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Bolt Trailer

And here’s the newly released trailer for Disney’s Bolt.

  • Dogma_addict

    Wow Amid! I must commend you on your restraint! But I agree with you; this trailer speaks for itself.

  • phil


  • God, I am so bored with 3D human characters that all look the same. I don’t know if it’s the design, or something that the medium adds but they just look the same. Always the same. Makes me want to bang my head on the table.

    But I won’t.

    Also really don’t like the design of the dog but, man, I’m a sucker for an animated canine and there’s some really nice movement here and I can’t imagine they’d have had an easy time trying to motion capture that stuff. And I love the look of the pigeons. They have a look of their own and that’s great. They aren’t trying to be 3D versions of 2D design, somewhere I think 3D often falls down on. They are 3D funny-looking pigeons.

    But those humans. If someone said to me that they could end 3D animated humans for good but it would mean the whole animation industry would collapse and I’d have to retrain as a bartender or chef or, like, IT guy or something, I’d do it.

  • MattSullivan

    Looks..not too shabby. Humans need work as always. but..I’ll hold off on giving an actual opinion until I see it ( if I see it )

  • Well this looks no worse than a million other CG movies and significantly better than many.

  • Actually, it doesn’t look too bad. I may even see it in the theaters. The human character designs look a little odd to me, but other than that, it looks pretty cute. . . . .though I wish Chris Sanders was still on the project. :/ Ah well.

  • Carlos

    Collective meh. Wacky trio go on a wacky adventure. Well, seems better than space chimps.

  • Hah Ha HAH!!
    Yeah. Whoopee! Hooray for Disney…

    That thing looks like a a steaming pile. At least its accurately described as “A new Disney comedy event”.

  • Vintage Season

    Haven’t we seen that little girl before… in The Incredibles?

  • Considering how offensive I found the trailers for Chicken Little and Home on the Range this one actually doesn’t look half bad and don’t forget that Disney has an impeccable ability to make a trailer as “marketable” as possible making the movie seem worse than it actually is.

    The trailer for Enchanted made the movie look like a mindless family comedy movie but actually the humor was quite a playful and smart parody of early Disney films. Or how about the highly derivative trailer Dreamworks had for Kung Fu Panda? I mean how many times has the song “Kung Fu Fighting” and “Battle without Honor or Humanity” been used in ironically in a trailer? I still believe Bolt has a chance of being quite good despite the entire Chris Sanders controversy.

  • Sean D.

    I actually thought the trailer looked great- I’m now excited about a movie that I couldn’t have cared less about before. Good job Disney Marketing!

    Nice choice of images, Amid… for flamebait.

  • Brandon Cordy

    It actually doesn’t look that bad. You didn’t have to pick the worst-looking frame out of the entire trailer to illustrate the post, though. LOL.

    The only thing I’m _really_ mad about are that the Disney folks’ve managed to rip the Goodfeathers and Rita (if not Runt) off from “Animaniacs” and thought we wouldn’t notice. L.

  • FP

    CG kids lately resemble the stop-motion Myerberg/Bunin KINEMINS from the 1950s.

    See the Kinemin Green Giant:

  • I saw the trailer before Wall-E last night.

    It looks fun. I liked the hamster.

    Judging from the trailer, Bolt seems to have the same self-awareness problem that Buzz Lightyear has at the beginning of ToyStory.

  • Yeah, I think I actually like what I see here. Okay so the humans look like generic CG humans, sure, but they’re also not the stars of the show.

    I couldn’t help but be a bit disturbed by the hamster dryhumping his ball at the end though. And @Brandon, I noticed the Rita and the Goodfeathers similarities as well.

  • The Vok

    It’s clearly not for me, but it looks a lot better than I expected. If there were more bits like “Superbark! Superbark!”, I might be up for it, but it looks in general to skew quite young.

  • That film has a great idea, and lots of funny gags. Too bad it got screwed up with clichéd voice acting and by directing it just like they animate every damn thing.

  • It definitely doesn’t look like the worst film in the world, but I still wish they didn’t kick Chris Sanders off the film. His designs & characters looked a lot of fun.

  • sickboy says

    To paraphrase ‘Trainspotting’s Sickboy: No, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. And in your heart you kind of know that although it looks all right, it’s actually just… shite.
    In spite of all the trash spoken here about ‘Kung Fu Panda’, my wife and I noticed that it had some great moments of character tics that were very well executed, and some refreshingly original experimentation with the nonverbal acting, rather than the five stock facial features you usually see in CG. Now, that kind of artistry only comprised maybe 20% of KFP’s total output — but that’s 20% more than I think is going to be shown in this picture. Judging from the trailer (GASP,goodlordno), yes, but also trying to project anything interesting or original onto these ciphers… I don’t see it happening.

