November 08, 2011
Family Film Blogging: Puss in Boots
Posted by Christine Hurt

Last Saturday, we carted five children, ages 12, 11, 10, 9 and 4 to see Puss in Boots 3-D.  I have to say, I was just going for the popcorn.  The movie is a spin-off of the very successful Shrek franchise, but I tired of those movies by the third and fourth entry.  I am all Shrek-ed out.  For those of you who don't remember or aren't familiar, Puss in Boots is a fairy-tale character introduced in Shrek 2 (a fine movie) who becomes one of the most interesting of Shrek's posse.  He is a cat with a Spanish accent (thanks to Antonio Banderas) and (yes) boots.  He is quite dashing, resourceful and good with a sword.  He is basically Zorro, if Zorro were a gato.

At the end, the 4 year-old said, "That was better than anything."  I'm not sure that I would go that far, but it was a lot better than I thought it would be!  First of all, there is no Shrek (or any other Shrek characters) in it, which is a feature for me, not a bug.  Second, the plot is pretty interesting, as kids' movies go.  Puss was wrongly accused of some crime, making him a wanted criminal in his home town.  He has taken to a life of fairly Robin-Hood type crime in order to "pay back the debt" and clear his name.  Along the way we learn that Puss' childhood friend at the orphanage, Humpty Dumpty, is the cause of his mistaken notoriety.  However, Humpty Dumpty persuades Puss to team up with him to steal magic beans, which will lead them to the giant's castle in the clouds and the golden goose, in order to settle the debt to clear his name.

 Humpty Dumpty is voiced by Zach Galifianakis, of The Hangover fame.  I'm glad that I didn't know that while watching it, because Humpty is a bit like his Hangover character.  Possibly good on the inside, but so seriously disturbed he makes very poor choices.  And this is where the plot gets interesting. 

All in all, it met the standards for an all-family movie:  the plot was not too complex that little ones couldn't follow, but not so predictable that it was boring, not too many double-entendres or "in-jokes", likable characters, and a good lesson.  And, fun (cat) dancing!

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