Bolt (2008 film)
Bolt is a 2008 American computer animated comedy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 48th Disney animated feature film. Directed by Chris Williams and Byron Howard, the film stars the voices of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Malcolm McDowell, Diedrich Bader, Nick Swardson, Greg Germann, Susie Essman and Mark Walton. The film's plot centers on a white dog named Bolt who, having spent his entire life on the set of a television series, thinks that he has super powers. When he believes that his human owner, Penny, has been kidnapped, he sets out on a cross-country journey to "rescue" her.
Theatrical release poster
|Produced by||Clark Spencer|
|Music by||John Powell|
|Edited by||Tim Mertens|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios|
|Box office||$310 million|
Bolt was released in the United States on November 21, 2008. Despite a relatively marginal box-office performance, the film received a strong positive critical reception and is renowned for playing an important role in instigating what is widely referred to as the Disney Revival, as well as setting the studio in a new creative direction that would lead to other critically acclaimed features such as Tangled (2010) and Frozen (2013). Bolt was also Disney Animation's first feature film to be produced under the complete creative guidance of then-Pixar executive John Lasseter in his role as chief creative officer for the studio, as well as the first computer-animated feature film to implement non-photorealistic rendering.
A White Shepherd puppy named Bolt is adopted by an eight-year-old girl named Penny. Five years later, Bolt and Penny star in a hit television series called Bolt, in which Bolt uses various superpowers to protect Penny from the villain. To gain a more realistic performance, the show's producers have deceived Bolt his entire life, arranging the filming in such a way that Bolt believes everything in the show is real and that he really has superpowers, including a devastatingly powerful sonic scream-like "superbark". After a cliffhanger episode causes Bolt to believe Penny has been kidnapped, he escapes from his on-set trailer in Hollywood but knocks himself unconscious in the process and is trapped inside a box of foam peanuts which is shipped to New York City.
In New York, Bolt resumes his search for Penny and, much to his dismay and confusion, finds out the hard way that his "superpowers" are useless. He encounters Mittens, a feral cat who bullies pigeons out of their food. Bolt compels Mittens to guide him back to Penny — Mittens being convinced her captor is a lunatic — and the two start their journey westward by truck. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Penny is distraught over Bolt's disappearance but is convinced by the studio to continue filming with a less experienced lookalike dog.
Surprised at his first feelings of hunger, Bolt is shown by Mittens how to act like a cute but needy dog, obtaining food for them both at an RV park. They are joined by Rhino, a fearless hamster and fanatical Bolt fan. Rhino's unwavering faith in Bolt substantiates the dog's illusions about himself, but allows Mittens to figure out Bolt is from a television show. She tries to tell Bolt this, but Bolt simply becomes frustrated. Attempting to "superbark" her repeatedly, the noise draws the attention of an Animal Control patrol and Bolt and Mittens are both captured and taken to an animal shelter.
Bolt, freed from the patrol van by Rhino, finally realizes and accepts that he is just a normal dog, but regains his confidence after Rhino (oblivious to this revelation) exhorts him to heroism. They rescue Mittens from the shelter, and as they continue west, Bolt and Mittens form a close friendship in which she teaches Bolt how to be an ordinary dog and enjoy typical dog activities. Mittens makes plans for the three of them to stay in Las Vegas, but hearing Bolt is still drawn to find Penny, she tells him Penny is only an actor, and humans never truly love their pets, and eventually betray and abandon them, as happened to her. Bolt refuses to believe her and continues on alone to Hollywood; with Rhino's encouragement his two friends follow shortly after.
