Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bolt -a Disney movie with some remarkable metaphor

The two dollar movies at Edmund Town Hall are a welcome treat in these days of low budget living. Thursday evening, an acquaintance and I went there to see Bolt, a Disney movie. Although it's animated, and heart-warming Bolt's a different sort of Disney movie. Bolt is a story of a gradual fall from belief, of a journey from blanket labels of good and evil to a realization of the micro-community of friendship and family . It's not a story of finding fame and fortune - but of turning away from it. Bolt, a dog, is "superhero" star of a Sat morning TV show. He doesn't know it's a show. His delusion - that he has certain "super powers" - runs smack into reality in a very funny way.

However Bolt holds metaphor that are needed in this sad world where Religion's blind tenents drive so much death and misery, where greed has ruined a global economy for an unknown number of years to come., where the cult of celebrity flaunts personality disorder and borderline socio-pathic actions as "cool"

Instead of a boy and a dog, it's a girl and her dog. Instead of the usual single parent DAD with his daughter which is a common TV family, this is a short plump little MOM and her daughter. Instead of a bone the dog's favorite toy is a stuffed carrot. Instead of the dog being wildly perceptive and human being hoodwinked - in this case the human knows the score and dog is a true believer. Instead of the hero saving the day - it's a tiny hamster and a discarded disillusioned cat that hold the keys. Instead of "belief" and "super powers" saving the world - it's the reality of a few small beings, just doing what they can.

Mittens is an ally cat (really a de-clawed abandoned house cat), that Bolt meets when he is accidently shipped to New York in a crate of packing peanuts. He thinks the peanuts are his kryptonite and have sapped away his powers. Bolt captures Mittens thinking she is related to the cat characters on his show who were the minions of its evil anti-hero. So he ties himself to her and demands to be taken to Penny. Though Mittens hasn't a clue who penny is, she notices Bolts license-tag says Hollywood CA. So she confesses that Penny is in Hollywood and shows Bolt a discarded tourist map. Off they go on trucks and trains to cross the country. Along the way they meet the hamster "Rhino" a fan of Bolt the superhero. Rhino is viral alright - he is a living infectious mem - a true believer living a a bubble ( a plastic Habi-trail exercise globe). Bolt is reminded of his ideals when Rhino launches off on one of his sermons, determines to use what power he has to find his human (or maybe his humanity instead of his fake "superpower")

It really could be argued that Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino are aspects of the self and are internal.... and together they are a whole personality.

To sum it up, I laughed, I cried, I had stuff to think about afterwards. It doesn't get any better than that. Bolt is a film worth going to see no matter what age grasshopper you might be now ..

-- Mar Walker