Finally. An animated 3-D movie with superb effects, excellent acting talent and a story to match the overblown budget it takes to make one of these.
Bolt’s 3-D version is worth the extra money, but those on a budget will be quite entertained in 2-D.
Just as fun as Bolt is a 3-D trailer for an upcoming animated monster flick and an Ice Age Scrat short that kick off the laughs.
Bolt’s plot is simple. He is a TV star dog that really believes he possesses super powers.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
Thinking he needs to save his human, Bolt escapes into the real world only to learn the sad truth. He hooks up with a cat and a hamster to work his way back to Hollywood and the human he loves.
Straight-ahead star power is provided by teeny-bop pop star Miley Cyrus as Penny and John Travolta who looks better as an animated dog than he did in drag in Hairspray. They provide the fulcrum that balances the fun.
Stealing the movie are co-stars Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Mittens, Mark Walton’s Rhino the gonzo hamster, Greg Germann’s agent, and a gaggle of voices doing the film’s dangerously fun pigeons.
Writer/director Chris Williams is a hip and funny guy. He did The Emperor’s New Groove a few years ago. Williams teams with Dan Fogelman, one of the dozen writers of Cars, and gets Bolt into a nice groove of its own.
Once in awhile I’ll take a few seconds, quit watching a movie and just look at the crowd. Nothing beats seeing and hearing people laughing. There is something electric about the experience of leaving the world and its tension and tragedy outside theater doors and just laughing your butt off.
I suspect this is why eons ago Walt Disney began producing movies. Laughter is magical and so is Bolt.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars
Rated PG for mature themes. It opens Nov. 21 at the Carmike 12 and at Fairchild Cinemas 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.