  • IKR

    Story – Okay, but needs work
    John Travolta as Bolt – Retardishly bad choice
    Miley Cyrus – Better as HM, dosent work for animated movies
    The trailer itself – It’s all right, but not so impressive.

  • Hey–no fart, burp, or snot jokes (in the trailer at least)!

  • MG

    I’m so not watching this movie…

    I hope that when The princess and the frog will do better than the latest 3D efforts something is going to change…for the better

  • My son and I sat through at least 20 minutes of crap trailers…this was one of them. I’ve never seen him roll his eyes at so many “new” films.

    It got to be a bit of a joke between the two of us…I think that stupid Chihuahua film though was worse the the trailer for Bolt…though even my 11 year old rolled his eyes at Bolt.

  • Sam Howard

    Bizarre that Disney with a zillion dollars couldn’t do Rita and Runt and the Goodfeathers better than Warners did over a decade ago for a hell of a lot less. Maybe it’s supposed to be an inside nugget. If so, it should’ve stayed inside.

  • I definitly agree that the designs are pretty much generic, especially the dog, who’s the protagonist, and specially if we remember how Chris Sanders’ character was in the earlier concepts… even the text titles are boring in this trailer.

    BUT I still find the main idea for the story interesting (TV Vs Real Life), tough it seems to be a kind of “Truman” remake for children. Yet it feels like some (little) of the ‘good’ thing about the movie remains, and to me it’s more appealing than the “Robinsons”.

  • Pedro Nakama

    This looks a lot like a film called “Firehouse Dog” that was out last year and flopped.

  • Mark Morgan

    I hate to say this, but the thing that bothers me about this film is the same thing that bothered me about ‘A Bug’s Life’ and ‘Cars’. In other words, I’ve seen this movie before. Cars stole its plot for Doc Hollywood and its ending from Cool Runnings; A Bugs Life stole its plot from the Three Amigos (But then so did Galaxy Quest (And ‘The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space’ for that matter)).

    This movie looks like its borrowing a lot from Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear character. I’m not saying its going to be bad. I’ll probably even see it, but I will say this. For all the hoopla over John Lasseter, I enjoyed ‘Lilo and Stitch’ a hundred times more than I ever enjoyed Toy Story or any of his other films. I think Chris Sanders is one of the great unsung geniuses of the current animation business and left to his own devices (which will never happen because I’m pretty sure that Satan and the Almighty Snow Demons control Hollywood in a joint partnership that was first set up by Michael Eisner’s lawyer’s evil twin brother).

    Anyway, if Chris were just given half a chance he could one day be as great as the much lauded (and rightfully so) Brad Bird.

    And just for the record, even though he is ripping off his own characters, I also get more enjoyment out of Chris’s web comic Kiskaloo than I do any of Lasseters films.

    P.S. I’m pretty sure I’m misspelling Lasseter and I honestly don’t care.

    Long Live Chris Sanders! May the nails never fall from his toes!

  • I think the choice to NOT go with the Chris Sanders designs was truly foolsish. They were rich and warm and fun. These characters are just ugly and generic looking. Yes, there is some good movement but so what? It’s a stale lost dog story. Just because photo realism can be (somewhat)acheived with CG, why do the creators of animated films feel the need to exploit those capabilities? Why not, I don’t know, do something new?

  • Hmm… I feel really bad for Mr. Sanders right now.

  • Mac

    I’ll go and see this. It looks like it could be fun plus my local cinema’s got the gimmick of 3d and I’ll get to see the new Disney short. However, it looks like the next in a long line of Disney films with a troubled production that wound up just being just kinda O.K. This one’s suffering from too many similar ideas – animals running round a city to find a girl called Penny (Oliver and Company), deluded fictional hero (Buzz Lightyear), cat character who thinks she’s too smart for said hero, but tags along to help (Rita). I wish Chris Sanders had just been allowed to carry out American Dog without interference. We’d have got something very different plus the unique characters would have made a ton of money in merchandise so everyone would be happy.

  • Adding to the sense of deja vu is the use of Junkie XL’s remix of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation”, which has become modern day lazy musical cue on a par with Yello’s “The Race” & “Oh Yeah”.

  • Quiet_Desperation

    A Bugs Life stole its plot from the Three Amigos

    I thought it was a Seven Samurai retelling?

  • Hmmmnnn. I liked the bit at the beginning, I wouldn’t mind seeing an irony-free film about a girl and genetically engineered dog saving the world every once in a while.

  • matt Tamaru

    The audience responded very well to this trailer kids and adults both cracking up.

    I love Chris’s style though.

  • Fatazz

    I think the fact that there’s no things like breakdancing chickens or dinosaurs in this trailer is a good sign. I look forward to seeing it.

