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Bolt Film Review

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Movie Magic Aplenty in Animated Action Adventure Available in 3-D


Bolt (John Travolta) is a normal dog who mistakenly thinks that he actually possesses the superpowers he displays as the hero of a TV action series. The white German shepherd is clueless about the truth because, since he was a puppy, he's been raised on a set specially-rigged to trick him into believing that he really has the ability to perform amazing feats like subduing bad guys with his devastating bark and melting steel with his penetrating heat vision.

These delusions of grandeur have never been a problem for the pampered pooch, given that he's had no contact with the outside world. Consequently, the only reality he's ever known is the insulated studio environment in which he's the pet of Penny (Miley Cyrus), the actress who pretends to be his crime-fighting partner. She resents the show's director (James Lipton) who goes to such great lengths to keep up the charade that he even denies her request to take her canine co-star home with her over the weekend.

Everything changes the day Bolt slips out of his cage and, after a comedy of errors, accidentally ends up in a box being shipped to New York City where a rude awakening lays in wait. For not only are the streets of Manhattan mean enough to begin with, but they prove to be tougher still for a dog who expects to have an array of extraordinary powers at his paw tips.

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Thus unfolds Bolt, an enchanting animated adventure that's fun for the whole family. Available for screening in either a flat or 3-D format, it is this critic's suggestion that you opt for the latter, if you don't want to miss an opportunity to appreciate state-of-the-art techniques offering a visually-stimulating experience that's substantially-enhanced by the investment in 3-D glasses. Just don't be surprised to find yourself ducking to avoid vehicles hurtling in your direction or reaching up to grab dangling objects that appear close enough to touch.

Special-effects wizardry aside, this uplifting tale, more importantly, has a bounty of heartwarming messages to share about honesty, loyalty, humility, faith and other virtues. The tykes will learn an early lesson about what matters most in life watching frustrated Bolt adjust to his diminished status as a mere mortal.

He must grudgingly befriend a lowly alley cat (Susie Essman) and clumsy hot-house hamster (Mark Walton), enlisting their help to find his way back to Hollywood. En route, the unlikely trio bond while overcoming the host of ever-escalating calamities placed in the path between the homesick hound and a teary reunion with the equally-inconsolable Penny.
Another instant kiddie classic from Disney!

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG for mild action and scenes of peril.
Running time: 96 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

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