The canine star of a TV show (voice of John Travolta), raised to believe he has superpowers and that the program on which he continually rescues his beloved owner (voice of Miley Cyrus) is real, is accidentally shipped cross-country and must make his way back with the help of a streetwise cat (voice of Susie Essman) and an enthusiastic hamster (voice of Mark Walton). Directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard's endearing animated adventure, which sees its hero learning to believe in himself and his companions -- especially the formerly selfish feline -- discovering the value of friendship and teamwork, has chase sequences and cartoon action that might frighten the youngest children, but is otherwise unobjectionable. Conventional and 3-D formats. A-I -- general patronage. (PG) 2008
Bolt (Full Review)
The endearing animated adventure "Bolt" (Disney) can be taken as a children's parable about the challenges, and consolations, of growing up. As the titular canine makes the transition from an exciting, but predictable fantasy world to a confusing new reality, he's forced to rely on inner strength and the good will of friends.
The insulated star of a television series where he plays a dog with superpowers, Bolt (voiced with childlike gentleness by John Travolta) has been raised to believe he truly possesses unique abilities, such as a steel-melting stare and a sonic-boom bark. He thinks the show on which, each week, he rescues his beloved owner, Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus), is absolutely real.
When the pooch is accidentally shipped across country and finds himself on the mean streets of New York, he's completely bewildered by his inability to control what's happening. He's also desperate to get back to Penny, convinced she's in great peril without him.
An encounter with three Brooklyn-accented pigeons -- "Ridonkulous!" is their favorite observation -- leads him to selfish alley cat Mittens (voice of Susie Essman) whom he takes prisoner because, on the program, all cats are in league with Penny's nemesis, evil scientist Dr. Calico (voice of Malcolm McDowell).
Bolt gains a more willing ally in Rhino (voice of Mark Walton), a TV-watching hamster utterly star-struck on meeting his idol.
As Bolt learns to believe in himself, Mittens changes from captive to friend and reveals the sad circumstances that have made her so cynical, while scene-stealing Rhino, in raptures over the presumed adventures ahead of them, demonstrates his tenacious loyalty and dedication to teamwork.
Some of the early scenes involve chase sequences and cartoon action that might frighten the youngest children. But directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard's frequently amusing, technically solid debut feature -- which is being shown in both 3-D and conventional formats -- is otherwise entirely unobjectionable.The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
These movies have been evaluated for artistic merit and moral suitability by the media reviewing division of Catholic News Service. The reviews include the CNS rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie.
The classifications are as follows:
A-I -- general patronage;
A-II -- adults and adolescents;
A-III -- adults;
L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O -- morally offensive.
Note: Some movies previously were designated A-IV. Older films with this classification should be regarded as classified L.