BOLT - A four-legged hero
Bolt - a four-legged hero - is the new animated film made by Walt Disney animation studios and released in cinemas from November 28th.
Bolt is the unwitting protagonist of a famous American TV series, in which he plays the part of a dog with superpowers, acquired following a scientific experiment. His task is to protect - among a thousand dangers and as many adventures - the mistress Penny, from the evil intentions of Doctor Calico - 'the man with the green eye' -; former architect of the kidnapping of her father, in order to extort important secrets of a scientific nature. This in a succession of self-contained episodes in which Bolt carries out his mission (that is to save Panny) always successfully, while Dr Calico and his henchmen run away (only to return in the next episode, with plans and stratagems always more diabolical) ...
And so far everything would be fine, if it weren't for the fact that Bolt doesn't know he's in the middle of a movie set, but really believes he has superpowers (such as the Super Bark, mind-blowing strength and speed, the super leap, the ability to bend sturdy steel bars and, last but not least, the ability to send laser beams with the gaze), thus experiencing the most overbearing of fictions as if it were reality. This in fact made him believe - with abundant cynicism - the authors of the fiction, to make his interpretation more realistic and compelling ... In the same way, the two cats who play the role of the perfidious felines of Dr. Calico, who between one take and another have a good time fomenting the anxieties and anger of our hero, whose only interest is to protect his beloved Penny. One day, however, the staff of the show 'Bolt' to increase the audience, decide to change the script, favoring the kidnapping of Penny, without Bolt being able to prevent it with his superpowers.
The fact plunges Bolt into a state of deep agitation, so much so that he devises the escape, which he succeeds thanks to a series of fortuitous coincidences. So it happens that our hero is accidentally taken off the set and transported from Hollywood to New York in a polystyrene box. Thus begins the most 'extraordinary' of adventures! In fact Bolt, sure of being in the usual context, sets out in search of the owner, coming across the stray cat Mittens. This, having been mistaken for Doctor Calico's cat, is captured by Bolt and forced by him to follow him on an intrepid journey in Penny's footsteps. But a journey that, for completely unexpected reasons, will prove decisive and enlightening for Bolt; as characterized by the discovery of oneself, of one's freedom in the real world (that is, with a real life, made extraordinary however by the enchantment of small things and the most authentic affections). But this is not without difficulty! Indeed, the way forward will be slow and punctuated by a thousand hardships and enormous discouragement: what Bolt will feel in the face of the discovery that he does not possess any superpower and that he is instead a dog like many others.
Only the cat friend (Mittens) - who with all her good will and experience will teach him to live a life as a real dog - will be able to help him in this sad moment, restoring his confidence and determination even in the most disparate situations. On the other hand, Mittens herself will have to deal with herself and with ancient wounds that are only apparently forgotten. And he will have to admit that independence - the thrill of a lonely and stray life - can never be as satisfying as the company of a true friend and the sweetness of a cozy home. But at this point we cannot fail to mention another formidable character: Rhino, a very nice hamster who lives inside a plexiglass ball. The latter, being a huge fan of 'Bolt', in finding it accidentally in front of him, almost does not believe his eyes: the irrepressible joy, in fact, will induce him to follow his hero without hesitation in the most (in) credible of travels. After all, Rhino with all his energy and will to live, will be able to transmit strength and courage to his new friends, even in moments of greatest difficulty.
Another extraordinary and effectively constructed character is Penny, who despite her tender age shows great maturity and a deep sensitivity. Despite being surrounded (even a bit of a victim) by cynical people interested only in success and profit, she retains her integrity and utmost dedication to her 'good puppy', suffering greatly for his loss. In short, Penny represents a goad for the conscience of those who often and willingly treat animals as easily replaceable things or which can also be disposed of.
In this sense Bolt - a four-legged hero -, despite being an extremely entertaining and enjoyable feature film, deals with complex issues that lead to reflection. In fact, the viewer, conquered by an ever more pressing narrative rhythm (with a fresh and delicate flavor), cannot (and does not want to) help identify himself now with one, now with the other of the main characters mentioned, breathing the feeling of growing up and mature with them.
Without this, by no means trivial or obvious!
Among the most significant themes in my opinion emerge: the man-animal relationship; the sometimes dark sides (especially sacrifices and renunciations, even affective) of being famous people and how often this is irreconcilable with a normal life and finally the great fascination that television dramas exert on their viewers, who identify with their hero with such strength as to transform the same, as a reason for redemption from an existence so often sad and mediocre. But in particular I would like to focus on the first of the themes mentioned, which I believe to be the guideline of the story on the thread of the narrative. Bolt in fact makes us reflect a lot on the responsibility that men have towards their animals (therefore on the injustice of their abandonment), and on the extraordinary nature (as well as heroism) of our four-legged friends: true models of friendship, fidelity and loyalty . Just think how far Bolt will travel to find his beloved Penny and risk his life to save her.
From a technical point of view we can find in Bolt an accurate and maniacal work in CGI (just think of how the ink is discolored on Bolt's fur), which does not deny the high quality of Disney Pixar production.
by Helga Corpino
||Byron Howard, Chris Williams
||Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Italy
||28 November 2008 (cinema)