‘Bolt’ – Soundtrack Review

The new Disney animated feature Bolt tells the tale of an American White Shepherd, Bolt, who stars as a dog who has super powers on a hit TV show.

When Bolt becomes separated by accident from the studio, he sets out on a journey to get home to his owner and co-star Penny. He’s helped along the way with the aid of a hamster, Rhino, and a cat, Mittens. Alas, Bolt believes that he actually has super powers, and it takes quite a while for him to realize that he doesn’t. 

Bolt is directed by Byron Howard and Chris Williams. The cast of voices includes John Travolta as Bolt, Miley Cyrus as Penny, Susie Essman, Mittens; and Mark Walton as Rhino.

Over the years, John Powell has composed the scores of many movies. They include Kung Fu Panda with Hans Zimmer, P.S. I Love You, Hancock, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Identity, Horton Hears a Who!, Happy Feet, Shrek, The Italian Job and many more.

I enjoyed the short film score. My favorite track is the first one, the rockin’ “I Thought I Lost You,” sung by Cyrus and Travolta, It’s been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture, with music and lyrics by Cyrus and Jenny Lewis. The latter also composed and sang the second track, “Barking at the Moon,” a sweet country tune.

The rest of the score is written by Powell, and is performed by the Hollywood Studio Orchestra. He has created a musical theme for Bolt, which runs through the score. it begins with “Meet Bolt” and ends up in various takes on the melody in the five-track arc at the end.

The tunes features the sweet, waltz-like “Las Vegas”; which leads into the more demonstrative “A Friend in Need.” That is followed by the longer “Rescuing Penny”; then into “A Real Live Superbark,” and ends with the “Unbelievable TV.”

I also like “Scooter Chase”, with its fast-paced beat that sounds like someone’s being chased. There’s also lots of percussion. “New York” has a sensuous feel to it with clarinet and flute melodies. The same can be said about “A Fast Train.” It’s loud, fast, with lots of percussion and violins.

I also like the way the tracks flow into each other. It makes the score feel like a complete piece of musical artwork.

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