Puss in Boots
Long before he even met Shrek, the notorious fighter, lover and outlaw Puss in Boots becomes a hero when he sets off on an adventure with the tough and street smart Kitty Softpaws and the mastermind Humpty Dumpty to save his town. This is the true story of The Cat, The Myth, The Legend... The Boots.
In this fractured fairy tale, Jack and Jill have the magic beans and Humpty Dumpty, with the aid of Kitty Softpaws, convinces his old friend Puss in Boots to help him steal the beans so they can climb the beanstalk to get to the golden eggs. Never mind that Humpty Dumpty and Puss in Boots had a falling out years ago, or that Jack and Jill are completely preoccupied by their squabbling over whether or not to have a child—and regardless that Puss in Boots is a wanted cat who’s sworn off his thieving ways, and Kitty Softpaws is a cat burglar who works alone. Comedy abounds in this film, not only in the twists and turns of some classic fairy tales gone awry, but with scenes that range from a litter-box dance fight between crowds of cats to Jack expressing his paternal instincts by strapping on a baby carrier filled with a piglet in a diaper, and, of course, Puss in Boots’ crafty use of his famous sad eyes to get just what he wants. The animation is top-notch (especially in the mass cat scenes), the music is compelling, and the voice talents of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zack Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Amy Sedaris are solid. While considered by some to be a prequel of sorts to the four Shrek films, Puss in Boots is definitely a stand-alone spinoff. What the films do share is a common comedic interpretation of some well-known fairy-tale characters and knack for spinning a funny story that appeals to both kids and adults. While a heightened sense of peril and some extended fight scenes may prove a bit intense for the youngest and most sensitive audience members, Puss in Boots is generally appropriate for ages 7 and older. —Tami Horiuchi
By outwitting an evil giant and gaining a fortune for a poor young man, the resourceful Puss in Boots proves himself the Master Cat of them all. “It is pure Perrault, pure Galdone, and children will love it.”—School Library Journal, starred review