pussinboots1This film is totally in the clawed hands of Puss.

Shrek 2 was arguably the best film in that green ogre franchise. One of the main reasons for its success was a little orange cat in black leather boots. Puss in Boots pretty much stole every scene in that film so I was excited about the chance to see him in his own animated feature, aptly named, Puss In Boots. Although I am a dog lover at heart there are things that are distinctly cat like that make for a memorable and at times laugh out loud character.

This is a prequel of sorts since it tells the tale of Puss (Antonio Banderas) long before he runs into Shrek and the gang.  Here we find a very young cat living in an orphanage with an egg boy named Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis). They are closer than brothers until a series of events drives them apart. But when the lure of magic beans brings them back together, along with a skillful female cat named Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), they have to find a way to get along and trust one another.

There are quite a few laughs in this installment with 98% of them being cat related. This film is totally in the clawed hands of Puss. Everyone else is there basically to move the story along. Humpty is an odd character and the writers do a decent job of molding the fairy tale into this story. Kitty is a good companion character to Puss but she is still certainly in his shadow. For those fans of the Desperado franchise who longed for another outlaw adventure with Banderas and Hayek; this may be as close as you get.

The addition of Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris) as two burly bandits is well translated into this story. They are far removed from the characters we grew up imagining which adds a nifty twist to the fairy tale world. Throw in jack’s beanstalk, magic beans and a lot of Mexican cat dances and you have a pretty solid 90 minutes. The most impressive aspect is the depth of animation. The detail in the 3 D version is jaw dropping. Each whisker and tuft of hair moves with exquisite style. It was if you could reach out run your hands through his soft fur. Hats off to the animators on this one. Certainly top notch.

Puss In Boots is rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor. Puss is often portrayed as a lover not a fighter and there are some amorous looks between him and Kitty. This will of course fly over the head of your youngsters who will be too busy laughing at all the feline humor and larger than life characters. There is some sword play of course but nothing that would be shocking or out of line from the normal animated films. It is certainly one to watch with your youngsters. I laughed quite a bit but still would not put this on a date night list or an outing sans youngsters. But if you have kids to take, and you don’t want to wait for the DVD release (which this might be ok to wait for), you will find enough adult geared moments to get you through. I give it 3 out of 5 bottles of cat nip. Puss is a great character but I felt that the film relied too heavily on the cat antics. There were a few other characters that could have been used to better advantage. Certainly a puurfect renter, I just say be a little finicky about paying box office prices, especially for what they charge for 3D these days.

Matt Mungle

Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.