Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #48: Bolt

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)
You know what’s weird? In Irish, there’s no word for “Yes” or “No”.
You know what else is weird? If you ask someone to imagine “a Disney movie” they automatically think of a Princess movie, something like the world of Giselle in Enchanted. But the Princess movies only make up a small fraction of the canon, 10 movies out of 52. Whereas the talking animal movies comprise a staggering twenty four movies depending on how you count them (Pinocchio, no, the two Winnie the Poohs, yes for our purposes here). So why is it that the Princess movies have such an outsized influence on how the rest of the canon is seen? Well, for whatever reason, it’s the Princess movies that seem to do really well. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan, Tangled, Frozen, all really, really huge hits. And even Pocahontas and Princess and the Frog were not exactly slouches at the box-office. The talking animal movies, by comparison, tend to perform more modestly. Oh, you’ll get the occasional big hit (Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, Jungle Book, The Rescuers and oh yeah, The Lion King) but mostly it feels like their role is to just keep things ticking over until the next Princess movie comes along.  And that’s just not right, dammit. Disney have done some if their very best work in this sub-genre. Take today’s movie for example, Bolt, which was released in 2008 and…
Oh my God.
Oh my God, this thing was released in 2008. Obama had been elected by the time this thing came out. I was on Facebook. I was in my current job. I remember this thing coming out as a recent event in my life. It’s just…wow. When I started this blog I was making jokes about Hitler and the Second World War (that came out wrong). I mean, it’s really all coming to an end, isn’t it? Finish line’s in sight.
Ahem. Anyway.
It’s possible to think of Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons and Bolt as a trilogy of the “Pixarification” of Disney. Chicken Little is Disney, trying to be Pixar, Meet the Robinsons is Disney on its way to becoming Pixar and Bolt is basically Pixar. It was produced by John Lasseter and it looks, feels and runs like a Pixar movie. Seriously, they could have slapped a Pixar logo on this and no one would have known the difference. But what kind of Pixar movie is it? Are we talking Toy Story 3? Or are we talking Cars?
Let’s take a look.