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Puss in Boots
PussInBoots PosterArt
The movie poster
General information
Title

Puss in Boots

Length

90 mins

Release Date

October 28, 2011 (US)
December 2, 2011 (UK)

Release on DVD

February 24, 2012 (US)
April 6, 2012 (UK)

Genre

Fantasy/action/adventure/comedy

Production information
Directed by

Chris Miller

Produced by

Latifa Ouaou
Joe M. Aguilar (producers)
Andrew Adamson
Michelle Raimo
Guillermo del Toro (executive producers)

Starring

Antonio Banderas
Salma Hayek
Zach Galifianakis
Billy Bob Thornton
Amy Sedaris

Preceded by: Succeeded by:
Shrek Forever After Puss in Boots Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Puss in Boots, (also known as Puss in Boots: The Movie) is a 2011 American computer-animated spin-off film which is the first installment of the Puss in Boots standalone franchise, which spun off from the Shrek franchise. It's set years before Puss met Shrek and Donkey.[1] The film was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Antonio Banderas reprises his role as Puss in Boots. He is joined by new characters voiced by Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, and Guillermo del Toro. It was released on October 28, 2011 to commercial and critical success.

Plot

Puss in Boots starts out the film by escaping from a man who had put him in a cage. He narrowly manages to get away and, after blowing kisses to the female cat he was leaving behind, he makes his way to a town. After being taunted and then gaining the respect of the thugs there, Puss learns that two murderous outlaws named Jack and Jill have the magic beans, which hold an ancient power that can destroy the world. When Puss tries to take them from the two outlaws, another cat with a mask interrupts and tries to get them as well. Both fail and escape, and Puss follows the cat back to a bunch of other cats, where they both have a dance fight and a sword fight, ending with Puss smacking him over the head with a guitar, which hurts the cat so much that he rips his mask off and reveals to a surprised Puss that he is in fact a woman. Puss then meets Humpty Dumpty who also introduces her as Kitty Softpaws, named because she can take things without anyone even noticing they’re gone (as she does frequently with Puss' hat, boots and money simply to tease him) and asks him to join them in finding the beans, planting them and getting the Puss eggs which lie at the top. Puss immediately refuses and even after Kitty tries to woo him into going with them, he denies and then tells her why. When he was a kitten, he was adopted in a home for orphans, where he met Humpty Dumpty. The two of them became "brothers" and loved to get into trouble by stealing things. After a bull is accidentally set free, Puss saves an old woman from it and becomes a hero, making Humpty feel left out. He tricks Puss into helping him steal the money from the town's bank, and Puss is forced to flee instead of going to jail as everyone believes he’s no longer good. They crash on the bridge, the money going over the side and into the river below, and Puss leaves Humpty to be arrested and jumps into the river, becoming an outlaw and ending the friendship between them.

After Humpty, who had followed the two, explains to Puss that he wants a second chance, Puss agrees to help him find the beans / golden eggs, making it clear that he’s doing it for the town and his mother who adopted him, not for Humpty. The three of them set off to find Jack and Jill, finally seeing them coming towards them, hiding in a canyon type place in the desert. Kitty jumps onto their cart which is pulled by warthogs, followed by Puss, while Humpty readies their getaway vehicle. Puss lowers Kitty into the back of the cart, who struggles to open the box the beans are held in (which is around Jack's hand), with Puss urging her to use her claws. She finally admits to him that she has no claws, which wakes up one of the baby pigs sleeping in the back. Puss drops in beside her and opens the box with his claws as Kitty quiets the baby pig, giving him to pussy as she uses her paws to get the beans from Jack's hand, giving them to Puss. Just as they are about to leave, Puss accidentally backs up and steps on two pigs' tails, alerting Jack and Jill, who drop into the bottom where they are. They manage to get outside, jam the levers to force their seats to stay up, and tie up their heads, signaling Humpty to get their own cart, besides the one that they are on now. Kitty jumps onto the cart, but Jill headbutts Puss before he can, briefly knocking him out and causing him to drop the beans, which bounce around the top of the cart, almost falling off. pussy gets them back while fighting Jill, who somehow escaped, but she grabs him and dangles him over the edge of the cart and the canyon, about to drop him. Humpty rams the side of their cart and Puss lands back in their cart, and they get away. Kitty explains to Puss, as they are riding in the cart, that her adoptive owners got her claws removed for an unknown reason.

