Staff Picks: Movies
Staff-recommended viewing from the KPL catalog.
Bolt of High Energy
My kid’s crazy about dogs, so the last three movies we went to see in the theater all centered on canines. While Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Hotel for Dogs were live-action films, they were not nearly as lively (or recommended) as the animated Bolt, a film kids and adults should all enjoy.
Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) plays a dog with superpowers on a popular TV show, which also features his young owner as his co-star. From the time he was a pup, he’s been led to believe he really is a superhero, a ruse his owner and handlers pull off by keeping him in the tightly controlled environs of the studio set, all for the sake of keeping his on-screen performance as believable as possible – he never knows his on-screen adventures are pure fiction. (If this plot sounds familiar, perhaps you’ve seen The Truman Show, which is much more existential and angsty than Bolt.)
Through a series of mishaps, our hero ends up on his own thousands of miles from his owner and known life, and must find his way back, with the help of a streetwise cat (with abandonment issues akin to Jessie’s in Toy Story 2) and superfan hamster (who also stars in the cartoon short exclusive to the Bolt DVD, which includes a hilarious send-up of Hannah Montana, Bolt voice actress Miley Cyrus’s alter-ego). He also has to come to terms with the truth about his superhero abilities, sometimes discovering the truth midway through some harrowing situations on his cross-country journey.
Bolt’s a lot of fun, and possesses more charm and depth than most films aimed at the family audience. If you’re a dog lover, you may want to see all those films I'd mentioned having seen on the big screen – but Bolt’s the only one that’s not a real dog.