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Bolt vs. Hercules Posters

Hercules posterCelbi Pegoraro noticed on his blog Animation-Animagic.com that the poster for Disney’s upcoming Bolt bears a striking resemblance to the thunderbolt poster designs of Disney’s Hercules.

Bolt and Hercules Posters
  • You know what the difference between John Travolta and Miley Cyrus is?

    One of them’s not a product.

  • Thomas

    Is this the story of the plucky bolt of lightning who didn’t fit in with the other bolts of lightning but nevertheless went on to accomplish his unlikely dream?

  • Altred Ego
  • Keith

    Maybe it’s just me but, I don’t see a strong resemblance…

  • Just seeing Miley Cyrus’ name on that Bolt poster is enough for me to avoid all movie theaters come Thanksgiving.

  • Some Guy

    Probably a coincidence. Incidentally, the trepidation I feel for Bolt and the direction Lasseter and Disney is going in grows each day.

    Of course, this is also the man who ripped himself off when he remade The Brave Little Toaster as the two Toy Story movies. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

  • Some Guy

    Hey, Cartoon Brew, why do they call it Bolt?

    Because when you see it, you turn 360 degrees and bolt out.

  • JG

    The only similarity is that both feature the lighting bolt symbol (of different designs, however).
    Come on… It’s a lightning bolt… We’re used to seeing this symbol this way (diagonally right to left, often on an empty background). Arguably, both are ripping off “danger, electricity” signs.

    There’s some kind of ripoff paranoia floating around lately…

  • Oliver

    Looks to me like both of ’em ripped off Barry Allen.

  • OM

    …Actually, the Bolt one is so damn obvious a swipe of the Silver Age Flash logo that I’m surprised DC’s shysters haven’t jumped all over this one with the zeal of an ambulance chaser who’s just come across a 50-car pileup!

  • They both have a lightening bolt on them.
    True, that is very similar.
    Are you suggesting some kind of animation conspiracy.
    If so, what is it?
    If not, what’s the point exactly?

  • Those posters show two things:

    1. The guys at Disney are able to copy from the works of their colleagues, although they were more creative in the past

    2. Teaser posters from Disney always look better than their promotional counterparts. I really like those posters above, even the Bolt teaser. Simple, minimalistic, yet highly effective. Just compare them to the promotional poster for Hercules and you know what I mean. *shudder*

    Thanks for sharing this interesting bit of information.

  • Andrew

    The lightning both symbol has been used again and again in movies, comics (ZOT!), and clothing designs. It’s far from surprising.

  • BNicolucci

    Some Guy, if you turned 360 degrees, that would leave you facing in the same direction and would mean you were “bolting” back in to the theatre. Perhaps your subconscious wants to see this film. :p

  • elan

    “Is this the story of the plucky bolt of lightning who didn’t fit in with the other bolts of lightning but nevertheless went on to accomplish his unlikely dream?”

    Actually……………no it isn’t.

  • Killroy McFate


  • Masten

    Holy crap! Cartoon lightning bolts look like cartoon lightning bolts! Stop the presses!

  • So very tired.

    No kidding. Why is this an issue? And what is up with all the “Disney’s Bolt” dissing on here the last 7 years.
    I really hope this movie is fantastic and successful, so that every one will shut the hell up already.
    I applaud all the people at Disney working their asses off right now to make this the best movie it can be. Many are friends of mine I haven’t seen in a while due to their overtime. Thank goodness they probably don’t have the time to come here and read all negative comments about something they haven’t seen anything from yet.
    Gotta love blogs.

  • How come this poster for Bolt, like the last one, doesn’t show any of the characters.

    This movie doesn’t look like it’s gonna be good. And Disney marketing isn’t helping that.

  • Carl Dean

    The Hercules bolt is one day out of the closet.

  • Meanwhile, KAIBA.

  • Nathan Strum

    Wow… genius piece of hard-hitting animation news there.

    Clearly, Disney is doomed.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Miley Cyrus pulled a Hillary Duff and left Disney?

  • Nick

    Well, it’s always nice to see live action paying homage to animation in some shape or form.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Notice how BOLT is intent on putting the names of its actors up. All CG movies try to sell based on their voice actors…not so much the story.

  • IKR

    Yeah I know. It does look similar… and it’s not telling me anything about the story. It’s as weak as the poster for Gil Kenan’s upcoming movie “City of Ember”.

  • Jon Hanson

    Criticizing having the names of actors on the poster is silly, every movie with a name worth putting on the poster has that. Same reason every DVD case is covered with pictures of the actors rather than real art, it’s standard film marketing.

