of the fact it’s all fake? Kinda sounds like The Truman Show.

A character who’s from a hit-TV show who’s totally into his role and doesn’t know that he’s not real? Kinda sounds like Buzz Lightyear.

A bunch of GodFather-like pigeons? The sad stray Alley Cat? Goodfeathers and Rita from Animaniacs.

But aside from the hodgepodges of other sources, this movie is still really enjoyable. It’s not crazy whiz-bang-in-your-face like so many other movies have been (including Disney’s own recent CG movies) and the characters develop nicely and it’s a joy to watch them all interact with each other. Bolt is especially cute to watch and you just feel so much sympathy for him towards the end when he thinks he’s lost the love of Penny.

There are some great character animations throughout the film, including an overzealous uncaring agent, a crazy enthusiastic geeky hamster in a ball, and a bunch of forgetful pigeons. The animation is really spot on, and sometimes you forget that you’re watching a cartoon, which is wonderful. While the story may not be 100% original, it was still very entertaining and enjoyable and definitely worth watching again.

I guess my only real gripe is that I won’t get to see this movie in 3-D on DVD. The glasses were fantastic in the theater, but I doubt they’d be as good at home. On a side note: I think 3-D animated films are going to be the next big thing. It seems like everything is going 3-D now. We saw 4 previews for upcoming animated films, and all of them were in 3-D. It makes me wonder if it might be possible to do a 3-D 2-D animated film without it looking flat... after all, they did it just fine with the “Nightmare before Christmas” and that was never meant to be in 3-D... so why not? Something to ponder I guess....

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