Puss In Boots is a film that offers zero risk to audiences. The animation is superb, the voice acting is top-notch, the writing is genuinely funny and the overall presentation is flawless. Puss In Boots manages to be satisfying all the way through for viewers of all ages. As such, absolutely no one will walk out of the theater disappointed in any way.
Set in a fantastic Spanish-themed world, Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) roams the land, pilfering valuables from rough men and stealing hearts of finicky felines. As a wanted bandit, Puss is forced to be quick with his wits and sword, but his troubles aren’t new. They began long ago in his childhood hometown where he first met Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis). Growing up as troublemakers, Humpty was eventually sent to prison and Puss was finally forced to flee the town to live his life on the lam. During his travels, however, Puss learns of the legendary magic beans that grow the beanstalk to the castle in the sky where a goose that lays golden eggs resides. The opportunity is too much for Puss to resist. Determined to right his past wrongs, Puss teams up with Humpty and his new accomplice Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) to steal the magic beans from the menacing Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) and take the gold-producing goose. Unfortunately, someone else wants that goose even more and will do whatever it takes to get it back.
First and foremost, Puss In Boots looks fantastic, augmented by excellent use of 3-D. When the camera sweeps across the desert plains in early scenes, audiences will definitely feel the sense of movement, blurring the lines between the film and the theater. The non-3-D aspects are just as impressive and each of the characters is animated in lifelike ways with just enough cartoony rubber to keep the presentation light and fun. While the 2-D version won’t disappoint at all, audiences should definitely catch Puss In Boots in 3-D if available. The extra dimension is just enough to turn this satisfying movie experience into a wonderful spectacle.
The filmmakers did a great job in maximizing the potential of the world of Puss In Boots. Watching Puss behave mostly like a human throughout the film, but drawing upon his cat aspects like super powers will have viewers smiling at the irony. For instance, Puss relies on his annoying mewling to irritate a guard only to have the guard spray Puss with a squirt bottle. Puss In Boots is full of these great gags that deal with the characters logistically and realistically rather than just as characters who happen to be animals or food.
The story is also surprisingly rich and the characters are very well developed. Puss has been a recognizable character from all the Shrek films and it’s nice to see his history and how he came to be. More than just an origin story, Puss In Boots also tells a tale of sacrifice, disappointment, pride, revenge and redemption. There’s even a bit of romance that – while predictable – is still cathartic to witness. Most importantly, however, the story is easy to follow for young audiences and relevant for older audiences who will enjoy all of the innuendos and meta moments written specifically for them.
The best entertainment in film these days is coming from animation. The possibilities are limitless and filmmakers never have to consider believability because audiences are already knowingly watching a cartoon. All that’s left is to make good use of the freedom. Puss In Boots does that extremely well in every aspect, making this film a must-see for anyone who enjoys excellent entertainment.