    Asa huge Chris Sanders fan I was disappointed by the turn this movie took for sure, but I’m still not licking my lips at the whiff of blood like all the haters around here.

  • Chris

    This poster and their marketing of the film so far is pretty interesting. No character shot, no description, just the names of the two “stars” of the movie and no one seems excited. Now look at the marketing for Wall-E, all character and story based and I don’t know one person who isn’t dying to see it. Especially little kids!! It’s not criticizing having the actors names on the poster but the lack of having anything else. The point of a teaser poster is to tease the audience with tantilizing bits of the movie so they want to see more! I’m sure Paul Felix or whoever the art director on the movie was could have come up with a way more evocative image that actually got people excited for the movie. Look at his awesome cover for that Rocket Johnson book! But no they thought it would be better to go with this and push the stars over character and story.

  • Baron Lego

    Miley Cyrus?!

    So… is Pixar taking cues from Dreamworks and just using anyone with a name to provide voice work for their films? Awesome.

  • Tom D.

    if we follow the nay sayer’s advice, and only say good things about every piece of animation made, it is only going to encourage producers to turn out bad product.

    this, in turn will glut the market with crap, which will be rejected by consumers. it will increase negative feelings towards animation, and will aid in animation’s demise.

    if we point out problems with the animation industry and their work, maybe someone will get the message and stop making the same old mistakes that they’ve been making almost as long as the art of animation has existed.


    that being said…

    i thought chicken little was a cute film. i thought meet the robinson’s was (all in all) well done and the 3d was excellent. the wild looked so bad that i couldn’t bring myself to go see it.

    as for bolt… what (we are told) lasseter did to sanders was unforgivable. my boss once told me that a management technique often used is for a new boss to pick out an “alpha male” in the office and fire him, just to show his dominance to the workers.
    we’ll never know the full story, but it sure SEEMS (i said seems) that lasseter did something very similar to this on sanders.
    also, every bit of preproduction work we’ve seen on bolt has been less than cutting edge.
    but who knows what the finished product will be.


    oh yeah, and those bolts really aren’t that similar.

  • Zep

    Tom D.-what were you told? By who?

    I haven’t heard anything like that from anyone close to the loop, just gossip and wild speculation on the internet. How valid do you think those stories are(hint: not in the least)?

    Besides, I have never heard that anyone was fired. They decided to leave which was their choice to make. They’ve moved on and so should we.

    As for this:
    “Yeah I know. It does look similar… and it’s not telling me anything about the story.”

    This is a teaser poster, nothing more. The movie is six months away. The trailer will be out in a week. Presumably that will tell more about the story-that Bolt is a dog, etc. Talk about leaping to conclusions based on so little. Come on!

  • Roberto

    Actually Bolt’s teaser poster reminds me more of The Incredibles because of the kind of colors they use.

    The movie doesn’t seem so bad looking at the scenes they have shown so far. Even the girl/boy looks more like a girl when you see her in motion.

    I thought Meet The Robinsons was pretty good, but Chicken Little was a great big mess. I’m expecting Bolt to be more like MTR and less like CL.

    Of course I was a lot more interested in Sanders´ vision,but that doesn’t mean the final product is going to be necessarily bad, just a little less original/more bland.

  • My guess is that the movie will be run into the ground up until it’s premiere. At that time, it will be the #1 film, everyone will enjoy it., and Amid will never post about it again… just like “Kung Fu Panda”. :)

  • If another person online addresses me, the viewer, as a surfer one more time, I’m just not even gonna go see this movie.

    But seriously, I hope it’s good. It looks too cookiecutter to be good, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

  • PaulN

    “the wild looked so bad that i couldn’t bring myself to go see it.”

    I didn’t see it in the theater either, but I did catch it on pay cable. I was surprised at how entertaining it was. The character designs aren’t to my taste, but the story wasn’t bad and it was well put together.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Having just noticed that Hercules poster for a longest time, I get the feeling I’m the only one that bothers caring for roman numerals at all (they just had to make it user-friendly didn’t they). :-)

  • Mac

    I really, really want Disney to start making good animated films again, but nothing, including this poster, has made me excited about this film since the old American Dog artwork and characters which everyone loved. I have no idea who Miley Cyrus is, I haven’t seen a film with John Travolta in it that I enjoyed since Pulp Fiction and I don’t care what ‘names’ are in an animated film anyway! BTW in that little preview did I catch a glimpse of the animaniacs Goodfeathers pigeons?