  • Note to designers: Mullets look awful, especially on girls.

  • I won’t enjoy this movie, but I will probably see it in theaters, because my son seemed excited. When it comes to bad kids movies, there are only a few reasons to go – cheap laughs, gluttony for punishment, or parental obligation.

    At least there might be a cartoon or something. Didn’t someone say a short might preceed the film? I don’t remember.

  • If I was Sanders, I’d be considering suicide right about now.

  • slowtiger

    Benji meets True Lies, or what?
    Dog and all humans: UGLY.
    Cat and hamster: interesting.
    Voices: Thanx for german dubbing, it’s hopefully not so over-dramatic.
    Story: who cares for story? I want to be entertained, I want to laugh so much that I leave the cinema completely breathless. Any chance for that?

  • Why did John kick Chris off the project why? That’s what I want to know! This just seems so Dreamworks like.

  • drmedula

    Ummm…for the record, BUG’S LIFE stole it’s story from SEVEN SAMURAI. Maybe instead of complaining about Hollywood, you might want to watch a wider variety of movies now and then…

  • rachel

    I actually don’t think it looks too bad–but maybe that’s only because I just watched the Desperaux trailer.

  • Gobo

    The humans in the screencap above look horrendous.

    That said, the Bolt character is very appealing, his friends have unique and eye-catching character designs, and this trailer was greeted with a lot of laughter (mostly from the insane hamster) when I saw it with WALL•E.

  • Damon R

    The film looks like it could be a harmless 90 minutes at the theatre, sometimes that’s okay.

    Just a little side note to Mark Morgan A Bug’s Life and Three Amigos owe a debt to The Seven Samurai.

  • I liked it better during the first part, when the action/adventure thing seemed real. I think it would probably be more entertaining that way. I love the design of the villain guy. But the gags in the other part seem a little meh and the hamster has the potential to become a little irritating. The character design is cute but a little generic. Doesn’t seem too bad but I’m not exactly excited about it.

  • Dan

    I guess Buzz Lightyear was too busy to play this role. But, at least it’s a solid idea that should please even the cynics like myself. I’ll hold off any opinion until I go and see it.

  • Charles K.

    The first part of trailer caught my attention for the story more than anything else, and then we got the truth. Nice animation that doesn’t seem to move the game along and a sub-Pixar plot to boot. I won’t judge based on a trailer, but it only makes me wonder what might have been.

  • tom stazer

    UGH, i say. Very worrisome. It looked better than Chihauha, but then, so did the popcorn stuck to the theater foor.

    It looks horribly generic, and yes waaayyyy to familiar. But as noted by others, if Pixar films were as weak as their trailers, well..

    Cars is for me the low point of pixar output; almost unwatchable. Bolt looks like a one-view-and-forget, like Meet the Robinsons.

  • So yesterday, me and my girlfriend go see Wall.E.

    The Bolt trailer comes on. The trailer’s finished and I look at her only to find she’s just as angered by the deragatorily daft storyline and character. The trailer was awful. And I’d be ashamed to my underwear if I was the one in charge who scrapped Chris Sanders.

  • Andrew

    of COURSE you chose to post the screenstill with the ugliest character models in the trailer.

    Well, I will say it looks better than I was expecting. BUT I had very low expectations.

    The hamster actually looks very well-animated and designed once you see him in motion. The pigeons and the villain looks especially fun to watch. But the story, and the rest of the look, is mediocure and bland.

  • Gerry

    That looks MUCH better than the original american dog. I’d seen a screening of the story reels at Disney and it was a TOTAL mess. At least this one looks coherant. And finally, the main character looks like a DOG.

  • PorkyMills

    I won’t pretend to be unbiased and say this looks good – it doesn’t, especially when you’ve seen what it could have been. Lilo & Stitch was one of the best Disney movies ever, even Hayao Miyazaki named it his favourite Disney movie – and it really showed Sanders had what it takes. But American Dog looked leagues better than Sander’s last work. The few paintings I’ve seen of it look remarkably more edgier, funnier and truly original. Plus, I had a feeling that Bolt wouldn’t compare to the cat with the eye-patch, and I’ve been proven right. Bolt is just another Disney CG disaster, a marketing product in other words (Miley Cyrus alone will ensure the success of this movie, regardless of its quality).

  • Paul N

    I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you – to see that so many people here are willing to dump on a film based on the trailer…

  • Although I still feel strongly about the fact that Disney should be concentrating on no-nonsence fairytale features like Rapunzel, I do think that the concept and the trailer for Bolt are pretty awsome.

    I do hope that Bolt stays in his original mindset instead of “discovering what the world is really about”, because it would be too much of a Buzz Lightyear story if that would be the case.

