Saturday, October 29, 2011

Puss in Boots

MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-I) Roger Moore (3 1/2 Stars) Fr. Dennis (2 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing -
CNS/USCCB review -
Roger Moore's review -,0,4915188.story

Puss in Boots (directed by Chris Miller, character by Charles Perault, screenplay by Tom Wheeler) a spin-off prequel about the life of Puss in Boots [IMDb] (voice by Antonio Banderas) prior to appearing in the Shrek 2 had fairly large boots to fill, and IMHO largely succeeded.

For while most American families will probably know Puss in Boots [IMDb] today mostly from the Shrek series where he appears as an eminently honorable, sophisticated sword-fighting El Cid, Musketeer, Zorro-like figure, he was originally an invention of 17th century French story-writer Charles Perault appearing as a character in Perault's Mother Goose stories (something important to understand in the current film).  However even in Perault's, 17th century stories, Le Chat Botté (the booted cat) was a booted sword-fighting cat with, well, savoir faire ;-). 

The current film has Puss' story take place that looks like either rural Spain or the American South-West during Spanish colonial times.  He grew-up an orphan in an orphanage in a small town called San Ricardo, cared for foster-mother Imelda (voice by Constance Marie) with childhood friend/fellow orphan Humpty Dumpty (voice by Zach Galifianakis).  Together apparently, the two orphans entered into a shady sort of life if not of outright crime, then certainly not on the "up and up," to the heart break of their loving foster-mother/caretaker Imelda.  Indeed, through the whole movie one is left wondering if Humpty Dumpty is really a "good egg" or a "bad" one ;-).

Anyway, seeking to make some easy money, the two along with Kitty Softpaws (voice by Salma Hayek), a grifter cat who Humpty Dumpty picked-up along the way, run into Jack and Jill (voices by Billy Bob Thorton and Amy Sedaris) imagined in this story to be a couple of Bonnie and Clyde / Jesse James types (and here I had thought that "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water..." :-).

The two, Jack and Jill, have apparently come across some magic seeds that when planted would grow into a giant bean-stalk (Jack and the Bean Stalk) so tall that it'd reach the clouds, where they could find a Goose that lays golden eggs.  This was too good a scam for Puss, Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Salfpaws to pass up.

Much happens.  And of course it all "ends well."  The question of what kind of an egg, Humpty Dumpty is, is sort of resolved.  And one certainly learns an eminently Hispanic lesson that the worst thing that one could do is to disappoint one's loving mother.  (Imelda plays a big role in this movie).

All in all I liked it.  To be honest, I do feel that Kitty Softpaws (voiced by Salma Hayek after all) was drawn in a somewhat disappointing way.  Her voice was full of attitude but looking at her, she didn't look particularly special.  Perhaps this was intentional, but I do have to say that I was somewhat disappointed. But Puss in Boots was a dashing/sophisticated and Zorro-like as I expected him.

Anyway, the movie's safe, teaches some good lessons (Kids, don't disappoint your mother...) and is fun.  I'd certainly recommend it to most families with small kids.

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1 comment:

  1. The character may be here to save the day, but the movie's only here to pass the time and it does that just fine. Nice review. Check out mine when you get the chance.