Having stolen the show from the big green guy and his donkey in the last three Shrek films, swashbuckling kitty Puss In Boots (Banderas) gets his own movie, and it’s a story set years before he ever met Shrek and his pals. In this adventure, our feline hero is a fugitive desperate to clear his name when he hears about some magic beans that are in the possession of bad guys Jack And Jill (Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris). While attempting to steal them, he encounters sultry cat Kitty Softpaws (Hayek), who is working for Puss’s former friend turned nemesis Humpty Dumpty (Galifianakis). Humpty convinces Puss to join him in his plan to steal the beans, grow the beanstalk, reach the giant’s castle and steal the golden goose, while also promising to help Puss clear his name.
A marked improvement on Shrek The Third and it’s follow-up, this isn’t too dark for little kids like Shrek Forever After was (although some may be scared by Jack and Jill to begin with until they realise how inept they are), nor too silly for grown-ups. There’s some nice cat humour for feline fans, from Puss lapping his ‘leche’ to him explaining to the law that his catnip is for his glaucoma, and some terrific sequences, such as the flashback to when Humpty and Puss first met and the dance-off between Kitty and Puss that includes a dance move that any pet owner with a litter box will recognise.
Banderas is superb as the suave ginger cat, and has nice vocal support from a cast that also includes director Guillermo Del Toro. It’s not desperately inventive – everyone over the age of seven will figure out the plot in seconds – nor roll-in-the-aisles hilarious, but like Puss himself, this animated adventure has its heart in the right place.
Cute and fluffy fare for the whole family.
Is Puss In Boots suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Very young children may find Jack and Jill quite scary to begin with.
It is also a little scary when Puss, Kitty and Humpty arrive at the giant’s castle.