(In theaters, December 2008) Thematic resemblances between Bolt and Pixar movies may not be accidental: With Pixar alumni John Lasseter producing the film, the themes and methods tend to the tried-and-true, what with an animal protagonist living a fantasy, going through a series of action set-pieces to reach an emotional objective. It’s conventional (the ending can be seen coming a mile away), but it works thanks to good characterization, effective direction and considerable artistry. This being said, the film’s never quite as enjoyable as when it’s taking place in fantasy-land: the opening action sequences is so good that the rest of the film pales in comparison. Bolt remains strangely limited in other areas as well. Beyond the thematic richness of a dog forced to confront his own ordinary dogness, there isn’t much here to justify a second viewing. Still, Bolt succeeds at most of what it attempts, including delivering a satisfying film to the whole family. That’s already not too bad considering that the computer-animated-film subgenre is getting crowded, and the level of quality is more uneven than ever.