Puss In Boots
Stars: (voices of) Antonio Banderas, Selma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, Rich Dietl, Ryan Crego and Guillermo de Toro
Director: Chris Miller
Scriptwriters: Brian Lyunch, Tom Wheeler, Jon Zach and David H. Steinberg
Composer: Henry Jackman
Running Length: 90 minutes
Animated and also in 3 D
Little did the green ogre, Shrek, know that his sidekick Puss in Boots, an orange cat with the ego of a monarch, would end up having his own film. It has happened and Puss In Boots is a clever tail (excuse me, tale) that shows us the life of Puss (Antonio Banderas) before he met Shrek. DreamWorks animation is stellar and 3 D does make it seem as though the action is in the seat in front of you. Here, 3 D does make a difference.
We see that Puss, and what expressions he has, was part of an orange cat litter, but ended up alone and rescued by a woman (Constance Marie) who has a home for orphans. Puss is included in the group as a human, along with other animals. Eventually, he does a brave act and is awarded with a cap, feather, sword and those lovely boots. Puss has a childhood friend, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) who ends up being the kind of friend you can do without. Puss is framed for a crime and on the run with bounty hunters (Rich Dietl and Ryan Crego), a pair of married lowlifes (Amy Sedaris and Billy Bob Thornton) and their pig pets, and the Commandant (Guillermo de Toro.) hot on his trail. Along the way, Puss gains an ally in Kitty Softpaws (Selma Hayek), a pickpocket, who could give Catwoman a run for her black leather outfit. There are chases, rescues, snappy dialogue and imaginative scenery as Puss and Company try to escape and clear their names. There are surprises, too, so don't think the plot is laid out like a map. The animation for Humpty Dumpty is very good and who would have thought a talking egg could have such expression. It's hard to tell with Kitty, though, as she wears her black leather outfit through most of the film and you can't see that much from her eyes.
Though children would like the animation, the story is really for adults. It deals with childhood rejection, bullying, revenge, betrayal, don't declaw cats, greed and a mother’s love for her child, in the goose family, that is. There is a dance sequence with flamenco style that is innovative, plus escapes and chases with horses and carts and all set in a desert, mountainous country that resembles New Mexico. Villains are truly villainous and not terribly good looking, either. The Amy Sedaris character would frighten the hockey mask guy, himself. The lush country of Shrek must have looked good to Puss. It’s going to be a tough choice at Oscar nomination time for Animated Films, I thought Rio, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Cars 2 were well done, but Puss In Boots may over-run them.
So, Puss has quite a history when he first meets Shrek, though I don't think we will have seen the last of Puss. Now, for avid movie fans, I will reference a novella by Dutch author Tim Krabbe. There is something familiar in Puss.
Copyright 2011 Marie Asner