2011, Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, and Zach Galifianakis. Directed by Chris Miller.
The latest animated action adventure tale from the Shrek franchise is a real gem. This time we are treated to more skewered fairy tales as we learn Puss’ back story. He grew up in an orphanage, was a high-spirited, reckless youth falsely accused of a crime, and has lived by his wits and superior sword-fighting skills ever since. Now, an opportunity to obtain the legendary magic beans that can provide access to riches beyond imagination introduces Puss to Kitty Softpaws, reunites him with his childhood friend Humpty Dumpty, and takes them on a wild adventure that may or may not clear his good name once and for all.
One of my favorites, the “dance-fight” between Puss and Kitty is just one of many priceless scenes that is not only amazing in its execution but so hilarious you can’t help but laugh out loud. The dialog is sharp and witty and the action is non-stop. With its spectacular animation, hilarious situations, and loveable characters, adults can enjoy this film just as much as children.
By the way, let’s hear it for the modern era of high-quality animation that grown-ups can relish with guilt-free pleasure! Disney has been doing it forever, but back in the day those beautiful animated features were considered too juvenile for adults. Or perhaps those of us who grew up loving those old cartoon movies discovered that we still loved them as adults when we took our kids to see them. Initially it was the magnificent music of Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994) in addition to the big name stars providing character voices that provided a reasonable excuse for viewing them more than once. For me personally, they were just great movies. Then came Toy Story in 1995 and the audience for family-friendly animation would never be narrowed to just children again.
A good movie is a good movie, whether it is live-action or animated. Puss in Boots is really good.