  • With all its rendering the bolt visual still reads poorly as most advertising people don’t know that the same color on the same color doesn’t read. No concept of color, value and design. Drawing is weird and off to. For all It’s “flatness” the Hercules poster reads from a mile away due to it’s smart graphic nature with strong readable forms, thus is a far better product design.

  • Tom D.

    to zep,

    i didn’t mean to imply that sanders was fired. sorry.
    and most of what i’ve heard was on the net.
    the story i’ve heard was that lasseter told sanders that american dog was too personal and too quirky, and that major changes would have to be made.
    IF this is the truth (or close to it) look at things.

    sanders makes lilo and stitch. a movie with a modest budget that earned a nice profit and is quite popular (as opposed to say treasure planet, a film with a large profit that flopped).
    lilo and stitch could be called “personal” and “quirky”. sanders is a talented artist with a strong artistic vision.

    considering the above, it would be prudent to let sanders “do his thing”, as long as he stays in budget, and doesn’t act like a prima donna or a big jerk (as far as i know he’s behaved himself).

    now look at “the wild”. it was a mess art-wise, and a big flop in the theatres.

    it would seem to me that the group lasseter should have gone after is the group that made “the wild”. by going after sanders it is like he was saying, “hey, a lot of people here think you are a creative genius with a strong vision, but there’s only room in this studio for ONE creative genius with a strong vision, AND THAT’S ME…. so get in line, OR ELSE!”

    why haven’t we heard stories of lasseter weeding out weak links and no-talents? why single out a person who was doing his job the way he has done it in the past… a way that made nice profits for the company. SEEMS like lasseter was playing alpha male… showing the pack who top dog is so they will all fall in line.

  • PorkyMills

    The posters don’t look a like at all. The colours are different, the styles are different (though the Hercules poster is far more effective, being more stylized) and the context is different. I’m really starting to wonder whether cartoon bloggers just want to look for ways to denounce upcoming Disney movies? I mean, sure, Bolt isn’t look very exciting considering the meager preview images floating around here, and it looks very underwhelming considering what it could’ve been (American Dog), but this here is just grasping at straws. Cartoon Brew should know better.

  • Julian Carter

    I, for one, am dying to see the film (yes, I am, Chris). I think all of the people leaving comments here are of normal human intelligence. Therefore, do you guys really think that because Miley Cyrus features in the film, then the said film is a train wreck?

    I don’t think so. I’m not expecting the film to be a masterpiece (perhaps Rapunzel will be), but I am expecting it to be a very good film. If it’s not, then not to worry … there’s always the next movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

    Ultimately, we cannot judge a movie before we have seen it. If I were part of the production crew of BOLT, I think I’d feel very hurt at the comments written here. Everyone dissed KUNG FU PANDA from its theatrical trailer. Jerry said it was awesome, but no, people wouldn’t believe him. Now critics are acclaiming it (the film) … and so are the Brew posters. I haven’t seen the movie myself (it has yet to open in Malta), but I’m ready to give it a chance.

    And that’s what we should do with BOLT: give it a chance! On the plus side, that short clip at least showcases some lovely animation.

  • Steve Gattuso

    So long as neither of them have lightning bolts crashing forth from their nostrils, I’m cool…

  • Well, I’d say at the very least, the teaser poster has gotten people talking about the film…any press is good press, right?

  • Some Guy says:
    Hey, Cartoon Brew, why do they call it Bolt?
    Because when you see it, you turn 360 degrees and bolt out.

    uh … wouldnt you then be running back in ?

  • Paul N

    Tom D, all you’re doing is proving that one doesn’t need to know any actual facts to have an opinion.

    “The Wild” wasn’t produced in-house at Disney; Disney only distributed it. It was produced by C.O.R.E Feature Animation. The most minimal of research on imdb turns up this fact.

    You’re welcome to believe whatever you like about Lassetter and his motivations, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. I guess it’s a result of what passes for political discourse these days; if you say what you wish were true long enough and loud enough, eventually others will believe it to be true.

  • Having been struck by lightning TWICE, I speak with authority when I say those two lightning bolts don’t look even remotely alike.

  • Jeff Kurtti
  • emmm. . . I don’t think this is note worthy. The general symbol for lightning/electricity is pretty universal, so I doubt this was intentional.

  • We all “choose” to leave Disney on occasion.

    Even John “chose” to leave Disney some years ago.

  • Greg Ehrbar

    Actually, I see a similar in the new teaser poster to the The MIGHTY Hercules, with its “lavishly” rendered lightning bolts in the stirring theme song. Presumably, Bolt will also have iron in his thighs.