Bolt reaches the studio and finds Penny embracing his lookalike, unaware that Penny still misses him and her affection for the lookalike is only a part of a rehearsal. A broken-hearted Bolt leaves, but Mittens, on a gantry in the studio, sees Penny telling her mother how much she misses Bolt. Mittens follows Bolt and explains. At the same time, the Bolt lookalike panics during the show's filming and accidentally knocks over some flaming torches, setting the sound stage on fire with Penny trapped inside. Bolt arrives and the two reunite inside the burning studio, but are unable to escape before Penny begins to suffocate from the smoke. Penny begs Bolt to go but Bolt refuses to leave her. Bolt uses his "superbark" through the building's air vent, alerting the firefighters to their location and allowing both of them to be rescued in time.
Penny and her mother quit when their overeager agent proposes they exploit the incident for publicity purposes. The show continues with a replacement "Bolt" and "Penny" and a new storyline involving alien abduction. Penny adopts Mittens and Rhino, and she and her family move to a rural home to enjoy a simpler, happy lifestyle with Bolt and her new pets.
- John Travolta as Bolt, a White Shepherd who lives his whole life believing he is a superhero until he finds himself in the “real world” for the first time.
- Susie Essman as Mittens, a sarcastic and feisty alley cat who reluctantly joins Bolt and Rhino on their journey.
- Mark Walton as Rhino, an adorable but ferocious hamster who is also a Bolt super-fan.
- Miley Cyrus as Penny, Bolt's beloved owner and his co-star on the hit TV show, Bolt.
- Chloë Grace Moretz as Young Penny
- Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Calico, the evil mastermind on Bolt and Penny's TV show.
- Nick Swardson as Blake
- Diedrich Bader as Veteran Cat
- Greg Germann as The Agent, Penny's insensitive and rude agent who never listens to anyone's opinion but his.
- James Lipton as The Director
- Randy Savage as Thug
- Kari Wahlgren as Mindy
- Grey DeLisle as Penny's Mother
- J.P. Manoux as Tom
- Brian Stepanek as Martin
- Jeff Bennett as Lloyd
- John DiMaggio as Saul
- Jenny Lewis as Assistant Director
Originally, the film was going to be titled American Dog, and was written and directed by Chris Sanders. Eventually, Sanders was removed from the project and replaced by Chris Williams and Byron Howard. The film's previous plot told the story of a dog named Henry, a famous TV star, who one day finds himself stranded in the Nevada desert with a testy, one-eyed cat and an oversized, radioactive rabbit who are themselves searching for new homes, all the while believing he is still on television. In 2006, after becoming Chief Creative Officer at Disney Animation, John Lasseter along with other directors from Pixar and Disney attended two screenings of the film and gave Sanders notes on how to improve the story. According to Lasseter, Sanders was replaced because he resisted the changes that Lasseter and the other directors had suggested. Lasseter was quoted as saying "Chris Sanders is extremely talented, but he couldn't take it to the place it had to be." After Sanders left and the original title was removed, the animation team was told to complete the filming in 18 months instead of the usual four years that is normally required to produce a computer-animated feature. On June 8, 2007, Disney announced that the film, now under its current name, would be released on November 21, 2008 in Disney Digital 3-D.
The look of the film was inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper and the cinematography of Vilmos Zsigmond. New technology in non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) was used to give it a special visual appearance, a technique later used in Tangled (2010). To give the film's 3D backgrounds a hand-painted look, the company artists used new patented technology designed specifically for the film.
Bolt's characteristics are based on an amalgam of breeds, although the designers started with the American White Shepherd. Joe Moshier, lead character designer, said, "they American White Shepherds have really long ears, a trait that I tried to caricature in order to allow the animators to emphasize Bolt's expressiveness."
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||November 18, 2008|
|Walt Disney Animation Studios chronology|
The score to Bolt was composed by John Powell. The soundtrack featured the film's score and two original songs – "I Thought I Lost You" by Bolt's stars Miley Cyrus and John Travolta (nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song on 2009) as well as "Barking at the Moon" by Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis. The soundtrack was released on November 18, 2008.
