Puss in Boots

Muhammad Islam

Puss in Boots is a computer-animated 2011 film that takes essence of several folk stories and rhymes and their characters. This film is a prequel to popular Shrek franchise but the characters in Shrek do not appear in it except for the protagonist of the movie, Puss in Boots. Folklore characters and themes Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Goose that lays golden eggs, Jack’s magic beans show up in the film. It has been commercially very successful and was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 84th Academy Awards.
Puss in Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas) is now in Mexico, very far from the European forests where he is to meet Shrek. The young feline was taken in by Imelda (Constance Marie) and brought up in an orphanage and becomes friends with Humpty “Alexander” Dumpty in the unfriendly world around them. They became street pranksters in the small town of San Ricardo. Puss helped Humpty in his all innovative and prank ideas and their implementation. Puss promises Humpty that he will be by his side in escaping and finding the magic beans that would grow high in the clouds.
The movie begins with blustery appearance of Puss in Boots in a bar. His moves are adopted from the characters of Wild West bandits. He shows prowess in the bar before astonished eyes of town folks and they tell him about the magic beans in hands of Jack and Jill. Puss plans to steal the beans from the rogues. He sneaks up to the window of the hotel room where they are staying. He notices another cat onto similar purpose. They run into each other after they crept in the room and Jack and Jill fire cannons at them. They run away from the spot and Puss chases the masked cat that ruined his mission. After a lot of cat and cat chase in alleys of the Mexican town, Puss reaches a secret club of cats called ‘Cat Cantina’. He sees the masked cat and challenges in a dance fight. Both fight and dance with skills and stylish moves and in the end Puss hits the cat with a guitar. It was then revealed that the cat was female. She sees the hit as unfair and leaves the club. Puss in Boots falls as easily for a ball of yarn as for the female of the species. So the follows the female cat named Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) out.
Later Guided by Softpaws he meets his old friend Humpty A. Dumpty. Humpty tries to apologize for his betrayal but Puss disagrees. But finally he is convinced as he sees the opportunity to clear his name and get forgiveness from his foster mother Imelda.
Puss tells Kitty about what happened between him and Humpty. Back then Puss became a hero after saving an old woman from an angry bull. After being honored by people of San Ricardo with his hat and a pair of fine boots Puss decided to return the favor of San Ricardo by serving the people. But Humpty entices him in a bank robbery. As the alarm went off, the duo was chased by guards led by Commandanté (Guillermo Del Toro). Shocked by betrayal, Puss leaves Humpty behind.
Afterwards, Kitty and Puss steals the beans from Jack and Jill in a canyon chase. They take the beans to the location below the ‘strange clouds’. Humpty plants them and after a while plant pops out. It starts to grow very fast and the trio grabbing the beanstalk rockets to the kingdom of clouds. They find the castle of goose that lays golden eggs. Humpty learned that the Giant guarding the goose was dead and the goose is now guarded by a monster called Terror. When they realize the golden eggs are too heavy to carry, they steal the Goose — which is just a gosling — and escape the castle and the Terror. While celebrating their victory, the group is ambushed by Jack and Jill, who knock Puss unconscious. When Puss wakes up he finds himself about to be eaten up by crows, he tracks Jack and Jill back to his old hometown, where he learns that the entire heist was a plot by Humpty to lure him home to be captured, as revenge for abandoning him to the guards when Humpty’s youthful heist went bad. Jack, Jill, and even Kitty were involved in the con. After pleas from Imelda, the head of the orphanage, Puss turns himself in to the guards while Humpty donates many golden eggs to the town and becomes a hero. In prison, Puss meets the original Jack from the “Jack and the Beanstalk” story who warns him that the Terror is in fact the Golden Goose’s mother, and it will stop at nothing to get its child back. Kitty, repentant, helps Puss break out of prison and tells him that she loves him more than gold. Puss convinces Humpty to help him fight off the Terror, saying he knows Humpty is a good person at heart, and he will be forgiven if he helps save the town. The Terror arrives, revealing itself to be a Mother Goose. Using the Golden Goose as bait, Puss and Humpty lure the Terror out of the town, but Humpty and the Goose are knocked off a bridge with Puss holding on to them. Humpty knows Puss cannot hold both of them, and he lets go to save the Goose and the town. Humpty’s shell cracks open. Puss sees that he was a golden egg on the inside. The Terror then takes the Goose and Humpty away back to the giant’s castle. Puss is forced to flee because he is still an outlaw, but his efforts to save the town make him a hero among the townspeople. Puss and Kitty escape the guards once more, and Kitty says she will see him again soon, showing that she has taken his boots. Later, Puss and Kitty head back to dance at Kitty’s hideout, the Glitter Box, where they finally kiss.
The movie was directed by Chris Miller and written by Brian Lynch, with screenplay by Tom Wheeler. About this film Rediff.com notes, “Focusing mainly on action, the script lacks emotional depth. In keeping the plot simple and focused, the directors might have alienated the really young audiences who sit glued to their seats hoping to see glimpses of Peter Pan, Pied Piper and more. Adult audiences can identify with both protagonists since all they seek is to make one huge killing which will restore their dignity, clear their names and enable them to live a life free of drudgery and financial worries.”

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