Walt Disney Animation Studios
Starring: John Travolta, Susie Essman, Diedrich Bader
Directed by: Byron Howard, Chris Williams
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is the white German shepherd pup who stars in an action-packed television series as a dog with super powers who protects a little girl named Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus). The problem is Bolt believes everything happening on the set is real, so when he accidentally ends up in New York City he struggles to deal with a major reality check.
Cartoon Cats: The opening of the film is a prolonged scene from the television series in which Penny and Bolt try to help Penny’s kidnapped father who has been taken by the evil Dr. Calico (voiced by Malcolm McDowell). Dr. Calico has two cats with him, a tabby and a Himalayan. Once the shooting stops and Bolt is locked inside his trailer, the tabby cat (voiced by Diedrich Bader) takes the other cat to Bolt’s trailer to taunt him, knowing the dog thinks everything is real.
Featured Feline: Mittens (voiced by Susie Essman) is a tuxedo cat whom Bolt first encounters in a New York City alley where she is holding court to a bunch of pigeons who bring her food in exchange for protection. She threatens to unleash her claws on the birds if they don’t comply with her demands.
Bolt believes that Mittens is one of Dr. Calico’s cohorts (as are all cats) and insists she take him to Penny. Mittens sees Bolt’s nametag reads “Hollywood” and directs him to go there, but he wants her to come along and forces her to accompany him.
Throughout much of the first part of the movie Mittens is convinced that Bolt is a lunatic dog and protests having her life put into danger.
At a picnic area during one stop, Bolt and Mittens meet Rhino (voiced by Mark Walton) who is a huge fan of Bolt’s and believes everything he has seen on television as well.
Mittens has to convince Bolt that he has just been acting in a television series. And after Bolt rescues her from a pound she becomes fond of him and teaches him how to act like a normal dog.
When the trio reach Las Vegas, Mittens is so connected to her new friends she wants to stay there and live on their own. She is deeply hurt when Bolt says he wants to continue to Hollywood to find Penny. As it turns out, Mittens was abandoned by her family, which had previously declawed her and left her to fend in the world that way.
Eventually Bolt does return to Hollywood and Mittens and Rhino follow. There is a harrowing rescue at the studios where the Bolt television series is filmed.
This film is sadly underrated and while it may not be on a par with some of Disney’s more memorable classic animated films it certainly stands on its own and is highly entertaining and touching.
Final Mewsings: No cat should ever be declawed and / or abandoned!