Synopsis: Long before he even met Shrek, the notorious fighter, lover and outlaw Puss in Boots becomes a hero when he sets off on an adventure with the tough and street smart Kitty Softpaws and the mastermind Humpty Dumpty to save his town. Â This is the true story of The Cat, The Myth, The Legend…The Boots.
Release Date: October 28, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Animation, Children and Family
A supporting character in three of the Shrek movies, Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) has been given his very own origin story from Dreamworks Animation. The myth, the legend, and the answer everyone wants to know, Where did he get those boots,? will all be revealed in Puss In Boots, the movie.
When we first meet Puss In Boots (Puss) he is an outlaw, on the run for a crime he claims he was not responsible for doing. But Puss is no saint looking for redemption, he has become a thief–stealing the hearts of cats, as well as other items along the way. We know him as Puss In Boots, but his other known aliases are lover, thief, and expert swordsman. Wandering into a tavern one evening he orders a shot of milk, and laps it with his tongue. Talk begins of the notorious Jack and Jill, murderous outlaws who are in possession of Jack’s magic beans.
Puss sets out to steal these magic beans, but his plan is thwarted when he runs into a Catwoman-esque leather outfit clad Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and they are both caught by Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris). After a daring escape, Puss follows Kitty into an underground cat bar/lounge. It is here that he finds out Kitty’s arrival at his heist was no coincidence, Puss’ nemesis, and former best friend, Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) set the whole plan in motion so he could meet with Puss once again. Humpty wants his help to steal the magic beans so they may finally complete what they set out to do as a young cat and egg, respectively.
In order to understand why Puss is hesitant to trust his old friend Humpty, the story takes us back to when they were merely a kitten and an eggling, living in the village of San Ricardo. We find out how they grew up, the troublemakers they were, and also how they became like brothers. An egg and a cat, not the strangest combination but definitely fuel for plenty of comedic moments. The flashback concludes with Humpty’s deception towards Puss, and as viewer’s, we finally learn why Puss is an outlaw. Back in the present Kitty, Humpty, and Puss do set out to steal the magic beans together and by planting them hope to get to the famed Golden Goose.
Just like the Shrek films, Puss In Boots takes the standard fairytale characters and spins them on their head. Jack and Jill were brother and sister, sweet kids going up the hill for a pail of water. In Puss In Boots, they are a couple of overweight rednecks, with faces straight out of a nightmare, and they are murderers! Let us not forget they are also a couple–that takes some adjusting to when you look back on your childhood memories of their story.
Humpty Dumpty never had an origin story. As part of a nursery rhyme, all anyone ever knew about Humpty is that he fell off a wall. Screenwriter Tom Wheeler creates an incredible character in Humpty Alexander Dumpty. He is an orphan, and inventor, a criminal mastermind (that always seems to get caught), and greedy. As Zach Galifianakis commented during the Puss In Boots press conference, “deep down in his yoke he is an ok guy.” He just needs to find a way to not let greed get in the way of having friendships.
Other classic characters you meet along the way include Jack, from the beanstalk, and Little Boy Blue. The fun is in seeing how the creativity of writer Tom Wheeler and Director Chris Miller, as everyone in the cast credits Miller with making Puss In Boots the great film it is, takes what we know of a fairytale or character, and develops it into a great deal more while including a wonderful story about friendship, redemption, and loyalty.
Puss In Boots is full of laughs, heartfelt moments, and wonderful plays on the classic fairytales. The character Puss is fun to spend time with, with his adventurous spirit, as well as Latin lover flair. It is a good thing Kitty Softpaws is such a strong female cat that she can resist his flirtations, or can she?
Puss can dance after all, and there is dancing in Puss In Boots. As for Humpty, he makes for a great anti-hero, and finding out just what will become of him is the greatest of mysteries and the sweetest of endings. For a delightful, adventure-filled animated film Puss In Boots has everything a child, or adult, could ask for, and more.
As the only real rival to Pixar, Dreamworks Animation knows how to create rich, colorful, dreamlike animation. They even know how to make 3D work to their advantage–How To Train Your Dragon cemented that point. In Puss In Boots, they do not miss the mark on creating a sumptuous world for Puss. Taking cues from Spaghetti Westerns by Sergio Leone, as well as characters such as Indiana Jones, Zorro, and 007 to match character with surroundings, Puss In Boots is awash with warm, saturated colors.
Many of the scenes are wide and expansive, displaying the rolling desert or mountain tops. The village of San Ricardo is quaint and realistic. The colors a tad more washed out on the buildings, while Puss shines in his golden orange natural coat and black boots walking along the dirt streets. When the beanstalk grows out of the hardened desert dirt the 3D triumphs, adding the dimension necessary to fully realize its magnitude and the non-linear lines of it as it reaches high into the sky. The temptation to turn your head in order to see around it crosses one’s mind because of the grandiose dimension.
The animators also play with the Spaghetti Western uses by including scenes reminiscent of former films. Puss In Boots is very much a film made with film history in mind, pinpointing the instances is part of the enjoyment of watching. One specific scene finds Puss waking up in the middle of the desert, the light slowly coming back to him as he opens his eyes, only to find crows surrounding him. He screams that he is still alive and they fly off as he stumbles to his feet. A classic scene from a dozen westerns of the past, made new and fresh with the inclusion of a character such as Puss.
As the action scenes go, whether Puss, Kitty and Humpty are speeding their wagon across a narrow mountain desert road with Jack and Jill nearly falling off cliffs, or running through the jungle to escape the “great terror” at the beanstalk castle, the colors flourish, the production design pops and the editing is seamless.
Puss In Boots continues Dreamworks Animation’s exceptional animation achievements, giving more thought and detail to every aspect of the animated designs than non-animated films often do. Animation may be aimed at children, but adults will find themselves lost in the world of Puss In Boots just as happily.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Chris Miller
- Producer(s): Tom Wheeler
- Screenwriter(s): Antonio Banderas (voice of Puss In Boots), Salma Hayek (voice of Kitty Softpaws), Zach Galifianakis (voice of Humpty Dumpty), Billy Bob Thornton (voice of Jack), Amy Sedaris (voice of Jill), Constance Marie (voice of Imelda), Guillermo Del Toro (voice of Comandate/Moustache Man), Bob Persichetti (voice of Ohhh Cat)
- Country Of Origin: USA