Thursday 22 December 2011

265: Review - Puss in Boots (3D)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Puss in Boots 3D poster

Puss in Boots 3D (2011)
21st December 2011. Location: Cinema

Normally, I wouldn't have bothered with this. I'm a civilian Shrek fan at best, and always thought Puss to be something of a one-trick pony throughout the films. As it turns out, Miss Magpie really wanted to give it a go, so while I wasn't exactly dragged to the cinema, I was going to take some convincing once the lights had dimmed.

And the result? I think I enjoyed Puss in Boots more than any of the Shrek films.

I was worried that there was going to be too much of a reliance on the 'combined fairlyland' aspect of its predecessor, where throwing in more characters from elsewhere in the genre seems to be a way of padding out the film, but I'm pleased to say that this is kept to a bare minimum (as is Puss's big-eyes schtick, which is only used twice in the entire 90 minutes). The story, while still incorporating facets such as Jack and the Beanstalk and Humpty Dumpty, really plays more as a mashup between Zorro, Desperado and the nursery standards I've mentioned. Because the whole thing zips along very rapidly, it feels longer than its hour and a half, which is already 10-15 minutes longer than many others in the genre.

But ultimately it succeeds on two fronts; 1) it looks and sounds beautiful, and 2) it's consistently funny and sweet.

The animation is absolutely gorgeous (better even that I'd expect), with sound design and voicework to match. Banderas and Hayek are on top form as usual, staying just shy of overdoing it (arguably unlike Banderas playing the same character in the Shrek films). The rest of the talent play their parts perfectly; ie you don't realise who the actors are until you read their names in the end credits (John Cleese, Russell Brand et al take note).

The only thing that struck me as odd is that it didn't have the emotional punch that animated kids' films usually have (whether they work or not). I think I was meant to be feeling a bit more emotional at the climax of the movie, but I was fairly ambivalent to that character anyway (because the character's designed to leave you unsure).

Not my favourite animated film of all time, but solidly entertaining, and great fun.


Providing you're okay with CGI cats, of course.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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