Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    There's something both simple and sweet about Bolt, yet epic, that's entirely surprising.
  2. Bolt breaks no great new stylistic ground -- and yet it's a sturdy beaut.
  3. Bolt proves a refreshing throwback to the animated classics of yore.
  4. Bolt has the magical quality of great animation, the ability to touch us without the hint of preachiness or manipulation.
  5. 83
    For the first time in years, it feels like Disney has done its namesake proud.
  6. As Bolt, John Travolta is inspired: His voice still cracks like an adolescent’s, and he has the perfect dopey innocence.
  7. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Bolt carries two tales for the price of one, both handled by Disney veterans and first-time directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard with wit, grace, and the dazzling craftsmanship we've come to expect from the studio that's hitched its wagon to Pixar.
  8. 80
    What keeps Bolt fresh is an unaffected exuberance, a genuine sense of fun, that is expressed above all through obsessive attention to craft.
  9. 78
    This is a Disney film, so there's never any real question regarding Bolt and his friends' ultimate success or failure, but the writing team of Dan Fogelman (Cars) and co-director Williams (Mulan) have concocted one of the most witty and often hilarious Disney outings in years.
  10. While this charmer about a canine James Bond does not pack the emotional punch of "WALL-E," it's frisky fun to see the white shepherd get a new leash on life.
  11. It's doubtful that audiences go to animated features to hear movie stars talk. They go because a film sounds like fun and something their kids and maybe they themselves might enjoy. Bolt is all that and more.
  12. Reviewed by: Perry Seibert
    This winning mix of exciting action, heart-tugging sentiment, and gentle character comedy makes Bolt yet another solid addition to Disney's history of family-friendly fare.
  13. 75
    This stuff is clever, in the reflexively satirical, self-aware way that many animated films are. It's not until the dog is accidentally shipped off to New York City that the movie lets you in on an altogether more interesting idea: It doesn't want to be that cool.
  14. There's a terrific tenderness in Travolta's performance, while Cyrus and company are similarly effective.
  15. At the end of the day, Bolt is a sweet Disney family film.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Bears some telltale signs of Pixar's trademark smarts, but still looks like a mutt compared to the younger company's customary purebreds.
  17. Travolta does a nice job, but Bolt is of course the most boring, blandly cute character in the movie.
  18. Reviewed by: Andy Spletzer
    As the voice of Bolt, John Travolta does a fine job and Disney star Miley Cyrus is fine as well, but neither one can overcome the lack of personality in their scripted characters.
  19. 63
    Has that formulaic, cookie-cutter feel typical of many Disney toons. The premise is inspired, but the follow-through is merely adequate.
  20. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Bolt borrows amiably from a host of sources, including "The Incredible Journey," "Lilo and Stitch" and "Toy Story 2."
  21. Though every frame is great to look at, Bolt's script - by the co-writers of "Mulan" and "Cars" - lacks the wit of its closest Pixar relative, "The Incredibles." Rhino and some goofy pigeons provide the few laughs once the tale goes cross-country.
  22. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    The unlikely superhero of this film is the hamster, who brings the funny amid a flurry of weaker gags. But Bolt still has charm -- it just won't hit with the adults the way the best animated films can.
  23. Taken on its own terms, Bolt the movie certainly makes the cut.
  24. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    As sprightly and determined as its fuzzy, yappy lead, the new Disney animated film Bolt works hard to be all things to all people, with mixed results.
  25. 50
    Sporadically entertaining, occasionally quite funny.
  26. Both original and good; the problem is the original parts aren't good and the good parts aren't original.
  27. 50
    Bolt is just too knowing; it keeps reminding us, loud and clear, of how culturally savvy it is.
  28. 50
    Adults won't find much to enjoy here, though the dog's high-octane action series serves as a perverse parody of Jerry Bruckheimer-style summer blockbusters.
  29. It's a seriously withholding action comedy, stingy on the wit, charm, jokes, narrative satisfactions and animals with personalities sharp enough for the big screen, either in 2-D or 3-D.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 44
  2. Negative: 3 out of 44
  1. Sep 25, 2011
    A dog & cat animation movie that has the power equal to "Toy Story" and "WALL-E". Certainly one of Disney motion picture's greatest achievement they made without the help of Pixar. Bravo!!! Full Review »
  2. Dec 30, 2011
    Bolt has used a storyline that has been used countless times which is a huge critical factor. Critics favor originality but sadly this isn't, but thanks to its touching moments, fantastic animation and great voice performances it is good enough for me. I give this movie 71%. Full Review »
  3. Jun 2, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Though sadly overshadowed by the overrated dynamic duo of Wall-e and Kung Fu Panda, this warm, familiar animated movie with stunning visuals and beautiful, hand-painted backgrounds doesn't only mark a successful return for Disney on the animated area, but manages to introduce characters and themes that are in many ways more deep and complex than that of the widely glorified Pixar flicks. Take Bolt for example, the loveable and stunningly adorable main character who, in less than 90 minutes, shows a wide spectrum of emotions and behavior, ranging from self-realization, denial and identity crisis. Aside from this amazing character development, he also embodies the loyal and trusting nature of a dog. The only problem with this movie is that this main character, with a story with so much potential for depth, was pushed to the background to make room for the annoying comic relief hamster and the funny-talking pigeons, making a movie that could have been absolutely splendid merely a great one. Still though, the scenes in which the furry main character, Bolt himself, is allowed to shine are the by far most touching. Particularly the puppy scene in the beginning and his unselfish bravery in the end, thus making this movie a most see for any self-acclaimed dog lover and anyone who wants to see a good animated film. And the way this character shows a contrast by his aggressive, delusional super-hero persona, and his sweet-natured, natural and loveable doggy-side, which is mostly seen when he is together with his owner Penny - the little girl to whom he directs all his considerable love and devotion - should make him an inspiring figure for children and adults alike. Full Review »