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  • Accidental Innuendo: Penny's father declares that he has "altered" Bolt. To "alter" an animal can also be a euphemism for neutering it.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "I Thought I Lost You" is an upbeat Heartland tune that plays during the end credits, and is performed by the two main actors. Even people who don't like Miley Cyrus love it, and it also showed that 32 years after Grease & Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta still had impressive pipes.
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    • "Barking At The Moon" by Jenny Lewis, which plays over the montage of Bolt learning to be a real dog as he, Mittens, and Rhino travel to Hollywood.
  • Broken Base: Fans are divided on Miley Cyrus replacing Chloe Moretz as Penny. Some say it works out okay in the end, but others consider it a Stunt Casting given how Hannah Montana was adored by Disney Channel at the time and was disliked among adults, males, and Disney purists.
  • Crazy Awesome: Rhino. He is basically the Kamina of Hamsters.
  • Fanon: It is widely believed that Penny's actress is also named Penny, if only because no human refers to her by name outside the show (her mother calls her by endearments, and her agent calls her "My Little Superstar") and that her last name is "Forrester".
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mittens. Getting declawed and abandoned by her family turned her into a selfish cynic with deep-seeded trust issues.
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  • Moral Event Horizon: Penny's agent crosses it when he shows absolutely no sympathy for Penny's life-threatening burns and encourages her stressed mother to use the said burns for publicity. The punch he gets from her Mama Bear's wrath was definitely satisfying.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The huge fire that threatens to destroy the building where the show is filmed at the climax. Seeing Penny and Bolt nearly dying in it is both frightening and saddening.
    • One deleted scene features Bolt being violently beaten up by a bunch of big aggressive looking dogs. It's a testament to the abilities of the story artists how horrifying some simple single-panel drawings can be.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Malcolm McDowell's background role as the Show Within a Show's villain.
  • Popular with Furries: While not to the degree of other Disney films, it has a small but strong fanbase amongst furries into dog and cat characters.
  • So Okay, It's Average: While it did earn acclaim at the time of its release, nowadays it's being viewed as more of a Homeward Bound/Truman Show knockoff that doesn't stand out compared to the later Disney CG-animated movies, mainly Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, and Moana. To add insult to injury, Bolt's original director would later go on to direct and write a film for DreamWorks that too would garner much more critical and commercial acclaim than Bolt would ever achieve.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: When Penny's insensitive agent tries to convince her already shaken mother to try and use the building fire and resulting injuries for publicity (note that this almost got Penny killed), her mom punches his lights out.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: How many people wanted to know what Dr. Calico's actor was like when the cameras were off? We see only see him out of character once when the studio catches fire and even then he's barely in shot.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The hugely fun opening action sequence of the Bolt TV show (along with the fact that it upstaged the entire movie) had a lot of people wishing that Bolt would've been a lot better as a high-octane action comedy instead.
  • Ugly Cute: Mittens, to a certain degree. She's a skinny cat humans would look on as a stray, after all. Surprisingly, it is also deconstructed: Since she's not cute in a conventional way, because she's half-starved from being declawed and unable to hunt, humans just tend to scare her away instead of giving her some food, and she's aware that the possibilities of being adopted after falling into a pound are extremely limited for her.
  • The Woobie: Both Bolt and Mittens can count as this.

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