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BOLT

SYNOPSIS:
Super-dog Bolt (voice of John Travolta), is used to danger and adventure as he protects his beloved owner Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus) from evil. But little does he know that his super-powers are only a fantasy and that he is the star of a Hollywood hit TV show. When he is accidentally shipped to New York in a packing case, he embarks on the greatest adventure of his life - in the real world. He believes all his superpowers are real, until he finds himself powerless and with only two unlikely travelling companions - a cynical, abandoned housecat, Mr Mittens (voice of Susie Essman) and a TV-obsessed hamster in a plastic ball, Rhino (voice of Mark Walton). But he discovers that he does not need superpowers to be a hero.

Review by Louise Keller:
If you feel as though you need to borrow a child to buy a ticket for this cutest of cute films, go right ahead. You won't want to miss this adorable animated film about a dog who thinks he's a superhero, but who in fact, like Truman Burbank of The Truman Show, is the star of a TV series. It's clever, it's droll, it's funny, and has plenty of heart. We are balanced throughout on a delicate tightrope that sways between crazy fantasy and heart-felt reality. Smart scripting grounds the story and there is nothing false about the film's themes of loyalty, family and relationships. I laughed, cried and loved every minute of this highly entertaining super-clever family fantasy that is guaranteed to bring wide smiles to all - from toddlers to grannies.

The film begins in a pet shop with the magic words 'That One' as little redhead Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus) points to Bolt (voice of John Travolta), the adorable little ball of white fluff with wide-eyes, pert ears and sweet disposition. Now it is 5 years later and we have been told that Bolt has been 'modified' into a Super-Dog with a Super-Bark that creates landslides and Super-Powers enabling him to leap, fetch and protect Penny ('his person') from evil. The opening action sequence is a ripper. But while Bolt (with trademark black lightening bolt symbol on his side) believes he has superpowers, he is living the life of a method actor, who spends his off-screen time in his trailer. As the TV executives say 'If the dog believes it, we believe it!'

It's a brilliant premise, but that's just the beginning. The real fun starts when Bolt finds himself in the real world, when accidentally transported to New York in a packing case. The interaction between Bolt and cynical black and white puss Mr Mittens (voice of Susie Essman) is hilarious (the feline teaches the canine how to do 'doggie' things, and proposes a plausible rationale why cats hate dogs - plausible to dog lovers, anyhow). Add Rhino (voice of Mark Walton), the breathless star-struck hamster in a see-through plastic ball, a group of scene stealing pigeons, and you have an unforgettable team whose adventures and mishaps take us on a comical, uplifting and moving journey. It's a buddy movie-cum-action flick and the combo of the star voice cast (Travolta and Cyrus) with top character actors makes the story sing. The first animated feature under the guidance of Pixar creative whizz John Lasseter, Bolt is sure to be true to its name as it races up the box office charts.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

BOLT (G)
(US, 2008)

VOICES: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton, Malcolm McDowell, James Lipton, Greg Germann, Diedrich Bader, Nick Swardson

PRODUCER: Clark Spencer

DIRECTOR: Chris Williams & Byron Howard

SCRIPT: Dan Fogelman, Chris Williams

MUSIC: John Powell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Paul A. Felix

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 1, 2009







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