Way before he ever met Shrek, the legendary Puss in Boots goes on a heroic journey, teaming up with mastermind Humpty Dumpty and the street-savvy Kitty Softpaws to steal the famed goose that lays the Golden Eggs.
In this fractured fairy tale, Jack and Jill have the magic beans and Humpty Dumpty, with the aid of Kitty Softpaws, convinces his old friend Puss in Boots to help him steal the beans so they can climb the beanstalk to get to the golden eggs. Never mind that Humpty Dumpty and Puss in Boots had a falling out years ago, or that Jack and Jill are completely preoccupied by their squabbling over whether or not to have a child--and regardless that Puss in Boots is a wanted cat who's sworn off his thieving ways, and Kitty Softpaws is a cat burglar who works alone. Comedy abounds in this film, not only in the twists and turns of some classic fairy tales gone awry, but with scenes that range from a litter-box dance fight between crowds of cats to Jack expressing his paternal instincts by strapping on a baby carrier filled with a piglet in a diaper, and, of course, Puss in Boots' crafty use of his famous sad eyes to get just what he wants. The animation is top-notch (especially in the mass cat scenes), the music is compelling, and the voice talents of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zack Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Amy Sedaris are solid. While considered by some to be a prequel of sorts to the four Shrek
films, Puss in Boots
is definitely a stand-alone spinoff. What the films do share is a common comedic interpretation of some well-known fairy-tale characters and knack for spinning a funny story that appeals to both kids and adults. While a heightened sense of peril and some extended fight scenes may prove a bit intense for the youngest and most sensitive audience members, Puss in Boots
is generally appropriate for ages 7 and older. --Tami Horiuchi