I must admit, I kind of thought this would be just another Disney story. It sure opened like one. The white puppy in the pet store, getting picked up by the cute girl, who hugs him and kisses him and loves him forever after.
Slam, next scene, five years later, the girl gets a call from her dad, saying, “Something happened to me at work, don’t go home,” and you see dark shadows closing in around him. That kind of got my attention. Wait a second, what? Is this a Disney?
The girl then turns out to be super cool, clearly her father’s daughter, and even better, the father who seem to be some sort of scientist, have modified the dog, so Bolt now has super powers. And a lightning Bolt down his side. At this point, I must admit I was thinking, Oh no, a Harry Potter dog… But its okay, once you realize why that bolt is there, and for the first ten min, you really don’t. You go along with the story, because as a viewer, you have no other choice than to try and accept the terms of the world you are being introduced to.
Okay, girl with a super dog, trying to save her dad who is held captive by super villain. Honestly, not thaaaaaat new or interesting a story, but still, you keep watching because Bolt is not just a super dog, he is a super, super dog. Really. He stops a car that is driving towards him at full speed, just by stepping out into the road and hitting the car with his forehead. Reminds me of a dogish version of a horse I used to know…
And then, as you are beginning to wonder where this story is going, how on earth they are going to turn this into a movie, considering the amazing skills of the dog, everything shifts and you are on a movie set.
Bolt is a TV series, only, the dog doesn’t know it. He really does believe he is fighting to save the girl, Penny’s, life. He really does believe that he has super powers.
The network company is not too happy about the series though, and they decide to step it up a bit, to keep the viewers interest. They end an episode by letting Penny get captured by the green eyed man.
Bolt then escapes from his trailer, in order to go find her. After all, he is a super dog, and his human is in trouble. He runs head first into a window, which doesn’t break, because he is not a super dog off camera, and is knocked out. He falls into a box and is driven half way across the country. Here is where the story really begins.
Bolt has to find the way home, to rescue Penny from the green eyed man, but his super powers keep failing him. He meets a couple of pigeons and they lead him to a cat, they want to get rid of, by telling him that the cat work for the green eyed man and knows where Penny is.
The cat, Mittens, is a shabby, skinny, black and white backstreet cat, who knows nothing about Penny, the green eyed man, or Bolt, but once Bolt captures her and ties her to him by his leash, she has no choice but to play along. She reads off his name tag that he belongs in Hollywood and is actually able to get him in the right direction.
She does think he is completely insane though, as he tries to solve their problems with his super bark, (you will excuse me if I am not using the correct terms here, I watched it on Disney channel, and it was aired in Danish…) his hot stare that usually melts metal, and by swinging himself off a bridge and onto a moving train, or jumping from the back of a moving truck on the free way. The poor cat is tied to him, so no matter how much she fights it, she is dragged along.
Bolt is rather surprised when first he discovers that his paw can bleed, his leg can hurt when he falls, and for some reason, nothing melts when he stares at it.
They meet a hamster in a ball along the way, as Mittens are teaching Bolt how to beg for food by humans, and the hamster comes along, getting them out of a tight spot once in a while, for instance when they get captured by the classic Disney dog catcher.
The story in itself is not all that brand new, and you kind of see the happy ending a mile off, but it doesn’t matter. This is a GOOD movie. It is hilarious, heartwarming, spunky, heartbreaking, and first and foremost, it manages to make fun of its own media, the movie making industry.
So, all I can say is this. Disney has done it again, and I am so happy that we still have Disney channel. Watch it, young as old. You won’t regret it. Even if you have small children, I doubt that they will be too spooked, and if you are someone like me, who is kind of hard to impress by now, old and cynical, it is still a breath of fresh air in a world where every story has been told before.
Bolt is simply a super dog.