12 August 2012

Movies: Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448694/

Puss in Boots, from the Shrek series of films, is back in his own film. We learn about Puss' origins and adventures before his Shrek days. We find out that Puss and Humpty Dumpty grew up together at an orphanage, that Humpty has obsessed his whole life about obtaining the magic beans that lead to a giant's castle in the clouds and owns a goose that lays golden eggs, and the falling-out then reunion between Puss and Humpty.

So yeah, we're mashing up Puss in Boots with Humpty Dumpty, Jack and the Beanstalk, with a little bit of Jack and Jill. The story is nothing like the original Puss in Boots fairy tale, Humpty is nowhere near his rhyme, Jack and Jill are nothing like you'd imagine from the nursery rhyme, and as for the Jack and the Beanstalk bit? That's actually closer to the mark than the rest, but still a bit distant. But J&tB gets a pass because this occurs after Jack's famous trip to the clouds.

Antonio Banderas once again supplies the voice for Puss. Selma Hayek voices Kitty Softpaws. Zach Gallifanakis (the bearded man-child of the Hangover films) voices Humpty. We also get Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris voicing Jack and Jill.

The voice acting - couldn't ask for better. I was wondering how well Gallifanakis would work in a voice acting role after watching him in his most recent films and his stand-up routines, but my fears were assuaged. Good job by all the cast.
The animation was good too. Dreamworks has come a long way from their early films, they've gotten better with each feature.

Story-wise? It works. That odd mash of stuff works together. It's coherent, entertaining, and surprisingly (and thankfully) doesn't just reuse the Shrek storytelling model with Puss as the focus. They let Puss be his own lead in his own film.

Easily recommended if you like the Shrek films, like good storytelling in animation, have children, etc.

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