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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > Puss in Boots

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PUSS IN BOOTS (2011)

Featuring the voices of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mitchell, Rich Dietl, Ryan Crego, Tom Wheeler, Conrad Vernon, Tom McGrath, Bob Joles, Latifa Ouaou, Bob Persichetti, Chris Miller, Jessica Schulte Jones and Nina Barry.

Screenplay by Brian Lynch, David H. Steinberg, Tom Wheeler and John Zack.

Directed by Chris Miller.

Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures.  90 minutes.  Rated PG.

 

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Puss in Boots

Cats are just naturally amusing creatures.  Whether chasing a ball or their tail or lapping up milk or stretching out in a sun spot, they just naturally make most people smile.  If you doubt it, just check the internet and see how many cat videos you can find. 

Greatly due to this natural likability, the character of Puss in Boots was always one of the most enjoyable roles in the Shrek films.  Now Puss has gotten his own movie, and it is by far the best piece of Shrek-related moviemaking since Shrek II (the film in which Puss was introduced.) 

There are lots of fun roads that the movie takes – Puss as a Latin lover, Puss as a “cat” burglar, Puss saving his town from danger – and yet Puss in Boots is at its most charming when it is allowing its main character to simply be a cat.  Things like having a foe distract him with a laser pointer, having Puss order a “leche” (Spanish for “milk”) in a tough bar and then lap it up with his tongue, having Puss sheepishly claim the vial of catnip he was carrying was “for my glaucoma” – this type of subtle moment is when Puss in Boots really shines. 

It’s weird to say, since it is an animated character, but Puss has become Antonio Banderas’ signature role as an actor.  Much more than any recent live-action film, Banderas is obviously having great fun with his character and that fun is contagious. 

As is traditional in Shrek films, the film is a fractured look at fairy tales – beyond the title character we have significant appearances by the likes of Humpty Dumpty (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), Jack & Jill and the magic beans which make a giant Beanstalk. 

There is also a potential love match for Puss in the cute and cuddly form of female thief Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek).  Their verbal jousting is lots of fun – the two actors have been friends for years and the camaraderie shows. 

But, like I said earlier, as much fun as the more hi-tech and high concept sections of Puss in Boots may be, the true joy is when the movie just luxuriates in a smart and funny appreciation of cats.  It needed nothing more to be one of the most enjoyable animated films of the year – and Puss in Boots is just that.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 23, 2012.

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Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 20, 2012.

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