  • Baron Lego says:

    “Miley Cyrus?!

    So… is Pixar taking cues from Dreamworks and just using anyone with a name to provide voice work for their films? Awesome.”

    1) This is JUST Disney, not Pixar,They have NOTHING to do with this.
    2) Pixar’s been using big name actors since Toy Story, which also had the names on the poster.
    3) The “Dreamworks route” would be using an actually big name for star power ; Miley is just a Disney Channel star they’re trying to promote. This is the “Disney route.”

  • stavner

    Hey, whatever works, works.

  • big bad balloon

    This is noteworthy news? REALLY???

    Shaq and Malcom X look alike too, right?
    Pooh Bear and Paddington?

    I’ll be going into this movie the same way I went into Kung Fu Panda – with a clean slate. Unlike the experts here, I’ll wait until AFTER the movie to talk some trash.

  • Massimo

    Is Chris Sanders still at Dreamworks?
    Was “Crood Awakening” cancelled?

  • They are only a few seconds long, but it might be more interesting to talk about actual clips than a teaser poster.


  • Ahem! Tom Hanks and Tim Allen didn’t get their names on the one sheet until “Toy Story2.”

  • Brandon Cordy

    It’s a sad day when Disney stoops to DreamWorks’ low of giving their voice actors top billing.

    I’ve always found such a practice highly disrespectful to the animators, since they are far more involved in creating the characters’ performances than the celeb who runs in to record a few lines here and there while they’re shooting their “real” movie.

    (but lol @ the “Shazam!!!” comment)

  • It’s not like Hercules was the first to use… ah, you all got there first.

    Slow news day.

  • gatorade!

  • John A

    A teaser poster that doesn’t really tell you anything is a waste of paper. You think they could have done something to indicate that Bolt is a dog?

  • elan

    I can’t believe we’re actually having this discussion. You people are ACTUALLY judging the film based on the fact that the actors names are on the poster? Really? REALLY?

  • One would think that the lightning bolt pattern would match the shape of the one in the Bolt logo.

  • Gerard de Souza

    Oh wow! They’re making a Shazam feature! Let me get my glasses to read better that poster.


  • Fred Cline

    I don’t think there’s anything offensive about the similarity – the name of the film is “Bolt”, so it’s appropriate, but I think it is VERY weird that the bolt image is sort of limp and twisted – having no graphic strength and, like Wray (comment above) says, no contrast between the bolt and the background. I am usually blown away by the savvy of the film marketing team at Disney, but I think they missed the mark on this particular image. But big deal – let’s talk about the film itself!

  • And here I was hoping they were doing an animated version of Fred Williamson’s That Man Bolt, “the highest flyin’, slickest, meanest dude you’ll ever face!”

  • ElPatoLoco

    Tom D is right on the money.

  • I’m just saying

    I see a lot more similarities between WALL-E and Johnny 5 from Short Circuit than these two posters. Why hasn’t that ever been discussed?

  • ‘I’m Just Saying’, it’s because Wall-E is Pixar and we all love Pixar and refuse to say something negative about them, right? That’s it, right? Pixar are untouchable?

    Anyone ever notice that Nemo’s journey follows the old Ecco the Dolphin game almost identically? Total rip off.

  • UmRight

    I’ll bet the ancient romans complained *that* carving of Thor had the exact same lightning bolt as *their* sacred statue of Zeus.

  • You mean the Greeks complained that that Romans’ Jupiter was a total rip-off of Zeus?

  • Who cares? Chris Sanders got the boot back when the designs were good so I won’t be seeing it regardless.

  • Glasner

    Bolt’s trailer is already in Disney.com… I really liked how it looks…

  • Smilley Virus

    Why does everyone hate on Miley Cyrus? I just don’t get it. People can go and applaud their own children for their accomplishments and tell them they can grown up and become a singer if they try hard and put their mind to it. Yet, we go and hate on 14 year old Miley Cyrus for following her dream and becoming successful at a relatively young age.

  • Zeiness

    Smilley Virus says:
    Why does everyone hate on Miley Cyrus? I just don’t get it. People can go and applaud their own children for their accomplishments and tell them they can grown up and become a singer if they try hard and put their mind to it. Yet, we go and hate on 14 year old Miley Cyrus for following her dream and becoming successful at a relatively young age.

    * * * * * * *

    One, the girl is 15 years old. Two, I don’t call “getting in constant trouble for not having the brains to not post provocative pictures on the internet of herself” and “posing half-nude for Vanity Fair, an adult magazine” exactly successful, would you?