They make it to the perfect spot to plant them, being directed in the right way by Humpty, and plant the beans in a bare, sandy area, right as a storm cloud comes overhead and a giant funnel of green-lit clouds and wind comes spinning down the place they planted the beans, cracking the sand, then suddenly disappearing, leaving only a small weed where the beans are buried. Kitty suggests Humpty talk to it, which he does, but barely gets a few words out before a giant beanstalk shoots up out of the ground, taking them with it, higher and higher into the clouds before it finally stops. The three got off and surprisingly are able to stand and walk on the clouds without difficulty, although their voices grow higher due to the thin air (their voices return to normal in the normal air pressure of the castle). They see a castle type building and they enter it, not having to fear the giant, as Humpty says it's been dead for years; although, there is a beast in the castle, which if gazed upon, allegedly turns the gazer to stone. They cross the water far below and get to the island. With only a small run-in with whatever the beast is, they find the golden eggs and a gosling that lays them. They take the gosling because the eggs are far too heavy and make it to the edge of the island before the rope they used to get across is broken, and they fall down into the canyon, the beast not far behind. As they are trying to get away, Kitty falls into the water, unable to pull herself back onto the branch due to her not having claws, but she’s saved by Puss. They escape and get back down to the ground, cutting the beanstalk down and rejoicing over getting the golden goose. They briefly dance and Humpty pulls Kitty aside to tell her to not lose focus, obviously talking about her falling in love with Puss. Kitty leaves to get rest, and Humpty and Puss lay outside with the goose. Puss tells Humpty he’s glad to have his brother back, and Humpty goes to sleep with the goose lying on top of him. Meanwhile, Jack and Jill suddenly come up behind Puss and knock him out.

When Puss awakens, he’s lying in the desert surrounded by birds, which he shoos away. He finds footprints and wagon tracks around him, and follows them to the town he was adopted in. He sees a shadow of Humpty being held by Jack and Jill, and he follows them to save him, only to find them laughing and celebrating. Humpty explains to him how the only thing he wanted against Puss was revenge, and everyone had been working for him, even Jack and Jill. Puss doesn't fight against arrest (told not to by his adoptive mother) and sees Kitty as he’s being led away in a carrier, knowing she has betrayed him. While in jail, he finds the Jack who had the beans first in the same cell, and he tells Puss that the beast is in fact the gosling's mother and will destroy the town trying to get her baby back. Puss escapes using his adorable big eyes to practically hypnotize the guard and Kitty comes back to do the rest. She helps Puss escape, and he goes to find Humpty. Puss tells him that the mother is going to come back for her baby, and Humpty finally agrees to help save the town. They lead the mother goose to the bridge, which breaks under her weight, and Puss has to hold onto a rope that Humpty is holding onto to be sure he doesn't fall into the wreckage. The gosling was also caught by a rope, but it is breaking, and Humpty lets go of his rope, so Puss can save the baby to make sure the mother does not destroy the whole town. He does save her, and later finds Humpty has been turned into a golden egg, which the mother takes and flies back to the castle.

Puss and Kitty get away from the guards still, and Kitty says she’ll see him again soon, showing that she has taken his boots. During the first half of the credits, it shows Humpty once again in his regular egg form riding the goose in the clouds, and Puss and Kitty (while dancing) finally kiss.

Voice cast

Additional Voices

Production

Puss in Boots had been in development since 2004, when Shrek 2 was released.[2] As a Shrek 2 spin-off, it was originally planned for release in 2008 as a direct-to-video film,[3] but this was changed in 2006 in favor of a theatrical release.[4] The film was also intended to be a loose adaptation of the original fairy tale, with Puss living with three brothers in a struggling household. The working title would be known as Puss in Boots: The Story of an Ogre Killer at this time. However, this was scrapped as to give Puss a more unique plotline that complimented his adventurous character. Chris Miller, head of story of Shrek 2, was the biggest proponent for the spin-off, having a love for the character and believed in the potential for richer storytelling with Puss as the lead. His enthusiasm gave him the directing job as soon as Shrek the Third wrapped production.

Production on the film began around the same time as 2010's Shrek Forever After. Due to the simultaneous productions, a plan to bridge the events of Shrek and Shrek 2 was scrapped out of fear of potential inconsistencies with continuity. As a result, the film was set long before the events of the first Shrek as to avoid overlap with new details in Shrek Forever After. This was further confirmed by co-writer David H. Steinberg who stated, "It doesn't overlap with Shrek at all. Partly that was done to tell an original Puss story, but partly because we didn't know what Shrek 4 were going to do with the characters and we couldn't write conflicting storylines."

Initially, there was concern over creating a story about a lead who would become an assassin (as Puss was hired to kill Shrek in Shrek 2). During development, a decision was made to showcase Puss in Boots as someone who was running from the law and had a legendary past. This helped ensure that the plot wasn't too morally ambiguous and sending the wrong message to the audience. More details including the master plan of Humpty Dumpty, the introduction of Kitty Softpaws, and the inclusion of Jack and Jill helped further refine the overall story.

