Time truly flies, friends. Today marks Bolt‘s 7th anniversary! In celebration of one of our favorite Disney dogs, we’ve compiled a list of 9 facts you might not have known about the film. Are you ready to learn? Excellent. Keep on reading!
2. Mittens’ voice is actually Susie Essman’s normal speaking voice.
After Susie Essman was cast in the role of Mittens, the directors loved her normal speaking voice so much, that they requested that she use it instead of creating a unique tone for the character.
3. The animators took inspiration from Michael Bay for the film’s Bolt TV show.
When John Lasseter gave the animators the challenge to create a Bolt TV show that would be exciting enough for network television, they looked to Michael Bay’s action films for inspiration. As a result, they relied on deep blacks and bright colors, which served as a nice contrast to the much softer textures and colors seen in the real world.
4. The crew adopted a hamster to help them animate Rhino.
While John Lasseter’s pet chinchilla served as inspiration for Rhino’s design, the crew adopted a hamster and studied his movement on a sheet of plexiglass to get a better idea of how Rhino would walk in his plastic ball. They named him Doink.
6. When the directors gave Mark Walton the role of Rhino, they caught his reaction on tape.
Typically, before bringing the talent into the studio, a film’s animators volunteer to record a practice run of the script. When animator Mark Walton came in and read for Rhino the hamster, the directors liked his performance so much that they cast him in the role. But before telling him, they had him come in for one more reading and slipped the line, “I am the voice of Rhino” into the script. They had a camera set up to catch his surprised reaction.
7. Real locations were used as inspiration for the film’s lighting.
To nail the natural difference in lighting between several of the film’s diverse locations, the crew went to LA, an Ohio trailer park, the streets of New York, the San Francisco docks, and the desert surrounding Las Vegas to take photographs—which they later used as reference during production. In fact, the hotels and casinos shown in the Las Vegas scenes actually exist.
8. The film’s art style was inspired by the work of Edward Hopper.
Instead of going full CG, the animators opted for a softer approach, using the paintings of Edward Hopper as inspiration. They found a way to recreate brushstrokes in the computer and used that method to set the film’s 3D objects against a 2D backdrop.
9. Bolt’s look is based on a breed of White German Shepherd.
Though Bolt’s breed was never defined in the film, the main character animator, Joe Moshier, has indicated that the wonder dog is loosely based on a White German Shepherd puppy that the team studied during production; his huge ears, and bushy tail are dead giveaways.