Following the success of the Shrek films, Dreamworks comes up with a spin off movie, one that tackles the legend of Puss in Boots as a fugitive from the law and a swordsman and ladies’ man extraordinaire. Antonio Banderas returns to the franchise to lend his voice to the adorable ginger feline while Salma Hayek voices the character of Kitty Softpaws, the skilled thief who partners with Puss in his quest for the magic beans, a journey he agrees to take in order to clear his name with his townsfolk and his adopted mother, Imelda. Rounding up the trio is Puss’s estranged childhood friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), a brilliant inventor and master planner who introduced him to the idea of the magic beans when they were still in the orphanage of San Ricardo.
If anybody out of the Shrek franchise deserved a spin off, I would have to agree that it should be Puss. Since he first appeared in Shrek 2, his character has proven to be an interesting subject to flesh out because of his air of mystery and contradictions. In this film, the filmmakers delved into his back story with Humpty and explained his Zorro-esque personality through an entertaining mix of Mexican mariachi music and excellent sword fights. What I liked about the movie was that despite giving human-like characteristics to the lead characters, they did not forget to incorporate mannerisms and skills of felines to Puss and Kitty, like their general sense of curiosity, litheness and grace, which was adorable to watch in adventure after adventure.
While the animation was good, I believe the story could have worked a bit more on the pacing as the flashbacks were a bit dragging and wordy at times . It was also fairly predictable and unoriginal as compared to other animated films being produced now that are stepping up their game in terms of story development.
All in all, Puss in Boots was fairly entertaining although it falls way behind any of the animated features I’ve seen in recent months. While it was undeniably cute, there really should be something more.