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    Jan 2004
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    Let it begin! Let it begin! A BD Review of BOLT!

    © Disney. All rights reserved.

    Starting today, Walt Disney Pictures’ BOLT barks onto the scene available in Blu-Ray format only. Luckily for those without BD technologies, all Blu-Ray copies of the film come with a DVD copy as well as a digital copy so you don’t have to wait until Tuesday’s DVD release to get your hands on the lovable cast comprised of a heroic dog, a zany cat, and an even zanier hamster. But enough of that, we’re here to review all the great new goodies so to quote a certain super-charged rodent, let it being, let it begin!

    Jumping right in, we refer once again to that zany rodent, Rhino the Hamster. For the home release of Bolt, the breakout star has been given his own cute little cartoon short, "Super Rhino." The new short features the snazzy new Disney Animation intro before it and is basically a scene from Bolt’s TV show.

    In the short, both the canine hero and Penny are destined for certain doom until Super Rhino comes in and saves the day. It’s a cute short but I must admit that it didn’t have that classic charm and humor of the usual Pixar shorts. Disney is certainly improving on animation quality though, even in a one-off short like this one.

    Super Rhino

    Next we take a look at the offerings in my always favorite section, Backstage Disney. Unfortunately less robust than I would have hoped, we find three selections divvied up into three 10 minute (approximately) featurettes. The first, A New Breed of Directors: A Filmmakers’ Journey introduces us to first-time directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard. The short vignette takes us on their journey of creating the film.

    The second featurette, Act, Speak! The Voices of Bolt brings us into various cast voice sessions that were in progress. We peek in on John Travolta (Bolt), Miley Cyrus (Penny), Susie Essman (Mittens), James Lipton (Director) and Mark Walton (Rhino). Of note here is inclusion of the funny and cute way that they let Mark Walton know that he’d been cast as Rhino.

    Mark Walton, a story artist for the film, was originally selected to perform the temporary scratch voice-over work for the film until a "real actor" was selected for the part but he ended up being a perfect fit and was ultimately chosen for the role. You can click here to learn more about Whalton’s voice over process.

    Creating the World of Bolt

    The final piece of Backstage Disney is the featurette titled Creating The World of Bolt which discusses the painterly backgrounds of the film. We get insight on how and why this style was chosen as well as the trials and tribulations of getting it to work for a CG film.

    One other piece that I would have liked mentioned in this last featurette was the original incarnation of Bolt and his character development but it seems this might have been glossed over in the interest of avoiding conflict with former director of the film, Chris Sanders.

    The Music and More section seems a bit misplaced at first since the film is not a musical, but this short little section features the music video for “I Thought I Lost You” which is sung by Miley Cyrus and John Travolta. I honestly thought it was super-forced and maybe just a slight bit creepy. Then again, being paired next to a teenie bopper queen does not lend itself easily to an authentic session.

    © Disney. All rights reserved.

    The final feature in this section is the all-too-short puff piece about the making of the music video, In Session with John Travolta and Miley Cyrus. Cyrus and Travolta individually gush about working with each other, giving their opinions on the song and on making the film.

    All of these bonus features are available to those who purchase the Blu-Ray version of the film and the 2-disc version of the film. The single disc version of the film includes only the new cartoon short, “Super Rhino.”

    Luckily, for those who buy the Blu-Ray version without having a BD player, the DVD copy included with the set is actually the 2-disc version so you’re given a pretty healthy selection of bonus features to enjoy on your DVD copy and not just the cartoon short! In addition to all the features mentioned above, the Blu-Ray disc features a few more bonus features to enjoy.

    © Disney. All rights reserved.

    There are three separate features to be enjoyed exclusively with the Blu-Ray version of the film. The first is Bolt’s Be-Awesome Missionp which is interactive, 3-level, game that requires you to collect clues, conquer ninjas, and unleash the power of the Super Bark.

    The second feature is the Bolt Art Gallery which includes the film’s early creative concepts including storyboards and character mock-ups. The various gallery sections include Visual Development, Character Development, Storyboard Art and Color Script Images.

    The final feature of the Blu-Ray (which to me personally is hardly a selling point) is the new BD-Live enabled content which I have a feeling will soon disappear in future releases due to lack of interest. The BD-Live section includes Movie Chat, Movie Mail, Movie Challenge and Movie Rewards.

    Last edited by dlfreak; 03-24-2009 at 05:23 PM.
    Joey AKA "dlfreak"
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