Film Review: Puss in Boots
● By Wendy Sipple
The newest animated effort from Dreamworks Animation is a spin off from the Shrek series. This is an original movie featuring Puss in Boots and tells the tale of how Puss went from orphan to “legend." Puss befriends loner, Humpty Dumpty, at the orphanage and the two set out to find the magic beans in an effort to steal the golden goose. But as they grow older, Puss becomes a hero while Humpty becomes a villain. The two cross paths again and agree to work together to complete their plan. Puss wants to redeem his name and save his village but Humpty Dumpty may have more sinister plans in mind.
If Puss in Boots had been released 15 years ago then perhaps my review would take a different tone. But having seen the Shrek and Hoodwinked films (not including countless other films that spin classic fairy tales in odd directions) it seems to have lost its novelty to me. The entire plot is predicated on the audience being entertained by characters like Jack and Jill portrayed as thugs and Humpty Dumpty as a revenge mad villain. I more or less yawned at the concept, so perhaps I’m jaded. This is not to say Puss in Boots is a bad movie, just not terribly creative which makes it rather forgettable.
I expected -- or perhaps was hoping for -- more action in Puss in Boots. Instead most of the action was contained to mild chase scenes and dance offs. The ideas were in place to have something epic. In fact the beanstalk growing was beautifully animated and a fun scene. It ended with a thud though as the kidnapping of the golden gooses was a let down (and far too easy). Which was a theme throughout this film. In addition, I was surprised at the lack of comedy within the film. I applaud the writers for not loading the film with pop culture references, but some humor outside of the fairytale puns would have been welcomed.
The voice talent is fine. In fact, Antonio Banderas is excellent as the voice of Puss -- his vocal talent in conjunction with this character in the Shrek series is what made this film happen. The rest of the cast fill in great in the supporting roles as well. Thankfully Puss in Boots avoids all references to Shrek and stands on its own merits.
The biggest problem for Puss in Boots is that the bar is set so high for these animated films now, not just in visual style but story as well. A string of excellent films in recent years really shines a glaring spotlight on animated films that simply don’t measure up, and unfortunately for me, Puss in Boots is one of those. It is far from a bad movie but equally far from a great movie. Kids will have fun and parents won’t dislike it, so in that regard it’s a success, I just wanted more.
Films Like Puss in Boots – Hoodwinked, Shrek Ever After and Hoodwinked Too
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.