If Bolt does not quite rise to the level of bona fide Pixar masterpieces like Wall-E, Finding Nemo and Ratatouille, it does manage to be frisky, funny and inventive enough to engage the attention of grown-ups as well as children.
That it falls short of Pixar's lofty heights doesn't mean the attempt isn't worthwhile; indeed, Bolt is the most entertaining and well-crafted Disney Animation movie in years.
This computer-animated (but non-Pixar) adventure flick doesn't do much of anything innovative, but it sports a disarming furball of a lead and enough jaunty comic turns to carry the day.
The directors and screenwriters hit all their marks and push all the right buttons, but the story never really takes off, and the characters never really spark to life.
It's not a 'gourmet' banquet on the order of Ratatouille or the first Shrek, but this peppy picture is certainly more than a cinematic 'snack,' and for its 96-minute running time will not bore kids, the parents or other adults joining them.
Witty, sweet and -- in 3D -- often visually dazzling, Bolt is an unexpected pleasure, a showbiz, sci-fi spin on a classic Disney tale that's sure to please small kids and parents alike.