BOLT (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
March 17, 2009 by Dennis Amith
“The BOLT Blu-ray release scores a perfect 10 for picture and audio quality! A magnificent release (the Blu-ray comes with the BD, DVD and a digital copy) for the family and for home theater enthusiasts!“
Images courtesy of © WDSHE. All Rights Reserved.
DURATION: 95 minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080P High Definition 1:78:1, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48 kHz/24-Bit), Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English SDH Spanish
COMPANY: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
RATED: PG (For Some Mild Action and Peril)
RELEASE DATE: March 22, 2009
Directed by Bryan Howard and Chris Williams
Screenplay by Dan Fogelman and Chris Williams
Produced by John Lasseter, Lisa M. Poole, Clark Spencer and Makul Wigert
Original Music by John Powell
Film Editing by Tim Mertins
Art Direction by Paul Felix
John Travolta (voice of Bolt)
Miley Cyrus (voice of Penny)
Susie Essman (voice of Mittens)
Mark Walton (voice of Rhino)
Malcolm McDowell (voice of Dr. Calico)
James Lipton (voice of the Director)
Chloe Moretz (voice of Young Penny)
Grey DeLisle (voice of Peny’s Mom)
Sean Donnellan (voice of Penny’s TV Dad)
Enjoy the ultimate Bolt experience with this action-packed Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack. Disney’s sensational animated comedy adventure is Super-Powered on Blu-ray with pristine picture and theater-quality sound.
Bolt is the star of the biggest show in Hollywood. The only problem is, he thinks the whole thing is real. When the super dog is accidentally shipped to New York City and separated from Penny, his beloved co-star and owner, Bolt springs into action to find his way home. Together with his hilarious new sidekick Rhino, Bolt’s #1 fan, and a street-smart cat named Mittens, Bolt sets off on an amazing journey where he discovers he doesn’t need super powers to be a hero.
Features the vocal talents of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus and loaded with totally awesome blu-ray bonus features you can’t see anywhere else, Bolt saves the day on Blu-ray Disc.
The BOLT Blu-ray release scores a perfect 10 for picture and audio quality and special features! A wonderful release!
The 48th animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios features an all-star cast with voice courtesy of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Malcolm McDowell, Susie Essman, James Lipton and many more and was released in theaters in Nov. 2008 and immediately, it was a clash of the titans as the animated film had to go against box office heavyweights such as the latest 007 film “Quantum of Solace” and the vampire hit “TWILIGHT”. The film opened #3 in the box office making over $26 million but worldwide grossing over $286 million. Needless to say, this film was financially successful.
The film revolves around a dog named Bolt (voice by John Travolta), along with his owner Penny (voice by Miley Cyrus), the duo try to find Penny’s father who has been kidnapped by the nefarious Doctor Calico (voice by Malcolm McDowell). Penny’s father is known to have developed a treatment to give an animal super powers and Bolt, happens to exhibit super strength, laser eye beams and killer growl.
With an awesome chase scene and explosions galore, you realize that the whole scene was part of the filming of the hit television series “BOLT”. For Bolt, he does not know that he’s a normal dog. Filming for so long, he’s under the assumption that his powers are real and when he mistakenly believes that Penny has been kidnapped, Bolt goes into superhero mode and escapes and runs amok in the studio and eventually falling into a box filled with Styrofoam and shipped from Hollywood to New York City.
While Bolt roams around the city, he is not sure why his powers is not working and assumes that it’s because of the Styrofoam. He befriends a bunch of pigeons who try to help Bolt and listen to his story about his owner being kidnapped by a mad doctor with green eyes along with his cat. Meanwhile, the pigeons have been harassed by a cat named Mittens, so the pigeons concoct a scheme by telling Bolt that the cat who has Penny is Mittens and thus, Bolt goes after the cat.
Bolt interrogates and threatens Mittens and makes sure he is close to him at all times for her to help him find Penny. Mittens finds out that he is from Hollywood and tells him that he must find a way from New York and get back to Hollywood and thus the two go on a road trip. Along the way, they run into a hamster named Rhino (voiced by Mark Walton) who is an obsessed fan of Bolt and the “BOLT” TV series and is willing to help Bolt find Penny and thus the three go through major challenges in their cross-country trip to Hollywood.
“BOLT” is an enjoyable, action-packed family film that combines almost the Michael Bay style of action (major action and explosions galore) along with the beautiful and artistic animation utilized for this film. Everything just looks incredible and you can’t help but be amazed by the amount of detail in the computer animation and the background paintings and how much work your home theater system audio-wise during the action scenes. Just wonderful!
The “BOLT” Blu-ray release comes with a total of three discs. The first is the Blu-ray disc, the second is a digital copy and the third is the DVD of the film.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“BOLT” is most definitely one of the most beautiful works of animation at this current time. The creative group went all out in trying to create this action-packed world of “BOLT” by using Michael Bay films as a reference and when you think of Michael Bay, you think of car chases, explosions, multiple automobile crashes, explosions and even more explosions. The animators captured that action that almost looks realistic with its use of lighting and incredible detail. And for the background scenes, the film goes towards a painted style of background that is lush and just beautiful.
