Now Showing on Cable: Puss in Boots

Making its premiere on HBO last weekend was last year’s animated feature from DreamWorks Studios, “Puss in Boots”.

“Puss in Boots” is a spin-off prequel featuring Antonio Banderas’ feline character from the “Shrek” series of movies. It focuses on Puss as a young swashbuckler, as he attempts to pilfer the legendary magic beans from the notorious Jack and Jill, intending to scale the giant beanstalk in order to steal the goose that lays the golden eggs from the giant. Along the way, he has to deal with the treacherous Humpty Dumpty, and the seductive Kitty Softpaws.

Puss was a great addition to the “Shrek” series.

The question here is: Can he support a movie of his own?

The answer is: very much so.

Puss was always a great addition to the Shrek-verse, and here he’s up to all his greatest hits. He’s self aggrandizing, arrogant, and almost comically suave. He breaks out the “Big Eyes” trick on multiple occasions, flips and spins about acrobatically during robberies, and Antonio Banderas lays the “Latin Lover” on thick with the voice-work. The character we get here is very much the one we all loved in Shrek, and proves to be very worthy of taking the lead in a movie of his own.   

Here, we get Puss’ backstory. He was raised in an orphanage alongside a young Humpty Dumpty (Zack Galifianakis), and together they dreamed of finding magic beans so they could climb the beanstalk and find the goose that lays the Golden Eggs. As they grew they began to get into mischief together, but at a certain point, Puss does something heroic and gains the adulation of the town, causing a reactionary Humpty to go too far in the opposite direction. He becomes a criminal mastermind.

When Jack and Jill (yes, THE Jack and Jill, LOL) are found to be in possession of the legendary magic beans, Puss makes an attempt to pilfer them. Jack and Jill are hardened criminals and formidable adversaries, but complicating matters even further is a wild card he hadn’t counted upon. A female cat burglar named Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). When Softpaws also makes a play for the beans, he’s in danger of not only being beaten to the punch, but of falling in love as well.  The resulting adventures lead Puss to a shaky reunion with Humpty, a conflict with Jack and Jill, and eventually, the giant beanstalk itself.  

With its multiple allusions to classic fairy tales, along with the occasional clever nod to other movies and pop culture tidbits, “Puss in Boots” has a great deal of the flavor and spirit of the “Shrek” franchise. It also does a great job of maintaining the action/humor/character balance. It’s obvious that Dreamworks approached this property carefully and took time to invest in a solid story and fleshed out characters; things that could lead to future installments going forward. Well, that and its $500+ million worldwide take. LOL.

But that’s fine by me. This was an enjoyable animated romp. Banderas is great as Puss, and Hayek was a worthy counterpart as Kitty. Seeing them together in future adventures would be A ok by me. For now, this first installment gets a…


19 thoughts on “Now Showing on Cable: Puss in Boots

  1. Man am I sick of Puss in Boots. My 3 year old LOVES this movie. All we seem to talk about anymore is Kitty Softpaws.

      • little girl. She pretends to be Kitty Softpaws all the time now. Using a pez dispenser as a sword, and wraps a belt around her like the cat does. It’s hilarious, but I’m getting tired of having long drawn out conversations about Kitty softpaws

  2. After I finished watching my BD of it, I realized that a great amount of plot was never shown in the previews. That means a lot of the movie was enjoyable because I was seeing it for the first time. Great movie.

  3. It’s not surprising they couldn’t leave the Shrek franchise completely dormant after they “ended” it; it is surprising this spin-off seems to have been fairly well received. After the Shrek movies started dropping off in quality so much (well, #3 anyway, I’ll admit to not having bothered with the fourth), I just figured it was probably just quickly-churned garbage from then on out. But everyone seems to have liked this reasonably well. I still don’t think I’ll seek it out or anything, but if it turns up in a convenient viewing slot, I might check it out.

    • There you go, sounds like a plan.

      Look, it’s not Shrek #1 or anything, but its definitely a fun animated flick. If Puss ever cracked you up in the Shrek movies, yeah, definitely give it a chance…

      • I LOVE that picture!!! Such a manipulative kitty this Puss, ahah.

        I enjoyed the heck out of this movie, though I didn’t really care for that Humpty Dumpty character. I think this was more fun than the last Shrek movie!

  4. I wanted to like this movie, but I was just very underwhelmed by it. Here was their chance to do something different than the Shrek franchise, but it is just more of the same. Plus, side characters are great because they are side characters. I loved Steve Carell in “Anchorman,” but that doesn’t mean I want to see a movie starring that character. He is great in small doses. The same is true for Puss.

    But I should have known I wouldn’t like this movie – I am not a fan of Shrek. So there’s that.

    • Heh. Yeah, that MIGHT need to be taken into consideration.

      Where I’d disagree is that they needed to do something wildly different from the “Shrek” franchise. As a fan of that series, having a different lead character was enough of a chance to make it all seem fresh again… at least enough to be enjoyable.

      Too bad, wish you had enjoyed this one more Mark!

  5. Btw Fogs, you love 80s/90s action flicks right? Then I invite you to check out my pal Ted’s list that just went up last night. I think you’ll like it 😉

    • I’ll keep it in mind Ruth. Schedule is reeeal tight this weekend with three flicks I’m gonna hit, but I’ll be by again soon! 😀

      And yes, I definitely DO like 80s and 90s Action flicks. 😀

  6. This movie caught me by surprise by how much I laughed, and how much of it I thought was very cute. I know, I know, it sounds a little too wimpy coming from me, but since I have a cat of my own, I couldn’t help but laugh at all of the funny stuff they included in this film that have to do with cats themselves. Still, as good as it was, I don’t really think I would want to see a second one to this. Good review Fogs.

    • Nah, it doesnt sound wimpy, this movie was cute. [Shrugs] That IS the word for it. LOL.

      You’d bail if they did Puss in Boots 2 though, huh? Well, I suppose that’s probably wise. Its practically a guarantee that the quality’ll drop off at some point, so…

      Anyways, thanks Dan!

Join in the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s