We’re all in agreement on the thought that the last two Shrek movies (“Shrek 3” and “Shrek: the Final Chapter”) have NOT measured up to the hilarity of the first two (“Shrek” and “Shrek 2”), right? So it was with some trepidation that I viewed this spin-off franchise. Well, I WAS hesitant about seeing this film until I saw the “Ooooo” cat trailer for “Puss in Boots”. THAT and that alone sold me on it. Maybe it’s just my sense of humor, but I thought that was hysterical. (On a sad note, he’s not in the film enough – I would have used him in about 15 more scenes!)
“Puss in Boots” tells the origin of the swashbuckling rogue of a cat. I love the setting and the storyline really. However, t is the charm of the character though that makes this movie a success at all. When you start combining “fairy-tales” into a twisted re-vamp of origins, there’s a lot of fun to be had. The film focuses on Jack & Jill, Jack and the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty, and of course Puss in Boots. There’s so much fun to be had in this film that it is easy to watch and laugh at it. The great part about animated movies like this is that you know not one once of it is taken seriously. You are free to laugh at the silly and the crash moments with abandon. I guess in that way, “Puss in Boots” harkens back to the original “Shrek” film that got us all laughing at the absurdity of Robin Hood and his Merry Men doing their musical number.
There isn’t much to tell about this film without spoiling the storyline. I liked the choice of Salma Hayek as voice for Kitty Soft Paws. The studio could have gone with Penelope Cruz or some other Latino woman for the voice, but I wouldn’t have understood the character as well I think. Antonio Banderas is great as a voice actor too (I cannot imagine how he delivers some lines without cracking himself up!). Humpty Dumpty is a little disturbing as a character. An egg with little arms and legs and a face – it’s just weird. I did like the choice of Zach Galifianakis for him though; it just worked well. And Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris as the assassins/thieves known as Jack & Jill – that’s hysterical!
The animation is great – especially around the top of the Beanstalk. I also liked the score for the movie (done by Henry Jackman), particularly when used for the chase scenes. Beyond that, all I can say is that I found “Puss in Boots” to be thoroughly enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoyed the humor of the 1st two “Shrek” movies. Keep an eye out for that cat and his fantastic line of “Ooooo”! That’s just great!
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE.
- ‘Puss in Boots’: Cat has egg in his face in ‘Shrek’ spin-off (insidemovies.ew.com)