Puss In Boots

Release date: October 28, 2011
Director: Chris Miller
Screenplay by: Tom Wheeler, David H. Steinberg, Brian Lynch
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Zeus Mendoza, Constance Marie, Guillermo Del Toro, Bob Joles, Walt Dohrn

Ever since the Puss in Boots character made his debut in Shrek 2, he has always been one of the best parts of the Shrek franchise thanks to the Zorro-esque characteristics, comedy value and Antonio Banderas voicing Puss. But is the feline swashbuckler capable of carrying a film on his own?

Set in the fictional Southwestern border town of San Ricardo, Puss in Boots tells the story of Puss back in his days as an outlaw. He is attempting to steal magic beans from Jack and Jill (Thornton & Sedaris) that would allow him to reach a giant’s castle in the clouds and steal a goose that lays golden eggs. Puss isn’t alone in this mission — he is aided by Kitty Softpaws (Hayek) and eggman Alexander Humpty Dumpty (Galifianakis).

The only things Puss in Boots has in common with the Shrek films might be a few jokes, the use of fairy tale elements and the main character. Other than that, Puss in Boots goes in a different direction. It’s an action-packed film that centers itself around a “good vs greed” storyline involving Puss and Humpty Dumpty. The story is told through a flashback of both meeting at an orphanage.

Puss in Boots works well thanks to its gorgeous animation, plot twists, a better display of humor than the last two Shrek films and solid voice acting. Banderas is still great — he pretty much lives in the skin of Puss and he’s the shining star of the film. Zach Galifianakis worked well in his role as the complex mastermind Humpty Dumpty. Salma Hayek’s voice works well with Banderas. On the other hand, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris weren’t used that much despite both working their roles well.

Puss in Boots is far from perfect. The plot is  thin, some of the silliness going around and the pacing, the flashback story in particular, pegs the film down a notch after a very strong showing between Puss and Kitty Softpaws. But I’m willing to overlook some of those flaws since Puss in Boots manages to be engaging thanks to the Puss-Kitty-Dumpty trio.

In a weak year for animated films, Puss in Boots works well enough thanks to its release date and main characters to snatch an Animated Feature nomination at the Oscars. As for the film deserving to win or not, that’s another story.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Rodrigo

YAM Magazine contributor, has a B. Sc. degree in Science/Pharmacy and is a very lazy person.

15 Responses

  1. Mirella says:

    It was actually better than I thought it would be. Curiously, unlike the Shrek movies, this one actually works better (for me at least) in its original language than dubbed. Banderas is still awesome in any language though :D

    • Rodrigo says:

      @Mirella, I only saw the first two Shrek films dubbed. Both worked well thanks to Eugenio Derbez voicing Donkey in Spanish – Shrek 2 had Donkey being up to date with the popular stuff in Mexico. Haven’t bothered to watch the last two Shrek films in Spanish because both were weak films, regardless of language.

      Should I give Puss a shot in dubbed spanish? I assume Banderas does the spanish voice for Puss like he did in the Shrek franchise, but I dunnno how the rest of the characters work in spanish.

      • Mirella says:

        @Rodrigo, Yes, Banderas does the voice in Spanish (in fact he dubs Puss voices in all the languages that he can XD). It was quite good dubbed, but some jokes worked better for me in English, I guess.

    • Rodrigo says:

      @Mirella, When I saw it dubbed, hearing Humpty Dumpty didn’t clicked well for me. :S BTW, did Hayek voiced Kitty Softpaws in the Latin-Spanish version of Puss in Boots?

  2. amy says:

    I think what worked best for Puss was that everyone had low expectations for it, and it’s far from a sucky film… so a lot of people loved it more than they should.

    Plus, it does have pretty good animation and use of 3D … and zapateo.

    • Rodrigo says:

      @amy, Had this film came up right after Shrek 2, I don’t think critics would have falled for it. But Puss is a great character on his own and Banderas can work things out well enough to satisfy people.

      Dreamworks went a tad bit hispanic-happy with the hispanic aspects on the Puss film, but not too overboard like a Robert Rodriguez film would, right?

      • amy says:

        @Rodrigo, I liked the accents. It gave it personality. I loved the part where Salma goes “REALLY??? You hit me in the head with a guitar???” xD what it really bothers me from Dreamworks is how they’re filled with anachronism for the sake of being a pop culture reference or being funny. It works sometimes, but it can really take you out from a movie completely… like when Kitty explains why she’s a Softpaw LOL I’m sure it wouldn’t be the case of cat claw clipping back then~~~

        • Rodrigo says:

          @amy, I don’t think Dreamworks went overboard with the pop culture references on Puss like they did since Shrek 2.

          One of the moments I cringed the most happened when they reach the clouds. But that lasted little thankfully.

  1. September 9, 2014

    […] performance is really great and hilarious in a way that Galgo works pretty much a human version of Puss in Boots of […]

  2. May 31, 2015

    […] reviewing the rest of the Shrek films just before Puss in Boots premieres. The success of Shrek 2 led to the creation of Shrek The Third. We follow the green ogre […]

  3. June 8, 2015

    […] Statham starred on Wild Card and Furious 7 to prove that point. However, Feig puts Statham into Puss in Boots territory and makes him poke fun at his typecasting in glorious fashion while also being as profane […]

Leave a Reply