    Anyhoo, I’m looking forward to see it.

  • Tom D.

    daryl t. asked. “…Why did John kick Chris off the project why? That’s what I want to know!…”

    daryl, some people here have been quick to point out that chris sanders was not “kicked off” the american dog project. he was simply told by lasseter that the project was too quirky and too personal, and that major changes needed to be made.

    in other words, though shall not make graven images in your likeness (sanders), but in my likeness (lasseter)

    this is from wikipedia about lasseter’s early days in the field of animation:

    “…Lasseter later obtained a job as an animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation…Lasseter and Thomas L. Wilhite decided they wanted to make a… feature…The story they chose was The Brave Little Toaster by Thomas Disch, but in their enthusiasm, they unknowingly stepped on some of their direct superiors’ toes by going around them in their effort to get the project into motion. One of them, the animation administrator Ed Hansen[1] disliked it so much that when Lasseter and Wilhite tried to sell the idea to him and Ron Miller, which they at that time were already aware of, they turned it down. A few minutes after the meeting, Lasseter received a phone call from Hansen and was asked to come down to his office, where John was told that his job had been terminated. The Brave Little Toaster would later become a 2D animated feature film directed by one of John’s friends, Jerry Rees…”

    of course, this is just speculation, but it’s not hard to IMAGINE (i said imagine, mind you) that lasseter was bitter about the firing, and vowed that one day HE’D be the big shot who got to throw his weight around and squash some young “punk’s” dreams.

    artist al capp started his career in comic strips working for ham fisher. capp often bitterly complained that fisher treated him very badly. despite this, when capp found himself in a position of power he treated his employees just as badly as fisher had treated him.

    point being, it’s possible that lasseter behaved in a similar fashion towards sanders.

    yes, i am only speculating here, but what happened between lasseter and sanders IS somewhat similar to what happened between lasseter and ed hansen.

  • I didn’t understand why the character models look so much like something Pixar made, and yet Pixar’s name is nowhere to be seen in the trailer. Perhaps Disney’s 3D animation studios now have access to Renderman and all of Pixar’s resources? It occurs to me that we didn’t see a teaser for the next Pixar film amidst all the trailers; I can’t remember the last time that happened.

    Bolt looks cute I guess. You know, for kids!

  • acetate

    Apparently Lasseter is fresh out of new ideas, hence the ripping off of his own Buzz Lightyear character. The bloom is off the rose folks. Might be time to look for a wider talent pool outside of the John Lasseter sandbox. I’ve talked to plenty of people from this board who have alot of wonderfully inventive ideas for characters and films. Give the newbies a break once in awhile.

  • Dan

    Ummm…for the record, drmedula, before you come off as a film snob maybe you should watch a wider varieties of movie first.

    Bug’s Life is a copy of a copy which is to say that, it’s more like Three Amigos than Seven Samurai because Amigos was the same plot, they save the day but are there by mistake, a misunderstanding. Movie actors, to circus actors.

    Where as in Seven Samurai the ronin (masterless samurai) show up because they are actually there to save the village.

    Actually if you want to be more film snobby you could say that the Three Amigos is spoof on the Magnificent Seven which is a remake of the Seven Samurai. And if we want to be nice we could say that Bug’s Life was paying homage to all of them.

    On the American Dog tip. Chris Sanders is clearly a better character designer than what they have going on in Bolt. I wish Bolt was still his movie, right or wrong I feel like I’d at least be walking into something a little new instead of a rehash.

  • jon

    Acetate is right, this is total Buzz Lightyear all over again. I think the atmosphere effects look fantastic, but all the character designs look half assed compared to Sanders work. This movie looks like it plays things too safely.

  • Tom D. – Do you have some kind of magical crystal ball?
    Are you actually in a position to speculate on such nonsense?
    What a bunch of nonsense.
    This whole thing with this Chris Sanders fellow has taken on mythic proportions.

  • Well….I guess we’re getting there. The look of the film isn’t so bad. It’s not great, but its not bad. I am sure this would have looked totally different with Chris Sanders. But I won’t take on any mythic proportions as Mr. Cowan says. With this trailer, only time will tell what it will be like.

  • Well, it’s definitely not gonna be the next Lion King.. Or even the next Brother Bear for that matter. Heh… I miss the old designs.

  • jpox

    Looks terrible. The designs are very drab and uninspiring.

    Looks like the hamster is the big “comedy relief” for the film much like Shrek’s Donkey. Although the hamster’s rational thinking that being in a hamster ball makes him indestructible cracked me up. Other that that, based on the trailer, “eech…”.

    I too, miss Chris Sander’s original designs!

  • Jo

    Adding my voice to the choir of “not interested”.

