Thought I'd toss this up before the Globes tonight.
Brimming with sharp humour and fast-paced thrills, Bolt is a pleasant diversion for kids and adults alike. The influence of executive producer John Lassetter (of Pixar acclaim) is apparent throughout the film, as each character and scene is treated with the same care and inventiveness one would expect of a Pixar movie. The comedic premise of Bolt's Buzz-Lightyear-like circumstances does wear a bit thin at times, and some moments are painfully typical, but the dialogue and vocal performances are always engaging and fun. As far as family entertainment goes, this is decent stuff.
This deserves a nomination for Best Animated Feature more than Kung-Fu Panda, but that doesn't necessarily mean it'll get one. It's also a contender for Best Original Song, but unfortunately it's the wrong song, as Jenny Lewis' wonderful tune "Barking at the Moon" has been mostly overshaddowed by Miley Cyrus' less-deserving "I Thought I'd Lost You". Here's hoping the Academy gets it right (yeah right). Another aspect that is likely to be ignored by Oscar is Randy Thom's excellent sound design which deserves a spot on the sound editing list. I doubt Bolt will be shut out completely, but it is possible.
*** out of ****