Bolt Comes Home

by Tony Phoenix, staff writer
(2009) | 96 min. | PG | Reviewed by Tony Phoenix
Cover Art
Click to Buy Single Disk DVD
Click to Buy 2-Disk Deluxe Edition DVD
Click to Buy Blu-ray
Ratings Summary
(Scored out of a maximum of five)
Audio 5 stars Video 5 stars
Goodies 3 stars Interface 4 stars
Movie 4 stars Value 4 stars

DVD Features

  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2009 (Blu-ray), March 24 (DVD)
  • Original Theatrical Release: November 21, 2008
  • 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • DTS-HD Master Audio (Blu-ray), Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (DVD) 
  • Spanish and French Language Tracks
  • Subtitles: Closed Captioned
  • Suggested Retail Price: $29.99 (DVD), $32.99 (Deluxe DVD), $39.99 (Blu-Ray)

The Movie

Disney's Thanksgiving release last year, Bolt currently holds the record as the highest-ever grossing 3-D movie. Unfortunately, the DVD release isn't in 3-D, but that shouldn't deter you from exploring this DVD release. If you didn't have a chance to see the movie in the theater, be sure to check out MousePlanet's review by Alex Stroup.

The Blu-ray image and DTS-HD audio are exactly what you would expect from any modern release. The images are crisp and the audio clear. The majority of the sound comes the center and front channels, with the rear channels limited to some sound effects, and for the musical pieces.

The Goodies

The single-disk DVD release includes the movie and the new Super Rhino short. It isn't until you get to the two-disk Deluxe DVD set that you get any real bonus features, detailed below. The Deluxe set also includes a Digital Copy of the movie (the only item on Disk 2), that will allow you to download the movie to your computer, and from there to your mobile media device.

Continuing the trend started with the Pinocchio release, the Blu-ray release includes a copy of the Deluxe DVD disk (including all of the bonus material). But unlike Pinocchio, the set also includes a Digital Copy of the movie (on Disk 3).

  • Super Rhino Short – this 5-minute short features comic-relief character, Rhino the hamster in his own short. It is a cute effort, and gets in a few good laugh lines.
  • “I Thought I Lost You” Music Video & Behind the Scenes – Given how heavily this movie hyped Miley Cyrus being cast in the role of Penny, it is no surprise that they included a music video of the closing credits song sung by Cyrus and co-star John Travolta. If you are a preteen girl or a fan of Miley Cyrus, you will probably enjoy these goodies. Otherwise it is immenantly forgettable. The behind the scenes feature, clocking in at a whole 59 seconds is hardly a feature. It could (and should) have been rolled into one of the other making of features, instead of called out as it's own feature.
  • A New Breed of Directors: A Filmmakers’ Journey – First-time directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard share their experiences in making their first movies as directors. Clocking in at just under 5-minutes, it is fun to hear Chris and Byron talk about they challenges they faced in making the movie. I was surprised to learn about the challenges the leash created, and I have to admit - I laughed watching the animators inside a giant hamster ball. 
  • Act, Speak! The Voices of Bolt – A 10-minute short cuts between the actors, directors, animators, and scenes from the film as they talk about the recording the voices for the characters and then bringing them to life.  
  • Creating The World of Bolt – Although the movie was computer animated, many of the backgrounds look more like handdrawn painting. This short explores how computer animation was used to bring a painted look to the environment
  • Deleted Scenes – The obligatory Deleted Scenes feature includes commentary from the directors and shows two scenes that were cut from the movie: a dog fight scene in Las Vegas and a river rescue scene.
  • Bolt’s Be-Awesome Mission (Blu-ray Only) – The intro into this game is actually a funny intro, using Rhino to bring you into the game. Unfortunately, the game has some serious bugs, with the Bolt character being split in half when it is rendered. Don't buy the disk for this game alone!
  • Bolt Art Gallery (Blu-ray Only) – This interactive gallery allows you to browse a large collection of artwork that was used in the making of the film. Gallery sections include Visual Development, Character Development, Storyboard Art and Color Script Images.

The Final Evaluation

I doubt Bolt will ever be considered a true Disney classic, but it is a fun movie and worth adding to your collection. However, none of the goodies make this a compelling purchse.  As always, even if you don't have a Blu-ray player, I really recommend buying the Blu-ray edition. You get both the Blu-ray disk, and the regular DVD. This allows you to watch the movie on your existing DVD player and when you eventually replace it with a Blu-ray player, you will be able to enjoy the full version. But, if you can do without the HD or digital copy, it may be worth saving a few dollars and get the single disk edition.