  • JasonJ

    “in other words, though shall not make graven images in your likeness (sanders), but in my likeness (lasseter)”

    No, the film was a total MESS. That’s a fact, and anyone who’s seen it would have to agree. It did not make any sense, and did not connect with anyone who saw it. The designs were all over the place, and although a few more passes might have made them identifiable with audiences, nothing could help the story.

    Unless the director of “Lilo and Stitch,” Dean Dubois, had helped sort out the story. Oh, Chris Sanders was the co-director. Without Dean, that film would have been a mess as well.

    When millions of dollars are being spent on films intended to reach the widest possible audience, decisions like this are going to happen. That Sanders couldn’t take it and quit is his problem, not Disney’s.

  • PorkyMills

    > No, the film was a total MESS. That’s a fact, and anyone who’s seen it would have to agree. It did not make any sense, and did not connect with anyone who saw it. The designs were all over the place, and although a few more passes might have made them identifiable with audiences, nothing could help the story.

    I really doubt what you say has any truth in it, and your observations sound more subjective than definitive, even though you reinforce the message of the design’s incompetence throughout your post as a fact. Sander’s designs were appreciated by many fans, here and on his own website. Lilo & Stitch had his stamp all over it, and it gained critical acclaim and commercial success. I doubt that in its early stages, American Dog was an excercise in futility in terms of quality animation, as you put it. Disney is in no short supply of talented animators, writers or directors – all of whom could have been put to task to manage the project or re-tool parts of it. Even if it was ultimately Sander’s decision to leave, I do not trust that his designs were as useless as you make them out to be, especially considering their potential as recognized by animation fans, his previous excellence in a highly-regarded Disney feature and the potential for exceeding his abilities with American Dog.

  • What would happen if you combined “The Incredibles”,(design) Krypto the Superdog”(character idea), “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey”(talking animals on a quest), “The Truman Show” (plot device) “Inspector Gadget” (Spy stuff, smart girl named Penny) and Animaniacs’ “Rita & Runt” (dog with female cat sidekick)? Add an Elvis remix to the soundtrack (check!) and you’ve got…”Bolt”!

  • Jason

    *That looks MUCH better than the original american dog. I’d seen a screening of the story reels at Disney and it was a TOTAL mess. At least this one looks coherant. And finally, the main character looks like a DOG.*

    Well, I never saw any story reels, but I’ve seen the original character designs, and I have to agree with the other Jason – Chris Sander’s dog didn’t look like a dog. It looked like a baby moose. Or maybe Dave Sim’s Cerebus the Aardvark with a bad nose job. It was truly weird, and I don’t think audiences would have bought his design as being a dog for one minute. I admit that when I saw stills of the new version, it too looked a bit odd, but now that I’ve seen it animated, it’s kind of cute and still superior to Chris’ design IMO. And FWIW when I saw Wall*E at the movies today, people in the audience seemed to love the Bolt trailer. They laughed at everything. And I’ll probably go to see it now, whereas I had no plan to do so before.

    I could curse Disney though for that damn Chihuahua movie. Do the suits have any idea how bad such a piece of shite makes Disney look? I’ve suffered through BOTH trailers for that “film”, and both times everybody in the movie theatre groaned. If the suits were smart they’d shelve the thing or make it direct to DVD. Geez, Lasseter, do the right thing, put that puppy to sleep!

  • Ross W

    I’ll get to the Bolt trailer in a moment, but first-

    I think Lilo & Stitch is about as good as an animated film can get. It has been my 6 year old daughter’s favorite film since she was 2, so the number of times I have seen it has to be approaching triple digits. It holds up every time. I love the quirky storyline and characters, the design, the beautiful watercolor backgrounds, and the humor. I have been waiting for Disney animation to produce something that good ever since, and it hasn’t happened. At the same time, I have been looking forward to next project from L&S’s co-director, co-writer, designer and voice actor, Chris Sanders. So, like a lot of Cartoon Brew’s readers, I was distressed when I read that he was removed from directing American Dog.

    But- I think the level of hero worship directed at Mr. Sanders here is overblown. In spite of Pixar’s public relations pushing directors as auteurs, most animated films, like almost all films, are collaborations of many, many people. As good as Mr. Sanders may be, he did not make L&S- or any other future film he will direct- by himself (ask Dean DeBlois). It kind of makes me long for the days when Disney films were fairly anonymous affairs (quick- name the director of Dumbo).

    Bolt deserves to be judged on it’s own merits- not the wish fulfillment fantasies of people who want history to have occurred differently.

    Now about the trailer-

    It looks as if it will be about as good of a film as Valiant. Still waiting…

  • PorkyMills

    > Well, I never saw any story reels, but I’ve seen the original character designs, and I have to agree with the other Jason – Chris Sander’s dog didn’t look like a dog. It looked like a baby moose.

