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With $2.6 billion under its belt, the Shrek franchise is no longer releasing new films with the green ogre leading the story. But the first character to receive a spinoff is Puss in Boots, and the self-titled movie is another animated crowd pleaser for viewers of all ages.

Described as a “sort of southern European Mediterranean fairy tale” by director Chris Miller, the basic plot follows Puss (Antonio Banderas) and his colorful friend Humpty Dumpty as they try to clear their names in their town by retrieving golden eggs from a goose far up in the sky. The story is set prior to Puss meeting Shrek.

Though you won’t find any familiar faces from past Shrek films in Puss in Boots, the new ones introduced are instantly likable. Puss must match wits with Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), who gives Puss both a challenge and an attraction. Humpty, meanwhile, is voiced by Zach Galifianakis and provides the funniest dialogue in the film. The Shrek franchise has always been great at adding clever personalities to old fairy tale characters, and this film is no different thanks to this walking egg.

At a press junket for Puss held in Los Angeles over the weekend, Galifianakis told reporters, “The Humpty Dumpty character that I play – I never thought I’d say that in my life. Thank you Jesus. I think he’s a little all over the place. A little emotional, greedy, vindicative. But he’s legitimately an okay guy deep down in his yolk.”

(That’s not the only egg pun you’ll hear. They’re plentiful in the film and add to the character’s charm.)

Then there’s Jack and Jill who are much older than you last remembered them. Billy Bob Thornton voices Jack while Amy Sedaris powers Jill. Like Puss and Humpty, Jack and Jill are after the magic beans, which will provide wealth and riches to whoever possess them. Thornton jokingly described how the two came to be who they are in the film at the junket, saying, “In being able to make edgy fairytale characters, something went wrong when they went up the hill to get the pale of water. When they came down it was a whole new world.”

One of my favorite scenes was Puss and Humpty’s back stories where we see how they first met and developed a friendship. The two young characters are adorable and you come to understand a great story about friendship and trust.

I saw the film in 3D and found it subtle yet effective through most of the story. I’m not a fan of 3D but appreciated the fact that the filmmakers did not take it too far. They used it just enough to enhance the story but not give you any headaches.

Film aficionados will be pleased to hear that Guillermo Del Toro had an intriciate role with the film. Explained Miller, “having Guillermo working on the film was a blessing. I heard he wasn’t working on The Hobbit, then I heard he was going to Dreamworks. I had a chance to pitch him and he fell in love with it. He became an exec producer. He didn’t want to get too close to it so we brought him in every few weeks and showed him things like artwork, a character, a story, and he was great. He encouraged us and pushed us. It was a benefit all around.”

The humor in Puss in Boots can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. The screening I went to included several families, and most of the time I heard parents laughing more than the kids. This is because the laughter comes from some clever, thought-provoking writing that can be appreciated by people of all ages.

I definitely recommend catching this film if you are a fan of Shrek, animated pictures, comedy, cats, or walking eggs. It’s a definite crowd pleaser joining a long line of Dreamworks hits.

Puss in Boots hits theaters this Friday, October 28th.

Grade: A

  • http://www.rebellionradiopodcast.com Hurley

    Really? Puss in Boots gets a solid ‘A’, and no criticisms at all? Hmm… definitely surprised.

    • http://hypable.com/author/jeremy-baril/ Jeremy Baril

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with Puss in Boots. Light hearted, funny, clever. It’s a very good movie!

      • http://www.rebellionradiopodcast.com Hurley

        The official “Jeremy Baril” sticker of approval?

        Then I will definitely take this movie more seriously. :) No offence to Andrew or anything, but this review didn’t point out any of the movie’s flaws at all.

        • http://hypable.com/author/jeremy-baril/ Jeremy Baril

          There weren’t any flaws. While I wouldn’t give it an A, the movie succeeded on every level it attempted to reach. It is neither complex, nor insightful — but does that matter?

    • Corrine Clapp

      I’m kind of surprised as well, but in my opinion, Puss was the best character of the Shrek series (except maybe Donkey), so a spin-off of a well-liked character is most likely going to be successful.

      • http://www.rebellionradiopodcast.com Hurley

        Well of course this will make tons of money and will be great with the kids, but in my opinion, the Shrek franchise really dropped in quality after the 2nd one… I was sure a spin-off would be equally as bad, but hopefully I’m wrong.

        • http://www.hypable.com Andrew Sims

          I couldn’t think of any criticisms.  It’s a children’s animated film with a great story and line up of characters – I didn’t want to force any complaints when I really had none.

          • http://www.rebellionradiopodcast.com Hurley

            Hmm, then I will have to add this to my Watch list. Thanks for the review!

  • Anonymous

    looks like a stupid movie (see leche, more leche, more leche, more leche, more leche, more leche, more leche, more leche, more leche, more leche commercial). i will not be seeing it.

    • moonshoespotter1712

      i thought it wouldnt be good, but reviews suggest otherwise.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t want to watch this because I thought it would be a lame spin off, but I’ll check it out. BTW, how did Andrew see it before it hit theaters?

    • Eoin

      That is what I would like to know. A test screening? He said there were a lot of families so that is probably the answer.

      • http://hypable.com/author/jeremy-baril/ Jeremy Baril

        In order to review these films for our readers — we attend advance press screenings when possible :)

        • http://www.hypable.com Andrew Sims

          What Jeremy said, and in this case it was at a larger theater to hold families who I assume they had invited to help spread the word about the film.

          • moonshoespotter1712

            you guys are so lucky…

  • http://twitter.com/fluflu44 Mandy Brennan

    Huge fan of walking eggs. I don’t get enough of them! Haha

    I hope to see it this weekend!

  • http://twitter.com/tarthurs09 Tylor Arthurs

    Great review Andrew!  So pumped to see this movie!!!  lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002230938851 Maddie Miles

    Test screenings? How handy. :)  Great to read a positive review, though- it sounds adorable. When I heard they were doing this spin-off, I was excited, but also rather doubtful. I mean, the Shrek films went down fast… but I’m glad you say it’s good. And I hadn’t realized it had Galifianakis in it- that should make it all the better. :)

  • moonshoespotter1712

    hmm id like to see it now :)

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