Movie review: 'Puss in Boots' is full of family fun
Few things are funnier than a real-life feline fighting a ball of yarn, but the animated antics of “Puss in Boots” come pretty close.
Being a cartoon cat, young Puss has some advantages over your common household kitty, such as opposing thumbs, the skill to match blades with the fiercest of swordsmen, and the ability to speak hilarious lines with the elegant baritone of Antonio Banderas (“Fear me, if you dare!”). And he wears those boots (as the title indicates), that cape and that big feathered hat. Try dressing your cat up in an outfit like that.
That sets things up for some pretty mirthful moments in this spinoff of the “Shrek” franchise, which relates the origin of Puss and his life before meeting the big green fella, when he was an outlaw in his Spanish hometown.
The film is populated with twisted nursery-rhyme characters, beginning with Puss’ orphanage childhood and his friendship with ambitious egghead Humpty Dumpty (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). Together they dream of finding the magic beans needed to grow a beanstalk and steal the fabled goose that laid the golden egg from the giant in the sky. But the dream is elusive and the two friends grow apart, and the cat grows up to find his true calling when he rescues a woman from the path of a charging bull.
The villagers of San Ricardo proclaim Puss a hero and award him his famous boots and hat. But unhappy events and fickle fortune eventually leave the cat branded a traitor. When he crosses paths with Humpty again, the egg has turned bad, still obsessed with stealing the goose, and eager to enlist Puss as his partner in crime. But it’s going to be a one-egg, two-cat caper. Enter Kitty Softpaws (seductively voiced by Salma Hayek), the greatest thief in all of Old Spain.
In their fifth film together, Banderas and Hayek conjure the same steamy chemistry with their animated characters as they’ve managed with their live-action roles in “Desperado” and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” creating boy-girl tension between Puss and Kitty that is edgy and sweet.
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