    Based on your description, you seem to be confusing the characters. The moose was a separate character, the titular dog looked distinctly like a dog. For reference, here are the two pictures which clearly demonstrate their differences.

    The Moose:

    The Dog:

  • JG

    Darn it…

    Not fair…

    I had a nifty joke about it being horrible ready just before watching the trailer…

    It’s not bad! Looks like the story should be entertaining. Though the designs are still boring. Sanders atleast did some experimenting in terms of look.

  • Tom D.

    “…And finally, the main character looks like a DOG…”

    walter lantz made millions of dollars and his star creation is loved the world over, despite the fact that woody looked nothing like a woodpecker.

  • Jason

    Oh, sorry, Porky, you’re right. But the pics and sketches with the baby moose were the ONLY ones I saw and somehow I got the idea that the moose was the dog!

    I have to admit that they do resemble each other a bit, though…and that the “new” Bolt is still far better-looking…

    And for the record, I loved Lilo and Stitch. It’s one of my fave Disney films. I’m not bashing Chris Sanders, but I’m willing to give this new Bolt a chance, based on this new trailer. It looks pretty good.

  • Dan

    Isn’t there some kind of thread etiquette? I”m the original “Dan” that astutely pointed out that Buzz Lightyear must have been too busy for this gig. The same idea that Acetate came up with later and was credited for. And then, Another Dan comes along and uses my same “handle” with remarks that I wouldn’t have come up with. Whatever. I saw the Bolt trailer in all it’s glory yesterday and it’s kind of sad that Disney appears to try and emulate what Pixar has done. If they are going to have success in CG, they are going to have to find themselves as Dreamworks seams to have done.

  • Barbara

    Okay, at last we have concrete proof that studios hire big names for their star power and not voice talent…because Miley Cyrus sounds like a 30 year old chain smoker in animated form.

  • xexus


    Just so you know, that IS the dog. The person’s description was right. That’s not a moose, that’s American Dog.

    And I haven’t seen the reels, but a friend worked there and did. His story jibes with the description as a mess. He said it was interesting looking, but the story was hard to follow and very confusing. He wished Sanders had been able to stay on it, but agreed that his story wasn’t working.

  • It will be interesting to see if the love most Brew readers have for Chris Sanders transfers to his new film at Dreamworks, which most Brew readers seem to hate. I’ll be popping the popcorn for those threads! :)

  • Alusa

    Bolt looks like a puppy or adolescent to me. Is he really supposed to be a full-grown dog? It’s freaking me out that a puppy-like character has the voice of an adult like John Travolta. Stupid decision #23!

  • Something Red

    Despite the ordinariness of the character designs or the Seen-that-in Pixar-and-any-other-3d-films overall look of the film, I’d have to admit that I’m super excited to see this film. I love Chris Sander’s work and especially his Lilo and Stitch — I’m sad with the fact that he’s booted out of his own creation, and obviously, I would love to see his original vision of the film, but to my surprise, after seeing the trailer, I’m actually excited to see this version too.

    I love Wall-E and all of the other recent Pixar films, but when I watch them in theaters, I couldn’t help but noticed and felt sad that the adults enjoyed them more than the kids. I think & hope this film would bring that balance back — I hope this would do what Toy Story 1 & 2 had done. Timeless, good storytelling and great characters for all generations — of course, they all call me naive… :)

  • Charlie

    I’ll join ya Floyd!

  • P.C. Unfunny

    Watch out Monster House, your title of “Ugliest Humans in an Animated Feature” may be contended.

  • Baron Lego

    So… the film is about a dog who THINKS he’s a super canine out to save his master from a kidnapping scheme that actually hasn’t happened? Hmmm.

    I mean, wouldn’t it be more interesting if the same dog had to legitimately save his master from a REAL abduction plot? I actually preferred the genetically-enhanced dog idea at the beginning of the trailer, admittedly.

    Oh, and kudos to Disney for blowing a portion of the budget on securing John Travolta’s flat and uninteresting voice for the lead role. Nicely done.

  • Tom D.

    Floyd Bishop wrote “…It will be interesting to see if the love most Brew readers have for Chris Sanders transfers to his new film at Dreamwork…”

    my guess would be NO. at dreamworks sanders has taken over a project that was started by aardman studios. aardman’s art and story telling is so different from sander’s that i don’t think the two will mix well. even the basic story idea doesn’t sound like something that would be sander’s cup of tea.
    hopefully i’ll be wrong.

  • What in god’s name was Lassetter thinking when he said Sander’s idea was too personal and quirky? What the fuck is wrong with those two qualities??

