Tag Archives: Wall-e

Bolt (2008)

Bolt and Penny

Bolt and Penny

Bolt is the story that saw John Lasseter get comfortable at Disney, exercise some strength and prove his worth.

When Lasseter became involved in the project, Bolt had not yet begun animation but the story was well on its way. It was originally called American Dog, and featured much the same travel-across-America-to-discover-yourself storyline that ended up in Bolt. But it also featured a rabbit deformed from radiation, a dark desert wasteland and a large cat who worked as a junkyard mechanic. It was different, to say the least.

That’s to be expected, though. That story was being produced by Chris Sanders, who had previously created and co-directed Lilo & Stitch.

Lasseter, though, wanted some pretty heavy changes. It needed to be more family-friendly, more emotionally driven, less weird and more adorable. Sanders resisted, though, and was removed from the project and replaced with Chris Williams (writer on The Emperor’s New Groove and Mulan) and Byron Howard (an animator from Mulan, Brother Bear, Lilo & Stitch and Chicken Little). Lasseter, of course, remained executive producer.

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Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Lilo introduces Stitch to her friends.

Lilo & Stitch is a heartwarmer. Stitch is an adorable, if extraordinarily quirky, character who manages to be both sidekick and hero. At the same time, it’s a movie that hardly knows what it’s supposed to be: part sci-fi epic about a misunderstood genetic experiment, and part family story about two sisters trying to make it work in trying times.

The combination works, though. Stitch is an adorable character that, like Wall-E, whom Pixar would later invent, manages to convey real and universal emotions without the use of language. Lilo is a child desperately trying to fit in when she’s just a little bit stranger than her friends: something almost everyone can relate to. Ultimately, Lilo & Stitch — despite space aliens, a trip across the galaxy and a genetic experiment falling on a Hawaiian village — becomes the perfectly normal story of two people desperate for love and acceptance who find each other and forge a perfect friendship.

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