In late 2009, Guillermo del Toro officially signed on as executive producer after having significant creative involvement.[5] His most drastic contribution was rewriting the character of Humpty Dumpty, who was more of a traditional villain in early production. He had suggested making him similar to Leonardo da Vinci, having wild ideas and contraptions that would help him and Puss get out of danger. This also led to creating a stronger bond between the two leads, being sworn brothers that went on different paths. Guillermo del Toro would also help flesh out the city of San Ricardo and create a greater sense of dread and danger compared to the other Shrek films.

A major aspect of the film that proved challenging was the inclusion of the Giant from "Jack and the Beanstalk" as a major antagonist. Having already figured out the Land of Giants, actually implementing the Giant itself was a newfound difficulty. Initially, the filmmakers researched giant folklore, and created a character who would remain extremely faithful to his fairy tale counterpart. As production commenced, it was agreed that his presence was "too predictable," despite having minor tweaks to make the character more interesting (including him creating giant traps inspired by Don Quixote). In the end, the Giant was killed off-screen in order to subvert fairy tale tropes, keeping the Shrek traditions alive.

Actors Zach Galifianakis and Billy Bob Thornton both expressed enthusiasm with performing their respective characters, Humpty and Jack. Neither had done an animated role prior, and wanted to take on a challenge for their careers. Both actors were also given freedom to improvise as their characters with minimal direction. Amy Sedaris, who previously worked with Miller on Shrek the Third, similarly improvised her lines. She'd even had over 50 versions of a singular line of dialogue. During voice recordings, Antonio Banderas would hold a replica of the famous sword to further get into character. In early 2010, Banderas said in an interview that he had completed the first recordings for Puss.[6] Salma Hayek's sessions were reportedly easy for her, as having worked with Banderas in many productions, she could imagine what he'd say as his character to help her with line delivery.

Reception

Despite the soured reputation of the Shrek franchise, the film was met with mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences. Much of the praise was given towards its humor, mostly deriving from cat-centric gags and how it was able to stand tall without Shrek's involvement. Although there was criticism towards the lack of story focus and character development- which was either irrelevant to the experience or ruined it for some. It has become divisive amongst fans however. Some consider it better than the entire Shrek film series or a middling spin-off that left no impact.

The film would gross $555 million, which was less than the last three Shrek films, but still considered a blockbuster success.

Sequel

Because of the combined critical and commercial success, a sequel was quickly greenlit. Chris Miller was slated to return to direct with Guillermo del Toro also taking the executive producer role again. In late 2012, two drafts were reportedly completed, with Miller intending to take Puss to "more exotic places" and wanted a true spaghetti western. Antonio Banderas confirmed in April 2014 that work on the Puss in Boots sequel officially begun. Two months later, the title of Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves was revealed. The project would remain in development hell for almost a decade due to management shifts at DreamWorks- leading to some believing the project had been shelved. Eventually, a different sequel, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, would release in 2022 to much higher critical praise.

Marketing

The first teaser trailer was released on March 4, 2011 and was shown in front of Rango. This particular trailer features the song "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" by Pitbull.

A full-length theatrical trailer was also shown in front of screenings of Kung Fu Panda 2, Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Lion of Judah, Cars 2, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, Winnie the Pooh, and The Smurfs.

Trivia

  • This film is notably darker and more serious than the previous films. This tradition would continue in its sequel, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which is arguably more dark.
  • Originally, the movie was set for release in 2012. When Shrek 5 was initially scrapped, it was moved up to 2011.
  • The film was teased at the end of Shrek Forever After. When Shrek returned the Shrek book back to the bookshelf, a Puss in Boots book was next to it.
  • Puss in Boots is Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek's sixth film together (the first five being Desperado, Four Rooms, Frida, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, and Once Upon A Time In Mexico).
  • Shrek and Princess Fiona were once rumored to return. This was quickly confirmed as false, since the film was a prequel set "years before the original Shrek."
  • This was released on the 10th anniversary of the first Shrek movie in 2011.
  • During the marketing campaign of The Muppets (2011), there were spoof trailers making fun of 2011 blockbuster releases. When the film was closer to release, one final trailer called "The Final Muppets Parody Trailer" crammed several titles that would've been spoofed had the marketing team gotten more time. One of these was "Fuss in Boots," a parody of the Puss in Boots film- featuring Pepe the King Prawn and Fozzie the Bear with his "fart shoes." Flamenco music akin to the film's soundtrack was also present.
  • Puss in Boots was the third Highest-Grossing animated film of the year, behind Cars 2 (#2) & Kung Fu Panda 2 (#1).

Gallery

References

External links

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