  • i think the chris sanders ‘moose’ looks much better than the dog in the trailer.

    actually…wouldn’t it be a better movie altogether if it were a moose instead of a dog?

  • marcd

    can someone tell the rest of us WHAT the project is that Chris is doing over at DW’s?? Thanks!

  • rhinotonight

    i can see this being just a disney film. nothing special, i laughed at the hamster, and the pigeons were funny. travolta as bolt? creepy.

  • Roberto

    If the story wasn’t working , couldn’t they just change it A LITTLE BIT instead of doing something entirely new? I know this has happened before and maybe sometimes for the best (Emperor’s New Groove), but seriously, did they have to change the designs that much? I agree the moose/dog design was a little weird but it looked original too. And in some of the other pictures he did look like a dog. On the other hand why can’t we have the mutant rabbit and the cat with a patch in his eye? Those seemed fairly more interesting than these other characters. The kitten here seems fairly generic in her behaviour even though I like her design. The hamster has good facial expressions but he doesn’t seem so funny.

    I mean, even if the guns and cigars were too “adult” or something and they needed to make it a little more childish to get some profit I still believe they could have kept SOMETHING from the original look and concept.

  • Dave

    “I agree the moose/dog design was a little weird but it looked original too. And in some of the other pictures he did look like a dog. ”

    Folks , you’re so earnestly discussing early concept art , not final designs. If Chris Sanders had stayed on the project the final character design would have looked like a dog (a fun, quirky Chris Sanders-ish dog, no doubt) . No one has really seen what the final Sanders version would have looked like. But that is over , it was over a long time ago, so get over it. Take “Bolt” on it’s own merits , not what “might have been” . Personally, I love Sanders’ “quirky” design sense in everything he draws, but his drawing style would inevitably be evened-out and bland-ized as it moved through the CG pipeline.

  • This kind of thing happens all the time. No good guys — no bad guys–just business.

    Some years ago, I worked on a film called, “Sweating Bullets.” It one day morphed into, “Home on the Range.” The “suits” made the call.

    Actually, I prefer personal and quirky. Big shots and big time corporations like to play it safe. After all, who wants to risk 80 million bucks? I would– but I’m crazy.

  • MattSullivan

    I showed the Bolt trailer to a non-animator friend, then showed him Chris Sanders’ development art.

    My friend liked Disney’s version better. He thought the new dog was “cuter”. Now, we animators will be the first to support our colleagues and their artistic ambitions, but we can’t always predict how an audience will react. The BOLT trailer got a positive reaction every time I saw WALL*E ( all four times )

    That said, I still love Chris Sanders amazing work.

  • Anybody else look at the villain and think, “Jafar?”

  • elan

    Can we at least clarify one thing?

    John Lasseter and the Walt Disney Animation Studio has absolutely nothing to do with Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

  • Badjoojoo

    The reason the dog looks like a moose in that painting is that he’s nose to nose with a glowing, radioactive bunny. The distinction between the black dog nose and the brown muzzle gets lost because of this, resulting in a painting that makes the dog look kind of like a moose. So it’s more a quirk of that particular painting than the actual character design.

    As for Bolt’s character designs, there’s nothing technically wrong with them. In fact, as far as the CG humans go, they actually look better than most. The problem they do have, however, is their blandness. I recall hearing about how for Brad Bird, it was a big fight to give the boy in Family Dog messed up (or missing) kid teeth. Same with Hogarth’s crooked teeth and cowlick in Iron Giant and Mr. Incredible’s receding hairline in The Incredibles. Real people have quirks and that makes them interesting (John Kricfaluci talked about this in a blog entry about kid character design in animation; maybe someone can link to that article…I don’t know how to make links). But certain people (mostly suited types, I’d reckon), have a problem with quirk, and much love for the bland…the “cleaning up” and “averaging out” of things…so much so that they often insist on it…resulting in the type of design you see in Bolt, Meet the Robinson’s and Everybody’s Hero… not bad design per se…just bland.

    The same can be said about the bland lighting and composition: overly bright, “perfect” lighting, lots of cutting rather than letting a scene play out in a wide shot, over-emphasis on close-ups, no long lens shots, no characters silhouetted or standing in shadows or out of focus, no colored lighting…just blandness.

    Of course, this is nothing new. Throughout history, the Ward and June Cleaver blanding of everything (in various incarnations over the years) has been the holy grail of certain people, whether it be in films or TV or advertising, writing, photography, art…whatever.

    Blandness is one point of view, but not the only one. The question is whether or not that view gets a monopoly on the lens through which people see art. But I wonder why any artist should have to FIGHT just to get some crooked teeth on a cartoon kid, or a receding hairline, or why an unconventional looking cartoon dog design should cost you your job.

