I have always liked animated movies, but for whatever reason, Bolt has been escaping me ever since it came out. I’ve always (roughly) known what it was about (a superhero dog), but I have never seen it. That is until a few weeks ago, thanks to Disney+ (say what you want about Disney, but it’s handy to have all their films available on one platform), I was finally able to strike another animated movie out of my “never seen” list. And for what it’s worth, I wouldn’t have missed out on much had this film stayed there for a bit longer.
I loved the first 15 minutes or so of Bolt. Superhero dog, who saves the world? Sure, it’s an animated movie anything goes. And that action sequence was quick, energetic, funny. I thought to myself that I was in for a great ride. I was on board. Then, the “twist” happened. I didn’t know the film was about a dog who only acts as a superhero, not knowing he’s just a regular dog and everything around him is a movie set, almost a dog version of Truman Show (1998) if you wish. And I thought, ok, let’s see where this goes, it could be fun. But where Truman Show managed to say something about our culture managed to dig deep into existence and all that fun stuff, this film just went with the most basic plotline. That could have been still fun. After all, I wasn’t expecting this film to deal with existentialism or anything like that. But it got stale pretty quickly, and the movie got boring.
The biggest issue I had with this film was Bolt teasing the audience with “what could have been”, with the pretty fun opening action sequence, and then the film slows down. Because we need to watch Bolt trying to deal with the fact, he doesn’t have any superpowers. And that goes on for most of the movie. Until the very end, where he, of course, rescues his owner, proving you don’t need superpowers to be a hero. It’s a thoughtful lesson, but the movie takes too long to get there.
Plus, I don’t know about you, but I usually like my animated comedy movies (and Bolt is classed under Animation/Adventure/Comedy) to be funny. And this movie is, for the most part, a miss rather than a hit in the comedy department. Because believe it or not, there are only so many times you can laugh at “he believes he’s got powers, when truly he’s just a regular dog.”
Bolt might also have the weirdest “title” I’d ever given to a film – a movie with the most “I know this voice!” actors in one place. Most of the voice actors here are pretty famous people, don’t get me wrong. But for one reason or another, I could not have placed either voice to an actor. So that was yet another weird thing about this film. I’d spend most of the time going “I know this voice from someplace!” while browsing through IMDb, looking up who is voicing this and that character.
Everything about this film felt a bit weird – from the comedy to the story that, yet again I have to repeat, could have been interesting. I honestly wish we would have stayed in that fictitious world. In a world where a dog with superpowers exists. As yes, it would be a bit silly, but also at least interesting enough to watch. Instead, we get this blend of strangeness that you won’t remember in a week.
Overall, Bolt is as average as it gets. What starts as a funny, intriguing animated comedy quickly becomes a less fun, much less interesting story about a dog who needs to learn and deal with the fact he has no powers. And try to get reunited with his owner in this process. Would I recommend this film? Quite honestly? In a sea of movies and TV shows to watch, no, I would not recommend it. Bolt is but a drop in the ocean, which gets lost easily, makes no real impact, and you won’t remember it the following week.
That’s all for this one! Did you see it? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Until next time,