Thursday, November 10, 2011

Puss in Boots - Another Remake Worth Watching

Late seventeenth century French writer, Charles Perrault wrote the story Master Cat a/k/a The Booted Cat which in turn became popularly called Puss in Boots

It is the story of a deceitful cat that creates diversions and deception to advance his impoverished master's life into a world of prosperity as well as marriage to the land's princess. It is a celebrated tale that has been re-told in many different languages throughout many different cultures. It has not only been entertaining to children worldwide but inspired a slew of artists including composers, musicians, painters and choreographers throughout its existence. 

Recently, the story was released as a 3D computer animated film version by the company DreamWorks as a prequel to the highly successful Shrek 2 which was released in 2004. It stars the voices of Billy Bob Thornton, Salma Hayek, Amy Sedaris, Zach Galifianakis and Antonio Banderas as the cat. It is directed by Chris Miller director of Shrek 3.

A Good Crack at a New Theme
Puss in Boots offers a refreshing diversion from the Shrek franchise that comes in at a total of four movies. This prequel is in 3D that is well executed and raises the bar on some other not so technologically advanced animated 3D genres as of late. It uses the age old story of Puss in Boots as a template for a remade plot that incorporates the stories of Jack and Jill, Jack in the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty and The Golden Goose.

The story is fast moving, humorous and clever with enough action to keep tiny eyes widened and adults pleasantly delighted. It steers away from over-the-top inside joke ridiculousness that seems to be a running theme for the past several years and especially accommodates the large constituency of Spanish speaking families due to Mr. Banderas' charming, Mediterranean wit. It takes place in what seems like a cross between districts of Spain and Mexico with sprawling, picturesque imagery that is not only visually impressive but full of color and detail. The characters are repulsively likeable as well as heroically intriguing allowing the audience to cheer for the struggle toward good vs. evil with an all-in-good-fun attitude.

The story involves Puss overwhelming and stopping the evil outlaws, Jack and Jill by taking magic beans in which they stole. He uses the seeds to grow the beanstalk and obtain the Golden Goose. This takes them to yet another impressive backdrop of a vibrant, paradise only to come face to face with The Terror which guards the Golden Goose. After much finagling they take the goose but the Terror (really the Goose's mother) follows them to the town. Puss and his girl friend Kitty Softpaws fight off The Terror and save the town. Sequel scenarios run through the last minutes of the film indicating what is on the horizon as a potential, blockbusting, spinoff, franchise.

Overall, Puss in Boots is an enchanting tale with a modern twist. The soundtrack and choreography add to the story with plenty of laughs to go around.

 About the Author: Matt T. knows how tough it can be to find good movies for the kids (and family) to watch. When he's not keeping his children entertained he can be found writing about writing career guides and helping friends use a local temp staffing service to find new work.