Puss In Boots: The Cat Becomes the Legend

Puss In Boots: The Cat Becomes the Legend

Laura Drinan

 Several years before the events of Shrek (2001), Puss, the sword fighting cat, becomes a legend in the town of San Ricardo. The audience experiences a beautifully animated film, with laughs for both the kids and adults, and witty characters that make the somewhat lackluster plot worthwhile. Dreamworks commonly manipulates the common perception of childhood fairy tales, to incorporate their own characters and many other fictional ones that have been well known and loved throughout many people’s juvenility. Antonio Banderas does a good job at voicing the adventurer cat once again since his resonating portrayal in Shrek 2 (2004).

In Puss In Boots, the swashbuckling cat sets out to repay a debt he owes to his hometown after a tragic accident with his “brother”, Humpty Alexander Dumpty. Growing up in an orphanage, Puss learned to fight for himself and he became best friends with Humpty (Zach Galifianakis), who planned to steal Jack’s magic beans from Jack and Jill (the hilariously redneck bandit duo portrayed by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) in order to live in the riches of the golden eggs. Humpty, enthralled by the idea of wealth, jeopardizes his trust and friendship with Puss, only to fail his plan for money miserably and end up in the San Ricardo prison. Leaving jail with humiliation and dishonor, Humpty plans to extract revenge on Puss for leaving their “Bean Club” and their fellowship. Tagging along with Humpty is Kitty Softpaws, the irresistible seductress voiced by Salma Hayek, also known as a master pickpocket and Puss’s love interest of the film. Humpty and Kitty make an interesting pair that deceive Puss into trusting them and taking back his role in the Bean Club.

The film is aimed for an audience of all ages, yet there are some subtle (and quite obvious) humor targeted for the adult audience. Humpty Dumpty makes a reference to the 1999 film, Fight Club, with his line, “The first rule of Bean Club is: You never talk about Bean Club”. Puss’s signature, a ‘P’ made of slashes from his sword, is also a reference to the Zorro movies (also starring Antonio Banderas), in which Zorro marked his territory with a ‘Z’, from a violent slice of his sword. Aside from the comedic movie references, Puss In Boots also delivers humor to the children, like the dancing cat fights, Puss’s wide-eyed pout, and Humpty’s golden egg suit, which were among the classic Shrek-styled jokes.

What really made the film worthy of the theaters was it’s flawless and fluid animation. Dreamworks has yet to fail an audience with their visual masterpieces, despite their occasionally bland plots. Luckily, Puss In Boots was able to wow the audiences in theater rather than having it as a straight-to-DVD, as originally planned. It has grossed $109 million since it’s release, making Puss In Boots quite successful in the cinemas. For a Shrek prequel, Puss In Boots does extraordinarily well for itself and satisfies the viewers’ craving for beautiful animation, silly jokes and puns, and a heartfelt storyline. Where the in-depth plot fails, the romping and exciting adventure makes up for it in Puss In Boots.