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Massawyrm takes in two different screenings of BOLT footage!!

Hola all. Massawyrm here. So the nice folks at Disney brought down some footage of their new animated film BOLT to Fantastic Fest – but FF being what it is and the footage screening first thing in the morning, it kind of fell by the wayside. But then last night I saw even more footage which is debuting in front of this weekend’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua (I know, I know…) and since I have this growing inclination that the vast bulk of you won’t be seen anywhere near a theater so much as playing the much dreaded BHC, I thought I might tell you a bit about all the footage I’ve seen. First of all, between the Disney presentation and the spoileriffic preview I saw last night, I’ve probably seen about 10 - 15 minutes of the film. And every frame I see of this film makes me more excited about it. For those of you who haven’t heard about this project, it is the first Disney animated film under the total watch of John Lasseter that doesn’t have the PIXAR name on it, and it shows. This doesn’t feel like a Disney film – not a modern Disney film that is. It feels a hell of a lot more like Pixar. The concept is pretty simple – Bolt is a stunt dog who is the star of a television show about a super powered pup. But since he doesn’t know what television is, he thinks the whole thing is real and that he really is a super dog. As you probably expect, he somehow gets lost in the real world and has to contend with being a stray dog somehow stripped of his superpowers. Insert a street smart stray cat (who looks and sounds a little too close to Rita from the Rita and Runt Animaniacs segments) and a hero worshipping, tv watching hamster in a plastic ball and you have the makings of a cross country adventure. I’ve seen three complete segments thus far. The first was an episode of Bolt’s TV series. Only the first (less impressive) half of this segment appears this weekend in theaters. Presumably very early in the film, this is most likely the segment that will set your geek heart aflutter the most. The whole sequence – which is about protecting his teenage master from spies, Matrix Agent thugs and missile launching helicopters – is such a direct parody of the over the top Michael Bay/Scott Brothers slow motion hyper realism that you will either giggle at the parody, or thrill at the sheer style…while giggling at the parody. There is one incredibly beautiful shot when Bolt headbutts a charging car, sending it toppling over him end over end in slow motion, and then we share the perspective of the young girl as she looks up in slow mo at her own reflection in the hood of the car passing inches above her own head…just as we return to normal speed and it slams into the ground. It’s probably the single most elegant and incredible shot of everything I’ve seen. The action sequence that follows that is both thrilling and funny – with John Woo style motorcycle goons dropping out of helicopters and a case ensuing involving playing hot potato with a bomb. Next (and not in theaters this weekend) was a scene in which Bolt meets his hamster companion Rhino for the first time. This was pretty cute stuff – he’s a TV addicted hamster in a plastic rolling ball who believes that Bolt really is super powered. There was some fun dialog here, with the dynamic of the delusional Bolt, the stray cat who knows he’s delusional and now the Hamster who feeds into Bolt’s delusions by believing the show is a reality series. Finally there’s the new segment which wasn’t shown at FF and you can see this weekend. Unfortunately, it feels VERY late in the film and seems to give away a lot of what happens (not that you couldn’t probably guess a mile out of you wanted to.) Here Bolt has to save one of his friends from the pound – which means a stealthy breaking and entering mission foiling security guards and systems without the use of the superpowers he has so long relied upon. The result is a lot of fun, with some very Pixar like jokes between the guards and a series of happy accidents that allow Bolt to appear to have the powers he does on the show. This was the sequence that just shrieked of Lasseter and you could clearly see his fingerprints all over it. Look, I’m no fan of Disney animation. Frankly, as of late if it didn’t have Pixar written on it, I had little interest. Most of what Disney has churned out on their own is barely worth a mention, if not admonishment. But this is different. The feels like it did back in ’89 when Disney movies stopped sucking and started being magical again (for a while.) When the Disney logo meant a rush of childhood glee as opposed to the corporate stamp we now mostly know it as. Here’s hoping the remaining 80 or so minutes can live up to what they’ve shown us thus far. Here's to hoping this is the beginning of a new golden age of classy, classic Disney animation. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
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Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:06 p.m. CST

    The trailer really makes this look like shit

    by mefrog

    But I hear lots of positive feedback from you guys here, so I'm still holding out for it.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:07 p.m. CST


    by O_Goncho

    You got Bolt, Beaks got Watchmen. I know a guy who knows a guy if you're feeling mistreated.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:42 p.m. CST

    There are ca-ca and wee-wee jokes, right?

    by BeeDub

    No modern family movie is complete without them, right?

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 9:07 p.m. CST

    They are pimping this really hard

    by Series7

    It really hasn't done anything for me? I hope its good, but it feels bad like Chicken Little. <P> Also am I the only one who liked Treasure Planet? I really dug that movie, I thought the animation was really well done as well, and cool take on an old story. I guess people don't like Martin Short as much as me.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Disney is for Babies!

    by Jawa 007

    I'msa big boy!

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 9:42 p.m. CST

    PLEASE no fart jokes

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Please PLEASE **PLEASE** no fart jokes...

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Massa, PLEASE, go see Bervelry Hills Chihuahua

    by ricarleite

    I really could have a laugh here, you know? That would be an interesting review!

