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Puss in Boots

A movie directed by Chris Miller

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Passable But Pales When Compared to the Shrek Series That Inspired It

  • Apr 3, 2013
Rating:
+3
Given the success of the Puss character from the second Shrek film onward, one would get the feeling it would take a lot to screw up the origin story.  However, looking at the film as a whole, it certainly falls short of the expectations of the franchise on which it’s based.  This isn’t to suggest it’s a total failure of course, so much as it seems the producers of this piece were oddly out of touch with what made the character (and the Shrek series in general) so endearing.
 
Coming in at runtime of 90-minutes and wearing an appropriate PG rating, 2011’s Puss In Boots set DreamWorks back $130-million.  Believe it or not, the film was originally intended to be a direct-to-dvd affair before DreamWorks decided the character may have enough clout to potentially fill theaters.
 
The tale naturally revolves around Puss, and sets up the vain, confident, swashbuckler (voiced by Antonio Banderas) as a kitten with delusions of grandeur, made more achievable by an unlikely partnership with one Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis).  Before long the pair is on a quest to find the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, in hot pursuit by a murderous, drunkard Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), and teaming up with the feisty and seductive Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek).
 
The majority of the film takes place in Spain and the surrounding deserts and while its visuals are undeniably DreamWorks, the film certainly lacks the vivid color pallet of the Shreks and instead relies upon a lot of moonlit and fire-lit scenes.  Despite moody tones and a fairly convoluted plot-line, the characters themselves are animated wonderfully with the titular character hilariously alternating between pint-sized swashbuckler and run-of-the-mill feline with regularity.
 
The film is laced with a lot of salsa-flavored tunes and beats and there are a number of requisite dance sequences to accompany the rhythmic tunes.  The pacing, however, isn’t quite as butter-smooth as one would expect from a big budget Hollywood animated film.   Some of said dance numbers run on a bit too long and flashbacks to Puss’ roots disrupt the natural flow of the present (which, if you want to be technical is still the past in the mythos).
 
In all Puss In Boots is a fun film from the director of Shrek The Third though a strong argument could be made that this isn’t DreamWorks’ biggest or best animated feature.  I’m of the opinion that the fairy tale integration isn’t near as subliminal or well-placed as we’ve witnessed in the Shrek films and the uneven pacing makes it easy for very young viewers to become bored with the story.  However, the nuances of the characters themselves mixed with some moments of clever dialog do make it interesting enough for adults to sit through.  In all, it’s a very good formula for a rental.
Passable But Pales When Compared to the Shrek Series That Inspired It Passable But Pales When Compared to the Shrek Series That Inspired It Passable But Pales When Compared to the Shrek Series That Inspired It Passable But Pales When Compared to the Shrek Series That Inspired It

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April 09, 2013
I actually really liked this one, guess I' am a sucker for Puss.
April 12, 2013
Haha yea Puss is great- Banderas does such a good job with the character. I guess I just expected the story to be closer to the Shrek level of cleverness but I am glad it's in the collection at any rate.
 
April 03, 2013
yeah. I thought the salsa-flavor played a little too much. This has some good moments but wasn't as good as expected. Nice one, Jay
April 12, 2013
Thanks Will. Exactly- I kept thinking it was setting up for something great but it never came. At least (like FM_A said above) it's tough not to like the flavor Banderas brings to Puss.
 
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More Puss in Boots reviews
review by . October 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         If you were to ask me who my favorite character is from the Shrek films, I would have to say Gingy, the Gingerbread Man. Apart from getting a kick out of his hilariously exaggerated voice, I’ve always had a certain fondness for him; he’s so small, and yet he’s capable of doing big things, like defiantly telling Lord Farquaad to eat him and then spitting into his eye. And believe you me, no other character could have delivered the …
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Ranked #14
Jason Rider (AKA OneNeo on Amazon.com) is the author of the successful children's fantasy novel series The Uncommon Adventures of Tucker O'Doyle from Bellissima Publishing.      … more
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Director: Chris Miller
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy
Release Date: 4 November 2011 (USA)
Screen Writer: Brian Lynch, Charles Perrault
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