Editor’s Note: Go,See,Talk presents this review of Puss In Boots as part of a series of entries from our guest contributing writer Grady M.
DreamWorks has dreamt up yet another hit movie with Puss in Boots. This prequel to Shrek will entertain adults with its witty banter as the children chuckle at the physical comedy. The back story on Puss in Boots is heartwarming and emotionally charged, like the entire Shrek series. DreamWorks has a knack for taking existing nursery rhymes and turning them into something a little bolder, with crude humor wrapped around a barrel of laughs. This prequel to the Shrek series wasn’t just another spin-off to rake in a few bucks off of the existing Shrek line of films. Well…maybe it was, but a lot of thought, creativity and talent went into making this film. This movie could stand on its own without the Shrek series and still be just as successful.
Puss in Boots is the story of the legendary lover, fighter and outlaw. The film opens with the always confident Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) who eventually runs into his street smart competition, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). This encounter sparks a series of chase scenes and clever dialogue, which in turn leads back to an old friend turned enemy. Puss in Boots then sets off on an adventure with Kitty SoftPaws and the mastermind, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis). Friends and foes they encounter along the way will have you on the edge of your seat.
Two of the characters were voiced by Guillermo del Toro (writer/director of Pan’s Labyrinth). When DreamWorks can pull in this level of talent, including a well-respected writer/director/producer like Guillermo del Toro, you know they were serious about this movie. It probably doesn’t hurt that Guillermo was one of the executive producers as well. In 1995 Pixar forever changed the face of animated films with Toy Story (special thanks to Steve Jobs – R.I.P.). Since then the entire movie industry has not been the same. A-listers bring their wit and charm to the screen, breathing new life into these marvelous animated characters. Puss in Boots follows this same formula for success.
Typically with a spin-off film you end up with flat, lifeless skeletal remains of a bare bones movie leveraging its success solely on the popularity of the characters themselves. Thankfully Puss in Boots does not suffer such ill fate. In fact, Puss in Boots was quite fresh and wholly original. There were no traces of the Shrek series in Puss in Boots, other than Puss in Boots himself. As with all DreamWorks animated films the animation was incredible. The screenplay was well written, constantly keeping the film moving forward, which will keep audiences engaged throughout. With a running time of 90 minutes, Puss in Boots is long enough to be satisfying, but short enough to keep a child’s attention through the entirety of the film.
Chris Miller (director) has a long list of hits under his belt with DreamWorks, including the first three Shrek movies. People often wonder, “What does a director do on an animated film?” Well, directing an animated film, in some ways, is actually much harder. You have most of the challenges of a live action film plus additional pitfalls that are in many ways more difficult to manage. Kudos to Chris Miller for directing yet another fine animated film.
Puss in Boots presents real world struggles that tug at your heart strings. The back story has an emotional depth that would rival most live action films. While the comedy aspect of the movie takes it to the next level. The innuendos and subtle humor are enough to keep even the sleepy eyed parents awake (nudge – dad, wake up). While Puss in Boots probably won’t win any Academy Awards, it is a fun filled joyride for the soul. With the incredible advances in technology and total dedication to this art form, Puss in Boots is better than you might expect.
Regardless of whether or not you have children, Puss in Boots is enjoyable for all ages. Somehow DreamWorks manages to weave this perfect web of magic timing. The innuendos play directly into the physical comedy making parents and adults laugh at the same time. This is a true art form and garners a subconscious respect for what is taking place on the screen. If you are a fan of the Shrek movies then this film is for you. If you’ve never seen any of the Shrek films, this movie is still for you. If you’ve seen Puss in Boots already please share your thoughts below. If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it…then come back and talk about it.