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 10 p.m. CST


    by grainy

    I seriously doubt it'll be any good. Hell, I doubt if half of the above is true. If I half of the reviews posted on this site were true/not idiotic in some way, the collective AICN movie library (when sorted by quality) would look a lot like my cousin's which is to say random and subpar. I can't believe how much utter schlock slides around here. This is a damn movie site and you guys treat it like a fucking LiveJournal. And it's not even the "Here's my day up to the premier" shit that gets posted. That has some point. It's the way you infuse these stupid notions of what the movie is to you as an individual. I know this all sounds like flat whining so far, but examples abound. Knowles is the worst. Proof? His review of Episode One complete with details of Jar Jar Binks, the "tragic refugee" who was forced from his home during mounting political troubles! My fucking God, what happened to standards? What happened to writing honestly and examining a movie instead of just assuming God knows what or projecting shit all over the place? Excuse the sarcasm, but I find it so helpful when I go to the movies and have to slip into a different persona to get the most out of it. Post a movie review that deals with the subject matter as is, not something that rants and raves over material that probably doesn't exist in as subjective a manner as possible.

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 12:34 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Your wish is my command. You know...if I hadn't already seen and submitted my take before you asked. Should be up by morning.

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 1:47 a.m. CST

    "I'm no fan of Disney animation"

    by VWantsRevenge

    You sure do consider yourself quite the film conisseur, but are you seriously going to say that Disney Feature Animation has never put out a good film?<br> <br> THE LION KING? BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? ALADDIN? LILO & STITCH? <br> <br> And those are just the Disney Renaissance pictures of the last ten or so years. Even a high minded, windbag long haired douche like you can't ignore that shit.

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 2:44 a.m. CST

    10 years of classics!

    by Spaz_Monkey

    "THE LION KING? BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? ALADDIN? LILO & STITCH? And those are just the Disney Renaissance pictures of the last ten or so years. Even a high minded, windbag long haired douche like you can't ignore that shit." The last 10 years of Disney movies? Mulan, Tarzan, Fantasia 2000,Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo & Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons..... Not a whole helluva lot of 'win' there.

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 2:46 a.m. CST

    hmmm... no formatting........

    by Spaz_Monkey

    "THE LION KING? BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? ALADDIN? LILO & STITCH?........ And those are just the Disney Renaissance pictures of the last ten or so years. Even a high minded, windbag long haired douche like you can't ignore that shit."........... The last 10 years of Disney movies?............ Mulan, Tarzan, Fantasia 2000,Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo & Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons......... Not a whole helluva lot of 'win' there.

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 2:49 a.m. CST

    Speaking of 10 years of Disney Movies

    by Spaz_Monkey

    We've also had Disney release, in the last 10 years.... Doug's 1st Movie, The Tigger Movie, Recess: School's Out, Return to Never Land, The Jungle Book 2, Piglet's Big Movie, Teacher's Pet, Pooh's Heffalump Movie, Bambi II

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 6:44 a.m. CST

    Please PLEASE...

    by NeilF script girl tomorrow!

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 10:14 a.m. CST

    I've lost my mind . . .

    by freedunit01

    No, I'm not declaring a state of sanity, I'm quoting Martin Short's B.E.N. from Treasure Planet. And yes, series7 I saw it too, and enjoyed it. And what's wrong Tarzan, Emperor's New Groove or Chicken Little. All of these had some great gags, good soundtracks, and left you feeling good. Home On the Range was uneven, and had some off points but it was still fun ... for the rest of you that never saw it -- and yes I'm talking the remaining 6,698,899,649 members of this planet that did not get to catch it when Disney ceremoniously dumped the last hand drawn animated film in to theaters with little or no hype on April 2nd 2004. Let us only hope that under the new Lassiter regime we get back to great hand-drawn animation along with some fun films -- of which BOLT looks and sounds to be. I for one can't wait. You disney haters can now jump all over this like the dogs cheawing the hamster's ball in the clip.

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    I really liked Tarzan, much better then this other really hyped movie that came out the same year. But New Groove and Chicken Little, I didn't even remember them the second I was done watching them. Never saw Home on the Range, but the Cow movie with Kevin James, Barnyard (a Nickalodean film) wasn't half bad. I think it was the travesty of Atlantis that killed Disney for a lot of people. That movie should've been amazing but it had a lame plot and even worse animation. Huge huge let down.

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    I hope this makes $$$

    by TooWhippy

    I'm tired of DWA being the only game in L.A. these days.

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST


    by Jaws Wayne

    So " you're no fan of Disney animation". And 2 sentences later I read about " classic Disney animation". So what it is man. Please, another bulshit article to pile on the AICN "article" vault. As for the crap how "the 80's hits were the only high quality ones" during the last 20 years of handdrawn Disney ones. Wow, how I disagree with that. Big fan of Treasure Planet, I think Hercules is without a doubt the funniest film they ever did and Tarzan is flawless, THE perfect animated film were really everything fell in place. I think Mulan is great as well. Hunchback is extremely schizophrenic in its' story-telling, but I LOVE the dark parts. That also has my favorite 10 minutes of any Disney film, by which I mean the incredible and intense dramatic prologue/opening of the movie which is fucking majestic. In fact, the so-called "Great ones", good as some were, were all films that played it totally safe. Don't discuss Disney animation if you can't recognize quality filmmaking Massa, then it again, this is Wyrm I'm talking too, so what's new .