    All that said, a movie should ultimately be judged on it’s story and not on the way it looks. But when the design, casting, photography and everything else that you can immediately see are united by single aesthetic (that is to say, bland) why should you have any faith that the story will be any different?

  • This blog points out some of the character similarities to Animaniacs that jumped out when watching the trailer:

  • “All that said, a movie should ultimately be judged on it’s story and not on the way it looks.”

    Yeah, but it’s a movie.
    It’s something you go and LOOK at for two hours.
    It should certainly be judged on the way it looks, especially on an animation related forum.

  • Tom D.

    marcd says:
    can someone tell the rest of us WHAT the project is that Chris is doing over at DW’s?? Thanks!

    this from wikipedia:

    Crood Awakening is an upcoming animated film being produced by DreamWorks Animation. The original script was co-written by John Cleese and Kirk DeMicco, and the project began as a coproduction with Aardman Animations. On October 3, 2006 (a month before the release of Flushed Away), it was reported that DreamWorks and Aardman would not be continuing their production and distribution deal due to “creative differences.” [1] Aardman later announced that they would no longer have any involvement with the production of Crood Awakening following the split. [2] In March 2007, DreamWorks announced that the film will be directed by Chris Sanders, who will likely be doing a significant rewrite of the script.[3]
    The film is expected to be released in November 2009.

  • Garth

    The pigeons in Bolt don’t remind ME of that horrible show animaniacs. There is no comparison. And no likeness whatsoever. How ridiculously silly.

  • Yargle

    Now to call the kettle black… the entire thing reminded me of Animaniacs in tone and characters (Buttons and Mindy, Goodfeathers), and it looked like the kind of thing I would’ve loved, nay, adored as a kid, but kind of wince at now. Much like the animaniacs actually.

    For Chris Sanders being fired though, I guess I expected something mindblowing. Like a justification. I really wish all of this would be demystified.

    Kids will love this though.
    Like Madagascar. Kids will watch that until their eyeballs melt.

  • Badjoojoo said:
    “All that said, a movie should ultimately be judged on it’s story and not on the way it looks.”

    While an animated movie can have a really good story and characters I will absolutely judge it on how it looks. Bland character/backgrounds/lighting designs bored me senseless in Meet the Robinsons and I often can’t get into an anime series (which is pretty much all about story and character rather than animation) if the character designs rub me the wrong way, no matter how good the story/characters are.

  • Badjoojoo

    I think I need to clarify the point I was trying to make: when you see a FINISHED FILM you get the complete story, but when you see it’s TRAILER you get primarily the visuals, but not much of the story. So in a TRAILER, visuals are almost the only thing you have to go on, so its ONLY RIGHT that you judge a trailer by its visuals. And when all the other visual and non-visual elements share a common aesthetic–blandness–it’s reasonable to deduce that the story will probably be bland as well. I suppose I wrote awkwardly, and it probably should have said something more along the lines of “ultimately, a film should be judged as a whole and not just by it’s trailer, BUT…(and it’s a big “but”)”

    I certainly didn’t want to give anyone the impression that I don’t think visuals matter in animated films, because that’s almost the opposite of what I actually believe, and was trying to get across (jesus, I’m a concept and storyboard artist, for cryin’ out loud).

  • MattSullivan

    I think the only similarity between these pigeons and the Goodfeathers is the fact there are three f them and they speak in a New York accent.

    I already like the BOLT pigeons better because they were actually FUNNY, whereas the Goodfeathers was an always unfunny parody of a rated R gangster movie that very few children would know. So really, I don’t understand why so many feathers are getting ruffled ( pun intended )

    Take a closer look at the trailer in HD. There’s some damn fine background work in this film. Some real nice pastel-ish nature that really does distinguish itself from Disney’s usual fake looking CG “nature”

  • Mac

    Seeing the pigeons up close, in the trailer, the faces are unique and funny and I really like how successfully the stupidity of real pigeons has been captured (not unlike the staring eyes and movements of Chicken Boo). However, it’s a group of three pigeon characters who are the same colours as the Goodfeathers, so comparisons are going to be drawn (especially when in the first preview they were only seen at a distance).

    I did notice the soft backgrounds in the trailer, and the film does seem to have a slightly different look to other CG films. It didn’t seem quite as painterly as I’d expected from what I’d heard about this film, but so many shots went by so quickly in that trailer, it was kind of hard to register things properly. It’s possible the whole thing will look a lot better when viewing whole scenes rather than a frantic series of very brief glimpses.

  • Spokeshave

    Hay! Phil, how old are you? FIVE! Wow!!!! This is awsome…….. Jeez, pass me the revolver and put me out of Bolt’s misery. Another nail in the coffin of animation!

  • phil

    I am 6, and that is no way to talk to a 5 or 6 year old…