Although Motörhead has a song in the film, they do not seem to appear in either the soundtrack or the score. Motörhead's song "Dog-Face Boy" (from their Sacrifice album) is in a mailroom scene where a young worker is listening to it on his headphones and inadvertently wraps Bolt up in a box that gets shipped off to New York City.
All music is composed by John Powell, except as noted.
|1.||"I Thought I Lost You"||Miley Cyrus & John Travolta||3:36|
|2.||"Barking at the Moon"||Jenny Lewis||3:17|
|8.||"The RV Park"||2:14|
|9.||"A Fast Train"||2:38|
|10.||"Where Were You on St. Rhino's Day?"||1:58|
|13.||"House on Wheels"||3:07|
|15.||"A Friend in Need"||1:13|
|17.||"A Real Life Superbark"||0:46|
|19.||"Home at Last/Barking at the Moon (Reprise)"||Jenny Lewis||1:29|
Bolt was released on Region A Blu-ray Disc in the United States on March 22, 2009. The BD set included standard DVD and digital copy versions of the film. Single-disc DVD and Special Edition DVD with Digital Copy versions followed in Region 1 on March 24. This marked the first time a major home-video release debuted on Blu-ray Disc before DVD. Bolt was released on both Blu-ray and DVD in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2009.
The 3D Blu-ray version of the film was released in November 2010, in France and UK. A month later it was released worldwide, exclusively to select Sony TVs. In US, it was released on November 8, 2011.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 89% based on 185 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads: "Bolt is a pleasant animated comedy that overcomes the story's familiarity with strong visuals and likable characters." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave the film a 67/100 approval rating based on 29 reviews following under the category "generally favorable reviews".
Perry Seibert of TV Guide gave the film 3 stars out of 4 and wrote the film "amuses both those who make up the film's target audience and the parents along for the ride. This winning mix of exciting action, heart-tugging sentiment, and gentle character comedy makes Bolt yet another solid addition to Disney's history of family-friendly fare." Tasha Robinson of The A.V. Club gave the film a B+ stating that "Bolt is the studio's first film since Lilo & Stitch that feels like it's trying to recapture the old Disney instead of aggressively shedding it in favor of something slick and new. And yet it comes with a healthy cutting-edge Pixar flavor as well." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "[Bolt] also has an intriguing plot that is kind of the family animation version of the Jim Carrey-starring The Truman Show."
On its opening weekend, the film opened number 3 with $26.2 million behind Twilight and Quantum of Solace. On its second weekend, it rose to No. 2 behind Four Christmases with a 1.4% increase. In the United States and Canada, the film grossed $114.1 million by its closing date on February 22, 2009. An additional $195.9 million was made internationally as of January 2, 2011[update], for a worldwide total of $310 million.
Bolt was nominated for the following awards:
- 2008 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature – lost to WALL-E
- 2008 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature – lost to Kung Fu Panda
- 2008 Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Feature – lost to WALL-E
- 2008 Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Film – lost to WALL-E
- 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film – lost to WALL-E
- 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song - lost to The Wrestler
- 2008 Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Animated Film – lost to WALL-E
- 2008 Producers Guild of America's Best Animated Motion Picture – lost to WALL-E
- 2008 Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature – lost to WALL-E
- 2009 Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Animated Movie – lost to Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
- 2009 Visual Effects Society Award for "Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture" – lost to WALL-E
- 2009 Visual Effects Society Award for "Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture" (two nominations for "Bolt" and "Rhino") – lost to WALL-E
- 2009 Visual Effects Society Award for "Outstanding Effects Animation in an Animated Feature" – lost to WALL-E
Disney Interactive Studios produced a video game based on the film, released in November 2008 for Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game focuses on Bolt's fake TV life, not the actual storyline. A separate game was released for mobile phones, and a third game, RhinoBall, was released as an application on Apple's App Store.
