Puss in Boots (2011)
Get ready for…Puss…in…Boots! No, but seriously, it’s a hairball of punny laughter that hits you in the face before you can see it coming. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature (but seriously, can anyone explain why The Adventures of Tintin got completely left out like a cat in the rain?), Puss in Boots is directed by Chris Miller (Shrek the Third).
Now for the quick synopsis, because I don’t want to write a long one. Puss in Boots meets Kitty Softpaws after they try to nab Jack and Jill’s magic beans at the same time. Together, they discover a partnership with a common goal, but then they meet Humpty Dumpty, a hard-boiled criminal with scrambled morals, who tries to use the cat couple to help him get the beans. Humpty and Puss have a bad history, you see. Will Humpty soften up, or will he remain a bad egg?
Puss is voiced purr-fectly by Antonio Banderas, but it’s Humpty who shines like the golden eggs they wish to retrieve. Zach Galifianakis, of course, known for Due Date and The Hangover: Part II, is the ideal choice for the egg. Selma Hayek plays Kitty Softpaws wonderfully, and the supporting cast (including Billy Bob Thornton & Amy Sedaris, who play Jack and Jill, plus Guillermo del Toro) worked well together.
I should warn you of the dozen (I counted) instances where cat puns, expressions, or other plays on the characteristics of the feline are mentioned. And half as many egg yolks…I mean jokes (and yes, I counted those too). Some are incredibly clever and punny, but some are a bit of a desperate stretch. Some of the cleverer ones are just as funny for adults, at times leading to laughter that overbears that of your children. It goes as far as to make slight sex, drugs and alcohol-related jabs (don’t worry, everything is perfectly tasteful), and also makes a great Fight Club reference.
As far as animated movies, Puss in Boots falls far behind The Adventures of Tintin, one of the greatest animated films of recent history, and it might not be as funny as Kung Fu Panda 2, but it makes for some childish fun…and for cat lovers, it’s a must.