Bolt promises to be the final non-Pixar computer animated film released by Disney, and it’s not a bad way to go out. Pixar films remain on a whole other level, cinematically and in terms of resonance, but there is certainly a place for solid family entertainment of a more pedestrian nature.
Bolt is certainly pedestrian, borrowing elements from everything from Toy Story 2 to The Truman Show, and there isn’t a moment you don’t know exactly where it’s going. But it’s also funny, exciting and charming and a perfectly nice way to spend an afternoon with your kids.
I will say this… the action sequence that begins the film is as exciting and inventive as any I’ve seen this year. In fact, it’s one of the best action sequences I’ve seen since Pixar’s The Incredibles. In an era when most live-action action scenes look cartoonish, it’s the cartoons that rule the day.
Finally, I saw Bolt in 3D… the first time I’ve seen a 3D film since the technology was reintroduced en masse several years ago. It was impressive, but certainly not essential. I understand that studios are looking for ways to get people out to the theater and away from their big-screen TVs, but I guess I’m a traditionalist. Until my living room can seat 350 people, I’ll be going to the movies.