You've got to hand it to the animators at Disney...easy as it may be to take shots at the perennially family-friendly studio, they keep churning quality animated film after quality animated film, both in their co-productions with Pixar and in their own newly-minted computer animation wing. Bolt comes from the latter, and the missing ingredients of those brilliant minds and boundless creativity at Pixar are what dictates that this film cannot really compare to WALL-E, which is undoubtedly the best animated film of the year and will likely go down as the greatest animated film of the decade. However, Bolt is a film that really need not be compared to anything else, positively or negatively...it is a film that stands on its own merits as a wonderful experience.
Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is the most famous canine television star on the planet...but he doesn't know that his heroic action-adventure world, with his beloved TV owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus), is all part of the show. The movie is Bolt's journey of discovery, as he breaks free from his Hollywood imprisonment and enters the real world, realizing that there is more--and less--to reality than he was expecting.
The film is not, obviously, an intimate personal journey, a la The Truman Show. It is more a clever inside-Hollywood job, with plenty of in-jokes and showbiz revelations. But there is undeniable soul to the story of this unwitting celebrity and his quest to find himself in the real world.