Bolt (Disney) – 2008 – PG
John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton, Malcolm McDowell, James Lipton, Greg Germann
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Summary & Lessons:
Adopted by Penny as a pup, Bolt believes that her father has genetically engineered him to be a super-dog, whose sole purpose is to protect his beloved girl. Bolt accepts his mission with passion. What Bolt doesn’t know, though, is that his whole world has been invented for the benefit of a television show, and that his every move is watched by millions.
When misfortune drops him off, alone, on the other side of the country, Bolt begins his heroic journey back home to protect Penny from the evil “Green Eyed Man”. Along the way, the “evil” cat that he kidnaps for the purpose, along with a star-struck hamster, teach Bolt who he really is, and how much better is to be a “regular” dog.
This film shows a lot of what goes on “behind the scenes” of a TV show. It also gives a wonderful perspective into what many people hold important (fame), as opposed to what is really important (family and friends). The life of an actor seems very attractive to most kids. After all, they seem to get love and attention from adoring fans, along with lots of money, and that appears to be a great life. This film has the courage to show the sacrifice that is demanded in order to become a star, and makes one wonder if it is worth the price. It also helps children realize that just because they see something on TV, doesn’t mean that it is true; and that the greatest heroes don’t actually have superpowers at all. They are created from “regular” people like you and me.
(If you have additional ideas on how this film can be used for educational purposes, please let us know in the comments.)
(Quotes Courtesy of IMDb: Bolt – IMDb)
Louie: Mark my words, Mittens. One day, someone’s gonna stand up to you! Someone’s gonna teach you a lesson!
Mittens: Yeah, I’m really scared now-
[Bolt jumps in and pins her to a garbage can]
Bolt: You should be!
Mittens: Aaah! Okay! You…!
Bolt: Where is she?
Mittens: Aaah… Who?
Bolt: You know why I’m here!
Bolt: Where is she?
Mittens: Okay, okay! Look buddy, I- I don’t know what you’re getting at, but…
[she looks up and sees Joey, Bobby and Vinnie laughing on a telephone wire]
Vinnie: Come on, Mittens. Just tell the guy where she is. Tell the dog, make him happy.
Bobby: Yeah, yeah, come on, Mittens! Tell him!
Mittens: [chuckles briefly] Joey, Vinnie, Bobby, my boys! Would you tell the crazy canine that he’s got the wrong cat?
Vinnie: [pause] You got her, pal!
Joey: That’s her!
Vinnie: She’s the one!
Joey: That is definitely the right cat!
[Mittens looks back at Bolt and laughs nervously]
Bolt: Looks like we’re gonna do this the hard way.
[cuts to Bolt hanging Mittens over a busy highway]
Mittens: Whoa! Aaah! You’re crazy, man!
[cuts to the pigeons, looking shocked]
Vinnie: Hey Joey, did we go to far on this?
Joey: You kidding? This is the best day of my life.
Bolt: Hmm… padlock.
[stares intensely at the lock while Mittens tries to get away]
Mittens: Listen Cujo, I got some pretty wicked claws under these mitts, do not, I beg of you, do not make me bring out these bad boys! It gets ugly!
[Bolt continues to stare at the padlock]
Mittens: What are you doing?
Bolt: Stay back! If I stare at the lock really hard, it’ll burst into flames and melt.
[Mittens stares at him for a second]
Mittens: Now I’m concerned on a number of levels.
Rhino: Let it begin! Let it begin! Let it begin!
Bolt: [about saving Mittens] I can’t do it.
Rhino: [shocked] Wha… What did you say?
Bolt: I can’t.
Rhino: What… Wha… wha… Who are you?
Bolt: Rhino, you just… just don’t understand.
Rhino: You are Bolt!
Bolt: But I’m not…
Rhino: Who singlehandedly destroyed the Green-Eyed Man’s undersea labs?
Bolt: Me, but…
Rhino: Yeah! And who foiled his plan to infiltrate the Olympics with gymnastics cyborgs? Who, Bolt, who? Who?
Bolt: Me! But none of it was…
Rhino: You! You CAN, Bolt, because all over this planet, there are animals who feel like they can’t. Like a little hamster who once spent his days in an RV park, dreaming of the day when he, too, would save a little girl from danger and be told: “You did it. You did it, Rhino! You saved the day.” They need a hero, Bolt! Someone who, no matter what the odds, will do what’s right. They need a hero to tell them that sometimes the impossible can become possible… if… you’re… awesome!
Rhino: Ring, ring! Who’s there? Destiny? I’ve been expecting your call.
Mittens: [about people] They pretend they’re going to always be there for you, and then one day they pack up and move away and take their love with them, and leave their declawed cat to fend for herself! They leave her, wondering what she did wrong.
Mittens: [Bolt is leaving the studio lot after witnessing his owner working with another dog due to his absence] Hey Wags!
Bolt: Mittens? What are you doing here?
Mittens: Eh, long story short I was tied to a delusional dog and dragged across the country, but that is not important. Now the real question is, what are you doing here and why aren’t you in there?
Bolt: You were right about her, Mittens, she, uh, well… it wasn’t real.
Mittens: No, Bolt, it is real, I was in there just now, I saw her face after you left. She’s brokenhearted, she doesn’t want just any dog, she loves you. She’s your person, Bolt, and you are her dog.