The Blu-ray definitely brings out the beauty of this film with its use of sunlight and it’s clear blue skies, amber sunlight and much more. Absolutely, beautiful in 1080p High Definition (with an aspect ratio of 1:78:1).
The audio is just as impressive, featured in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, you literally feel the action all around you. There is so much action in this film that this is what High Definition audio was made for. Clear audio coming from all various channels and hearing the concussive booms from your sub-woofer and front channel speakers to hearing the sounds coming from all around you. Absolutely awesome audio quality!
“BOLT” also features quite a bit of special features. Include are:
- Super Rhino – BOLT breakout star Rhino, the hyperactive hamster, gets a chance to headline his very own adventure! If you thought “BOLT” was action packed, this short of Super Rhino is just full of action and more explosions! Almost five minutes long, a fun and enjoyable animated short!
- A New Breed of Directors: A Filmmakers’ Journey – First-time directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard take fans along as they traverse the road from concept to completion. A four minute featurette of showcasing a new generation of Directors with Chris Williams who worked at Disney as a story artist and Byron Howard as an animator. An informative featurette on the creation of the film and the challenges in the film (such as the leash attached to Bolt and Mittens).
- Act, Speak! The Voices of Bolt – Viewers join the voice cast in session: John Travolta (Bolt), Miley Cyrus (Penny), Susie Essman (Mittens), James Lipton (Director) and Mark Walton (Rhino). A near 10-minute featurette on the voice acting experience of everyone in the film and how they were selected for the position. The most impressive part of the featurette was the segment on Mark Walton because he’s a Disney employee who typically is used a temp stand-in for voicework but he did such a great job with Rhino that they gave him the role. What is most impressive is how they surprised him of how he learned that he got the role.
- Creating The World of Bolt – Bolt’s painterly backgrounds have wowed audiences across the globe. The filmmakers explain how they fashioned the unique look of this CG movie. This near 7-minute featurette is quite interesting of how Art Director Paul Felix brought back the painted backgrounds that Disney was known for in the past but now utilizing these backgrounds in a more for a modern sense.
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary – Two deleted scenes which include “Dog Fight in Vegas” and “River Sequence”. The deleted scenes are storyboards with voice acting.
- “I Thought I Lost You” Music Video featuring the movie’s stars, Miley Cyrus and John Travolta singing together with clips from “BOLT”. A near two-minute music video.
- In Session with John Travolta and Miley Cyrus – A behind-the-scenes look at recording Bolt’s signature song “I Thought I Lost You.” A one minute segment featuring both Travolta and Cyrus singing together.
- Bolt’s Be-Awesome Mission – In order to defeat the Green-Eyed Man, Bolt has to find his way through three challenging levels in an exciting interactive game. Viewers can join in collecting clues, conquering ninjas and unleashing the power of the Super Bark! I usually don’t get into DVD or Blu-ray type of games but “Bolt’s Be-Awesome Mission” is one of the better created mini-games in look and gameplay.
- Bolt Art Gallery – Animation enthusiasts can check out the film’s early creative concepts in the Bolt Art Gallery, which contains the building blocks of a big screen blockbuster, from storyboards to character mock-ups. Gallery sections include Visual Development, Character Development, Storyboard Art and Color Script Images.
- BD-Live including Movie Chat, Movie Mail, Movie Challenge and Movie Rewards
“BOLT” is just another magnificent release from Walt Disney Animated Studios. For those who love the super hero style of animated film such as “The INCREDIBLES”, your definitely going to enjoy this film. In fact, the animation for “BOLT” is just breathtakingly beautiful, the amount of detail on the hair of the animals, the detail on the objects surrounding them, the lush backgrounds. “BOLT” just receives a perfect 10 in picture quality and also in audio quality.
And because of it’s high rated amount of destruction and explosions, this is the first Walt Disney animated film to have a PG rating since the release of “DINOSAUR” (2000). For parents wondering if they should caution themselves from purchasing this for their children, I can tell you that I watched it with my 6-year-old and there is nothing for parents to fear for. The animated film is lighthearted, cute and again, if you enjoyed a film such as “THE INCREDIBLES”, then “BOLT” is fine for your family. Again, the PG rating is mainly because of the filming of the TV series (within the film) that the dog, Bolt is part of and it’s an action-based series ala Michael Bay style with chase scenes, explosions, destruction, etc.
Again, another Disney masterpiece with a definitive release via High-Definition on Blu-ray. Amazing picture quality, audio quality, informative and enjoyable special features, this release is absolutely wonderful! “BOLT” is one of the few Blu-ray releases that you want to show off to friends of why High Definition is absolutely worth it!
And speaking of Blu-ray, so far every Blu-ray disc release from Disney has not disappointed me yet. “BOLT” just continues the strategy by Disney of giving you more than less and this magnificent release comes bundled with not just the Blu-ray disc but also knowing that families with children can benefit by having a DVD version as well (especially for those long commutes) plus a digital copy for those who want to watch on their laptop or portable device.
With all the positives, there must be negatives right? Not really. If I had to nitpick, I would love more lengthier featurettes but other than that, this is a solid release.
All in all, “BOLT” is highly recommended!
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