Who let the dog out? Disney.

The combination of talking dogs and Miley Cyrus is enough to make any pre-teen spontaneously combust from excessive joy.

Bolt and Penny are ready for action

Ashley Goetz

Bolt and Penny are ready for action

âÄúBoltâÄù DIRECTED BY: Byron Howard, Chris Williams STARRING: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman RATED: PG SHOWING AT: Area theaters 4 Stars out of 5 stars In 1998 , Paramount Pictures released âÄúThe Truman Show ,âÄù a film that found success both critically and financially with the tale of a man who is unwittingly the star of an elaborate TV show. But âÄúThe Truman ShowâÄù left some people unfulfilled; moviegoers undoubtedly wanted more talking, computer-generated animals and easily resolvable conflict. Ten years later, Disney, feeding American audiencesâÄô voracious hunger for conversational critters and happy endings, decided to create âÄúBolt.âÄù Bolt is a bionic wonder hound, imbued with powers Steve Austin never had, whose sole mission is to keep his beloved owner Penny from the sinewy clutches of the evil Dr. Calico âĦ or so he thinks. In reality, Bolt is less of an âÄúUnderdogâÄù and more of a âÄúHuckleberry Hound,âÄù which is to say that heâÄôs completely unremarkable and totally unaware that heâÄôs starring in televisionâÄôs biggest hit show. When Bolt, believing Penny has been captured, escapes the studio to find her, he accidentally gets shipped to New York. Now lost in the real world without superpowers (he believes Styrofoam packing peanuts are draining his powers), Bolt must find his way back to Hollywood and the loving arms of Penny. At this point, the âÄúTrumanâÄù-esque story gets a dash of âÄúHomeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco âÄù added to the mix and essentially becomes a road movie. Bolt does all the usual stuff; he hitches rides from strangers, escapes the grasps of dogcatchers and meets wacky new characters at every stop as he slowly makes his way across these United States. The story is charming, but it does hit a few speed bumps. There are some unoriginal plot points, and BoltâÄôs acceptance of the fact that he doesnâÄôt have powers is strangely trivial. But cinephiles should appreciate that this is a âÄúkidsâÄù movie and overlook the lack of weighty internal conflict. Although âÄúBoltâÄù is at times formulaic, hardly deviating from road movie and Disney conventions, its great cast and incredible animation make it stand out from the mass of forgettable Disney forays. Bolt is warmly voiced by aircraft pilot John Travolta , who is wholly endearing throughout the film, barking fiercely as an action star and purring softly as an ordinary pup. But the filmâÄôs appeal for children, sadly, has less to do with a cool bionic dog and more to do with the presence of pre-teensâÄô own Aphrodite, Miley Cyrus. Even though she should be loathed for her terrible music and her systematic destruction of American youth culture, she actually gives a charming performance as BoltâÄôs owner Penny. Rounding out the cast of characters is Rhino, an occasionally creepy Bolt-obsessed hamster, voiced hysterically by Mark Walton , a Disney storyboard artist. In addition to great characters, âÄúBoltâÄù employs stunning animation and the use of DisneyâÄôs Digital 3-D to âÄúwowâÄù its audience into jubilance. The 3D will, at times, make your brain hurt, but a couple scenes really show off the technologyâÄôs merits. In what other capacity could you have the experience of being maced without the searing pain that typically results from it? In addition, the digital rendering of the film is sublime, portraying a pastoral vision of the American landscape and characters imbued with a fundamental humanity. So while âÄúWALL-E âÄù still reigns as the Michael Phelps of this yearâÄôs animation crop, âÄúBoltâÄù may earn a respectable silver medal. ItâÄôs both comical and heartwarming, making it a great movie to see when Thanksgiving is over; the relatives have left and something is needed to fill the void of post-meal silence.