Reviewed by: Melisa Pollock
Malcolm McDowell, Diedrich Bader, Nick Swardson, Chloe Moretz, Greg Germann, J.P. Manoux, Ronn Moss, Mark Walton, Susie Essman, Randy Savage, James Lipton, Kari Wahlgren, Sean Donnellan
Chris Williams—“Mulan,” “The Emperor’s New Groove”
|Producer||Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, John Lasseter, Lisa M. Poole, Clark Spencer, Makul Wigert|
|Distributor||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Audio Visual Enterprises (Greece), Buena Vista International, Buena Vista Sony Pictures Releasing|
“A hero is unleashed.”
“Bolt” is an animated film by Disney. John Travolta is the voice of Bolt, and Miley Cyrus is the voice of Penny. The style of the film is similar to Pixar movies like “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.” In my opinion, the quality of the animation was a little lower than that of “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.”, however, it does not detract from the storyline. The film was entertaining and cute, and it was easy to empathize with the characters. I saw no objectionable content in the film; I enjoyed it and recommend it for viewers of all ages.
In the opening scenes of “Bolt,” we learn that Bolt plays the part of superhero in his own television show; his character’s main objective is to protect Penny. Bolt, however, does not realize or understand that he is acting; he remains true to the character that he plays even when the filming stops.
When ratings begin to fall, the producers decide to end an episode on a cliffhanger. As the episode they are filming is finished, leaving Penny in a very dangerous position, Bolt is frantic to rescue Penny. Penny wants to run to tell Bolt that she is okay. The film producer insists that Bolt must not be told that it’s not real, so that Bolt’s acting will reflect the true emotions of the situation. When they lock Bolt back in his trailer for the evening, he finds a way to escape with only one thing on his mind—to save Penny.
After his escape, he accidentally finds himself shipped to the other side of the country. He meets Mittens the cat, and Rhino, the hamster. Together, they journey to Hollywood to find Penny. One of Bolt’s new friends is very optimistic and supportive while the other is jaded, as someone who has seen too much of the bad side of life. The film follows their journey across the country in search of love—the love of a pet for its owner. Bolt’s journey might also be considered a journey to find himself. He begins to understand what is real and true. His quest to find Penny leads to some tough questions for him: “Who am I? Does she really care? Do I belong there or where do I belong?”
Themes that could spark Biblical discussions include loyalty, search for what is most important, concern or love for others (Can they see it-love is more than words, who we are in Christ, and the knowledge that we will reap what we sow. One instance in the film concerning a deal makes a clear example of someone reaping what they have sown, and it is pointed out by one of the characters, “Hey, she did that to me not ten minutes ago.” The film includes an example that shows love is more than words when Bolt hears Penny telling another animal how much she cares, yet if you keep watching, her actions do not show any real affection—it’s just lines. Bolt’s journey to find Penny might also be a journey where he found himself, sparking a discussion on discovering who we are in Christ.
Bolt is steadfast and fiercely loyal both on the set and off. He is devoted to Penny, a friend who doesn’t give up. Bolt is described as a hero, someone who will do the right thing, no matter what. As one of Bolt’s friends points out, “We all need a hero, someone who will be there to remind us that everything is possible.”
Everyone needs someone who will be there for them during the good times and the bad, someone who is loyal and consistent in their regard for you. Jesus is that person—all you have to do is ask. He will forgive your sins and be Lord of your life, and he promises never to leave or forsake you.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.