Puss in Boots

Directed By: Chris Miller

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Zeus Mendoza, and Constance Marie

Animated films were made to make parents happy by making their kids happy and docile.  A couple of hours of harmless, distracting entertainment helps mommy and daddy get a buzz without the headache of kids running around the house looking to get into something.  Any decent animated film can do this flawlessly.  A great animated film keeps the kids peaceful but gives the parents something to actually enjoy aside from played-out fairy tales and sappy happy endings.  Chris Miller's Puss in Boots falls in the latter category.  This feline's smooth sensuality catapults the film into the pantheon of great animated flicks.

Growing up in the town of San Ricardo, Spain, Puss (Antonio Banderas) befriends a young, friendless Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis).  The friends dream of finding magic beans that grow into beanstalks and climbing them to the legendary home of the Golden Goose and to a life of wealth and riches.  As boys, the two start stealing in an effort to find the magic beans and their dreams.  Unfortunately, this proclivity for thievery tends to get Humpty into trouble.  As young adults, Humpty remains a thief, while Puss has become a hero in their hometown.  In a failed effort to rob the town bank, Humpty implicates Puss.  This treachery costs Puss not only his friendship with Humpty but his home and his honor.  He becomes a legendary vigilante.

Later in life, their paths cross once again in separate efforts to find the magic beans.  Puss reluctantly teams with Humpty and his new associate Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek).  While Puss works toward finally building his dream and begins to fall for his crafty partner Kitty, he fails to recognize the hints of déjà vu in the air and the looming threat to both him and the people of San Ricardo.

Now that he's crossed the milestone of the big 5-0 and can no longer convincingly suit up as the famed Mexican hero Zorro, Antonio Banderas has found a new blockbuster franchise in Puss in Boots.  He's found a computerized hero that's got the looks, the moves, and the ladies. Banderas' Puss is far from any character in a typical animated movie.  From the opening of the film alone, this flick feels like it's more for adults than kids.  Puss is smooth with the kitties, and he's getting around town. After all, he's the "Furry Lover". 

That thought that the film was more for adults was short-lived however.  When Miller got into Humpty Dumpty, the beanstalk, and the Golden Goose, I came back to Earth.  This spinoff of Shrek has to have the right balance of kiddie jokes and the real jokes for mom and dad.

Given his start in the Shrek series, Puss will inevitably be compared to the jolly green ogre. The film does everything that any Shrek film has ever done but does it so much better.  Shrek was the first animated film to really offer something for both the kids and parents.  Dreamworks got the job done with subtle sexual innuendo for the most part.  Puss is a kitty with libido that makes a habit of one night stands...enough said. 

Shrek dove into the world of fairy tales.  While the films made plenty of references to some of the most legendary stories of all time, they never focused their energy on one or two tales.  Puss in Boots puts bull’s-eyes on Humpty Dumpty and the Golden Goose and never lets go.  For adults who may not remember every little bit about every character, this focus is priceless. 

Finally, the Shrek films had a dynamic duo in the green ogre (Mike Myers) and his girlfriend Fiona (Cameron Diaz).  As great as they are together on screen, Puss and Kitty make a better pair.  The playful chemistry between the two is quite impressive for an animated film.  While Shrek and Fiona test the limits of their bodily functions, Puss and Kitty dance fight.

Puss in Boots is a flick that's got everything a growing moviegoer needs, plus some stuff for the grown ones too.  You can't go wrong with this awesome animated film.  This suave, daring kitty easily gets a 0.03% rating.  The only thing I'd say about the film is that the IMAX 3D is just okay.  With enough liquor, you can get the same special effects.