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Puss in Boots (4 stars)

Shrek spin-off offers more fun than should be expected

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Puss in Boots

(U) 90min

Given that the quality of the Shrek franchise dropped off dramatically with parts 3 and 4, it’s something of a surprise that Puss In Boots, a spin-off featuring the big-eyed cat voiced by Antonio Banderas, should turn out to be one of the year’s best animated family films.

Artfully teaming up Puss with Humpty Dumpty (The Hangover’s Zach Galifianakis), Shrek director Chris Miller’s cartoon romp is essentially a heist job in which the duo attempt to steal magic beans from Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris). Romantic interest for Puss is provided by Selma Hayek as feline accomplice Kitty Softpaws, and once the beans are liberated from the top of the beanstalk, a spectacular conclusion offers the naughty Puss redemption from his errant ways as a gigantic goose threatens his hometown.

Without ever referencing Shrek or the other familiar fairy-tale characters, Puss In Boots is a diverting pantomime romp, laden with cat puns, imaginative 3D sequences and knowing pop culture gags, including a well-choreographed dance-off and a cuter-than-cute flashback sequence to Puss’s childhood. While it might lack any surprises, Puss In Boots offers more fun than any fifth entry in a moribund franchise could be expected to offer.

General release from Fri 9 Dec.

Puss in Boots Feature Trailer

Puss in Boots

  • 4 stars
  • 2011
  • US
  • 90 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Chris Miller
  • Written by: Tom Wheeler, David H Steinberg, Brian Lynch
  • Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Zeus Mendoza, Constance Marie, Guillermo del Toro, Bob Joles
  • UK release: 9 December 2011

Puss (Banderas) and Humpty Dumpty (Galifianakis) attempt to steal magic beans from Jack and Jill, with Hayek as feline accomplice Kitty Softpaws. Given the slackening quality of the Shrek franchise, the surprise is that this imaginative romp was one of the 2011's best animated family films.

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