An outlaw cat reunites with his childhood friend Humpty Dumpty to find magic beans they can use to make a beanstalk and steal the golden goose.
Puss in Boots (2011)
Directed by Chris Miller
Written by Tom Wheeler
Starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, Guillermo del Toro
Spin-Off of 2004's Shrek 2
Oscar Nominations - Best Animated Film
In 2004, the Shrek franchise got a little funnier when the character of Puss in Boots was introduced. Voiced by Antonio Banderas, the character began as an ogre hunter for hire, but learned the error of his ways and became one of Shrek's closest friends, appearing in the next two sequels. However, there are some characters that work best as a sidekick or a punchline. I wouldn't want to see a Donkey movie either. Puss in Boots loses a lot of that adult humor mixed with fantasy tropes that Shrek did best, and instead tries to give audiences a grounded fairytale with characters that are nowhere near as interesting.
We get to see Puss's backstory, for one. He's an orphan raised in the city of San Ricardo, alongside his adopted brother Humpty Dumpty (Galifianakis). Humpty, though, sought a life of crime while Puss sought life as a hero. Weird, considering when we met Puss in Shrek 2, he was working in the villain bar killing ogres for gold. Anyway, Humpty and Puss have a falling out, only for Humpty to show up again years later with the ultimate score. Magic beans, which grow a beanstalk that reaches the Land of Giants, where the golden goose lays endless golden eggs. Not a bad premise, but the stakes never seem that high and Humpty is such a predictable hero turned villain turned hero.
I guess what's disappointing the most is that unlike the four Shrek movies, this one feels like a kid's movie. I realize it's unfair to compare the film to Shrek, but it's gonna happen regardless. Overall, I found the story hard to get invested in and the villains all to be lightweight compared to what we've seen before. Plus, the novelty of Puss wore off in about ten minutes. Less is more.