Bolt Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
I love this movie. I don’t love this cover. It’s colorful and everything, but it really doesn’t do the whole thing justice. The menu is the same, just standard Blu-Ray blahdy blah. Not a very exciting package for such an excellent movie experience.

Features: 8/10

  • Super Rhino Short – The hamster gets a chance to shine in his own little dream sequence action story.
  • In Session With John Travolta & Miley Cyrus – I blinked and missed it. Yep, it’s a short little dinky short that doesn’t do much for me. Love fest kind of stuff.
  • Music Video – Ugh. unless your a Miley Cyrus fan.
  • A New Breed Of Directors: A Filmmaker’s Jorney – This is a pretty good, albeit overly promotional look behind the making of the movie. Again, love fest and very packaged stuff best left for the Disney channel the week the movie hits the theaters.
  • Deleted Scenes – These are storyboard artist sketches brought to the screen. I think the movie is fine without them:) I am the expert.
  • Act, Speak The Voices Of Bolt – I think the title says it all, except, this is more “he’s great to work with”, “she’s great to work with”, “this movie is a great movie to work on” kind of deal.
  • Creating The World Of Bolt – The look of the backgrounds, objects, and characters is a long and serious discussion when it comes to CG animation feature flicks. They talk about how the idea of mixing the painterly backdrops with the high resolution characters came together just right for the story.
  • Bolt’s Be Awesome Mission Game – Not a bad game for a Blu-Ray offering. It’s a 2D side scroller, and it works pretty darn well..shocking!
  • Bolt Art Gallery – Artwork, concept drawings, etc.
  • Digital Copy – A copy for your laptop or iPod. Eh Hem..where’s the Zune support people??!!!
  • DVD Of The Movie –DVD for the kids to have in their own player to watch over and over and over and over.

The Movie: 8/10
I had a fantastic time with this movie. From the thrilling first few minutes I had to shake the ” ho hum, another animated feature” attitude. Trust me when I say I could not have been more wrong when I was feeling neutral about Bolt. There’s nothing ho hum, and everything to get excited about.

The animation is a blend of artistic backgrounds with extremely high detail characters, objects, and special effects. The texture of Bolt’s nose and the tiny little hamster hairs on Rhino’s round body actually distracted me with a googly eyed awe..true story. Everything is colorful and tactile, never plastic or molded like some CGI animation can be, and we all know what I mean. My eyes were in a constant state of wonderment, oh goodness, that sounds so corny, but hey it’s the truth. It is a CG movie. However, they have given us traditional movie special effects blended with some cheeky eye candy type moments that mimic, make fun of, or pay homage to some cheesy TV and action movie tomfoolery, all of which makes a movie fan smile and a kid, well, smile and say “Wow, cool.” I’m talking about some almost Matrix kind of stuff, stopping key action, spinning around the camera, adding some dramatic and kick butt music, and big sound effects, only to BANG BOOM ZANG drop you back into motion. It’s great fun and is handled better than some big  name Hollywood live action movie makers handle it, that’s for sure. Animation gives them so much more freedom and potential to overdo the heightened “stunts” (if you will) but the makers of Bolt kept it all balanced just right so it didn’t become boring or wear thin on my grown up nerves.

I’ll give the oohh and awwing a rest and talk about the story. It’s hem, I mean it’s really well written, well directed, and in a world of repeat performances, it’s an original. I went in thinking one narrow minded way, and I was spun around by my blond ponytail threes and then some. Whatever that means. I’m just saying, this movie impressed me a lot. I was completely taken by the journey of Bolt, his new friends, and Penny (his person). They are all well rounded, fully engaging folks, even if some of them are dogs, cats, and rodents.

So, what is this journey? Well, I don’t want to say much, because part of what made me love this whole experience was that I didn’t have any idea what would be happening. I want to pass that on to someone else, without spoiling anything. I will say that this, while I did claim originality already, a buddy/road movie. It’s got a few typical tricks up its sleeve, sure, with some visual gags and smarty pants jokes, however, overall I felt like I was going on a quest with these characters and I honestly didn’t know where it would end or how. That’s not an easy task with so many  movies floating in my head to lay the plot out in my  mind before I even get a chance to enjoy a movie for what it is. Bolt kept me guessing every so slightly, and happily, and I love it for that.

There are heartwarming moments, yes. Get over it. There are goofy modern cultural references for the adults in the audience, which is cool. Last but not least, there are more than good solid ideas played out that have to do with pets and how we should and shouldn’t treat them. I’m not even an animal lover type human and I appreciated that part of the film. It’s just a solid bit of entertainment for a weekend family sit down, popcorn, laughing, talking, and then watching it again just for fun.

Audio & Video: 10/10
Bolt sets a new standard for Blu-Ray picture and audio quality. I wasn’t expecting much but I do have a bit of a soft spot for whoever does the transfer jobs for Disney. Bolt is exceptional. I know a lot of you will be saying, “Well yeah it’s a CG movie, of course it looks good.” Fair enough, but projected onto our 104 inch screen in 1080P this movie looks theater quality,  in fact it looks better. The opening 10 minutes is showcase material with exceptional color saturation and black levels I can’t rate it highly enough. Bolt is presented using the AVC codec in 1080P 1.78:1 aspect ratio.

Audio uses the DTS-HD codec and is as impressive as the picture. I always prefer DTS over Dolby Digital as it seems much richer with better Bass levels. The opening action scenes particularly the helicopter encounter will rock your home theater, I know this as a few of my DVD’s had fallen over on the shelf as the lights came up after the movie ended. Bolt is simply stunning and gets a full 10/10 for audio & video, I highly recommend grabbing it.

Value: 8/10
Yes, ok, this Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy disc set is worth the price IF YOU HAVE KIDS. You will find it for the Blu-Ray price of just over 30 bucks. Well, maybe I don’t like that price so much, but the thing is, you get a Blu-Ray copy for the main event, a DVD copy for the kids to bang around with, and a Digital copy to put on a laptop or i Pod. As a movie that will be watched many times, they have made it a reasonable package. Cheers Disney, finally getting with the program. Now, let’s drop that price to $20 and let your fans have a bit more fun with their popcorn spending cash for the next weekend’s family movie night:) You won’t go broke, trust me on this.

Overall Score 9/10