- "Bolt". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- Amidi, Amid (February 7, 2007). "Toy Story 3 and American Dog News". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
- Holson, Laura M. (March 4, 2007). "He Runs That Mickey Mouse Outfit". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
- Sanders, Peter (October 27, 2008). "Disney Learns Lessons From Pixar". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
- "Coming to Theaters – Bolt". UltimateDisney.com. June 8, 2007. Retrieved June 10, 2007.
- Garth Franklin (June 8, 2007). "Disney Announces Summer 2009 Lineup". Dark Horizons. Retrieved June 10, 2007.
- Lesnick, Silas (September 15, 2008). "Behind the Scenes of Disney's Bolt". Coming Soon. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
- Strike, Joe (April 9, 2008). "Disney Taps Deep Into DNA In Unveiling Animation Slate". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
- Smith, Dave. "Ask Dave: The Ultimate Disney History Expert". D23. Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
- Barnes, Brooks (November 14, 2008). "Mark Walton, The Voice Behind the Drawing Board". The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
- Walt Disney Records (November 14, 2008). "Walt Disney Records Presents the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, BOLT". Reuters. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- "Bolt". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- "Bolt". EddieTrunk.com. November 18, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- "Exclusive: First Look at Pixar's Tokyo Mater!". ComingSoon.net. December 9, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
- "Bolt Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Coming March 22". ComingSoon.net. January 21, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- "Bolt Blu-ray bows two days before DVD". Video Business. January 22, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
- McIver, Brian (June 15, 2009). "80 years of doggy animation helped make new canine hero Bolt, creators reveal". Daily Record. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
Bolt is out on Disney DVD and Blu-ray today.
- "An Afternoon at the House of Mouse". TAG Blog. October 27, 2008. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
- "Top Selling DVDs of 2009". The Numbers. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- "Bolt 3D Blu-ray (France)". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "Bolt 3D Blu-ray (United Kingdom)". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- S. Cohen, Rachel (September 7, 2010). "Disney, Sony team on 3D, Blu-ray marketing". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "Bolt 3D Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- DeMott, Rick (November 8, 2011). "Disney Release Four New Titles on Blu-ray 3-D". Animation World Network. Retrieved January 27, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Bolt (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- "Bolt Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- "Bolt Review". TV Guide. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- "Bolt". The A.V. Club. November 20, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- Turan, Kenneth (November 21, 2008). "Review: "Bolt"". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for November 21–23, 2008". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
- "Bolt (2008) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
- "Bolt – Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- "Bolt – Foreign". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- "2008 Academy Awards by Category". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- Sciretta, Peter (January 31, 2009). "WTF: WALL-E Completely Snubbed at Annie Awards?". Slash Film. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- "Richard Gere to Receive Joel Siegel Award Presented by Diane Lane at VH1's 14th Annual Critics' Choice Awards Ceremony". PR Newswire. January 7, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- Karger, Dave (January 9, 2009). "Broadcast Film Critics: A 'Slumdog' sweep". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- Grossberg, Josh (December 19, 2009). "Windy City Critics Vote WALL-E; Vegas Goes Nixon". E! Online. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- Brevet, Brad (January 11, 2009). "Complete List of 2009 Golden Globe Winners". Coming Soon. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- "Christopher Nolan, Michelle Williams: Online Film Critics Winners". Alt Film Guide. January 19, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- "2009 PGA Awards Nominees and Winners". Producers Guild. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- "Satellite Awards Winners 2008". Press Academy. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- Elaine (March 28, 2009). "Kids Choice Awards 2009 Winners". Right Celebrity. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- "7th Annual VES Awards". visual effects society. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- "Bolt". Metacritic. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- Geddes, Ryan (June 19, 2010). "Bolt Movie to Fetch Videogame Versions". IGN. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- "Bolt promotion page". Jamster. Retrieved October 18, 2010.[dead link]
- "iPhone App Review: RhinoBall". AppVee. Archived from the original on August 8, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bolt (2008 film).|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Bolt (2008 film)|