DVD Review - Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots is based on a French story written over 300 years ago by Charles Perrault as part of the "Mother Goose Tales." The version that we see here was first introduced in Shrek 2 (2004). The character is an animated, Spanish, swashbuckling cat with big sad eyes that it can implement at will. Spanish actor Antonio Banderas voices the cat and in many ways the cat is a cartoon interpretation of Banderas' titular role in The Mask of Zorro (1998). This movie is a Puss in Boots' origin story, written by Will Davies, Brian Lynch and Tom Wheeler, and directed by Chris Miller who was a voice actor in all the Shrek films and the pilot behind Shrek the Third.

It shows how Puss in Boots came to be who he is. It also shows his best friendship with a walking and talking egg named Humpty Dumpty. This movie is a spin-off of the popular Shrek films and the Shrek films were spoofs of famous fairy tales or nursery rhymes. The addition of Humpty Dumpty, voiced by Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) allows for some fun puns and riffs off the nursery rhyme and just some slightly amusing egg jokes. This movie also introduces another fierce feline named Kitty Softpaws, voiced by Salma Hayek who has co-starred on screen with Banderas in Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. She's essentially Puss in Boots' counterpart in almost every conceivable way. She may carry the cliche of being a cat burglar but I wasn't clear on that.

The movie has its most zaniness with its incorporation of the English folktale "Jack and the Beanstalk." It makes for a nice, silly adventure. The twist is that it's actually a revenge plot. It's a twist that didn't impress me. The reveal of the ultimate villain also didn't impress me. I'm not sure his motives and plan added up to all that much. I thought Banderas' vocal work was great. Banderas is in his 50s now and perhaps isn't oozing with as much sex appeal as he was in his early days with Pedro Almodovar, i.e. Law of Desire, but somehow he was able to transfer his suaveness into this cat.

This is a children's film, so most young people won't get that. I'm not even sure that they'll get the sword four-play that occurs between Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws, but it's there. The cat chase and the dance fight would more leave more of a mark on children.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated PG for adventure and mild crude humor.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 30 mins.


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