51 in 2011



Image © Disney

“Bolt” (2008), Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 48th animated motion picture. A low-key and very funny road movie about a TV star dog named Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) who tries to find his way home to his beloved owner after he is accidentally shipped from Hollywood to New York City. Along the way he meets up with a declawed but resourceful cat named Mittens (voiced by Susie Essman from “Curb Your Enthusiasm”—don’t worry, she doesn’t use her character’s signature word in this film) and an overly enthusiastic hamster named Rhino (hilariously voiced by Utah native and then Disney animator Mark Walton). The film has great wit and wonderful attention to detail. Brilliant character animation is paired with subtle backgrounds that look like they are from an Edward Hopper painting. The child-in-peril finale (which is one of my least favorite, if not very least favorite, plot devices) is, thankfully, handled in a tasteful and meaningful way. The film is truly entertaining from start to finish. “Let it begin!”



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