Sunday, September 23, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Puss in Boots

2011, Chris Miller (Shrek the Third) -- download

The Shrek movies are inoffensive, occasionally funny CGI movies about the faery tale land.  That a single character voiced by Antonio Banderas (no, Antonio, it's too sexy!) would spin off into his own movie is not surprising.  The part that confuses me, despite acknowledging he does a brilliant job as the alluring musketeer, is that he is Spanish and musketeers are French.  Also, not a lot of the reworked faery tales, as displayed in the Shrek movies are historically or even really Earth-based, as long as you ignore the anachronisms given for humor's sake. So, it must have been a stretch to come up with a background to do an entire movie for this character that felt separated from the original movies enough to stand alone.  And given this one was not straight to video, it still felt ... stretched thin.

The original Perrault Puss in Boots (actually Le Chat Botté) was set in Renaissance France and the main character is a trickster cat who plays humans to better his kind master.  A talking cat who is happy to have a pair of boots tricks villagers, the King and an Ogre and ends up having his master rewarded with a title and a princess.  Thus goes a very typical Mother Goose tale; Perrault was the real name of Mother Goose.  This movie has absolutely nothing to do with the story.

This is faery tale Spain or Mexico or both --- does it really matter when it has to be set in the land of the Shrek movies?  I imagine, if this land is anything like the stories from Fables there are many realms all dedicated to the faery tales of the region the tale originates from.  That there would be a Mexico or Spain is not surprising.  That Humpty Dumpty and Jack & Jill would be there is a bit more surprising.  This is an origin story for a cat in boots who grew up in an orphanage as brother to an egg. We get a convoluted tale more likened to an indie movie with guns and Tarantino violence, with heist elements and revenge.  We don't get an explanation of why he is a musketeer but they do try to connect it to Zorro, which did have fancy hats and swords.  It has some cute in-jokes and some great animation, but the whole Jack & Jill as homicidal crime lords seemed.... misplaced and unfortunate.  The best part is the use of a giant goose as a Godzilla style kaiju.