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Puss in Boots
The original Puss in Boots Fairytale
Puss in Boots
Director: Chris Miller
Writers: Charles Perrault, Bryan Lynch, David H. Steinberg, Tom Wheeler, Jon Zack
Voice Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, Guillermo del Toro, Tom McGrath, Tom Wheeler, Rich Dietl, Ryan Crego, Conrad Vernon, Bob Joles, Latifa Ouaou, Robert Persichetti Jr., Chris Miller, Jessica Schulte, Mike Mitchell, Nina Barry
Synopsis: A story about the events leading up to the sword fighting cat's meeting with Shrek and his friends.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor
Chase Dance Fight Scene
Puss in Boots-Oldspice Commercial (Warning: Your cat might get jealous)
A spin-off movie that's actually..(gasp)...GOOD?!?
Okay, I've officially seen everything now. First, I saw three prequels that were actually...GOOD..in "Paranormal Activity 3", "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", and "X-Men: First Class", earlier this year. Not an easy feat considering how most prequels aren't normally that great. Now, we have a spin off film that's....actually good! Seriously, out of all the spin off movies that I've seen, most of them aren't that great. In fact, the only closest one that I've seen that came close was "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Don't get me wrong, it was still okay for what it was trying to be, but the ending was such a piece of work that it almost kills anything that was good about the movie to begin with. Needless to say, I didn't exactly have high hopes coming into this film, but to my surprise, it's actually not that bad. No, if anything, I think this is arguably one of the best animated films of the year next to "Rango." And, that's saying a lot considering that I really loved that movie too.
Loosely based on the classic fairy tale character, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), as this film depicts his earlier adventures of how he inevitably became the legendary warrior and suave cat that "Shrek" fans have come to know and love over the years. The story takes place before Puss' debuts in "Shrek 2", where he's a lone warrior and alleged criminal due to a misunderstanding about a crime that he did not commit. Like all great mysterious heroes, Puss is running away from a past that he wishes he could forget, as it involves betrayal, heartbreak, and adventure. However, one day he meets a beautiful senorita cat that steals his heart, along with an old face from his past. Reluctant at first, Puss inevitably agrees to do a job that he believes will not only clear his name, but it'll finally make up for breaking his mother's heart as well. But is this familiar old friend to be trusted? Or could it be that his old acquaintance could have something even more devious up his sleeve? I can't really say without giving too much away, as you'll just have to see the film to find out.
Although this movie is said to be a spin off of the "Shrek" franchise, this movie could easily be a great stand alone film. Meaning that even if you haven't been following any of the "Shrek" films up to this point, you can still enjoy this movie based on it's own merit. However, if you have been following all the "Shrek" films to this point, then it'll just mean that you'll have a deeper appreciation for this movie.
Plus, in keeping with the tradition of "Shrek" movies, you can certainly expect to see other fairy tale figures to have their own cameos in this one as well; ranging from the likes of Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) to the now turned infamous outlaws, Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris).
However, what I loved most about this movie was that it finally brought back what the last two "Shrek" films were missing all these years....which was that surrealistic style that never allowed the first two movies to take itself too seriously; while still serving as a light "tongue and cheek" parody of classic fairy tale stories. Sure, "Shrek the Third" and "Shrek Forever After" had that same surrealistic style too, but you could almost tell the franchise was running out of steam by the time "Shrek 2" ended. Not only did the voice actors seem to have less enthusiasm in their performances, but the story lines and underlining themes they used in the first two movies was generically rehashed in the third film. Granted, "Shrek Forever After" did implement some new ideas for the franchise, but it was too late by that point.
However, this is exactly where "Puss in Boots" comes in. Not only does it return this imaginary surrealistic world back to a time when Dreamworks didn't try to over dramatize it, or merely rehash the same ideas, but it reminds us just how much fun this imaginary world of theirs can be. How it can still be silly, and goofy sometimes, yet manage to tell as deep of a story as any animated feature out there; while featuring strong themes that many kids and adults alike can relate to on a personal level. That in itself makes "Puss in Boots" worth watching alone. Not only was this film genuinely funny, but it's one of the few kid's films that adults won't have to fake laugh their way through to appease their kids. No, this is one of those rare animated films that both adults and kids will grow to love together, as it not only features a deep story to satisfy it's adult viewers, yet it's surprisingly simplistic enough for almost any child to still follow.
As for the voice actors, I have to say that I was very impressed with it. Normally, most voice acting work is pretty standard, but this is one of those rare films that the voice actors really shine through. Not only is Antonio Banderas charming and funny in this movie, but I loved the chemistry he resonated playing off Zach Galifianakis and Salma Hayek, as it's really something to see. In a way, it reminds me of the great chemistry that the all star cast of "Kung Fu Panda" had, as you could tell the actors were having fun in their perspective roles, and created a strong chemistry off each other. Granted, I know more than likely these actors were filmed individually behind a sound proof glass, but the unique approach and enthusiasm each actor brings to the table only helps the viewer enjoy watching these various personalities come together into one movie.
As for the animation itself, I have to say it's every bit as impressive as you'd expect it be from Dreamworks. However, I would say that the 3-D cinematography is arguably better than what audiences saw in "Shrek Forever After." Don't get me wrong, I thought "Shrek Forever After" had great 3-D cinematography, but "Puss in Boots" perfects it to the point that you have to see it to believe it. Seriously, this is one of those rare movies that I would strongly encourage anyone to see in 3-D if you can, as it's definitely quite a treat for the eyes.
Unfortunately, that's not to say that this film is completely perfect, as the story is fairly predictable. But then again, what animated kid film isn't these days?
Overall, I think adults and kids will love this movie. Hell, even if you've never even seen the previous "Shrek" films, then you'll still love this movie for what it is, as it's truly one of the best animated features of the year by far. Definitely worth seeing in 3D if you can afford it, or in 2D if you can't, at a rating of three and a half out of four. It's that good, and all I can say is...I hope there's a sequel to this film soon, as they definitely leave room for one...