To those who think that I’m past the age to be enjoying a ‘kid’s movie’, I say — Your mom’s a hoe.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s continue with the review.
Our journey starts with our introduction to the birth of the legend of the Wishing Star. Able to grant any wish one’s heart desires, this omnipotent token is highly revered.
Shortly after this premise is set, we’re introduced to our protagonist, Puss in Boots (i.e. the notorious P.I.B.). To borrow from everyone’s favourite buzzword of present, Puss in Boots is nothing short of a narcissist, albeit one with some counteracting redeeming qualities. Whilst in the midst of showboating after defeating a forest demon, things go a bit sideways and we eventually find out that our feline conquistador has been a bit careless with his nine lives and is *gasp* down to his last one.
However, being eternally delusional and again a raging narc, Boots refuses to take heed to the doctor’s warnings. That is until after an equally demoralizing and traumatizing run-in with the Big Bad Wolf bounty hunter.
After narrowly escaping the clutches of death, Boots finally decides to retire and live out the rest of his days at a cat sanctuary run by an endearing and spunky cat lady. A good choice. There he meets the ever-wholesome and quirky, Perro — a canine with dreams of being an emotional support dog, crossdressing as a cat to score some grub. This too-optimistic character almost immediately adopts our down-and-out protagonist much to the protest of the latter. As our has-been hero wallows in self-pity and reminisces on days of yore, guess who comes knocking at grandma’s house? It’s none other than…
Goldilocks. Goldilocks from East London to be specific.
Did Goldilocks run away with her tail between her legs once the bears returned home like the story your kindergarten teacher read? Nope. Did Momma, Papa and Baby bear adopt the golden haired felon and now live a life of low collar crime? Bingo.
Their search for Puss in Boots brings them straight to grandma’s cat haven where the infamous feline’s now mangey exterior manages to help him elude capture. This is when the audience finds out that Goldilocks and her goons (I must say the cockney English accents for the bears is a great touch *chef’s kiss*) are hunting Boots to hire him and not kill him.
Remember that wishing star we talked about at the beginning?
They’re planning to intercept the delivery of a map that leads them straight to the bounty. P.I.B. overhears this villains’ aside and decides to beat them to the chase, stealing the map from under their noses for a chance to regain his nine lives and dignity.
And who is the map being delivered to, you ask? Why none other than Little Jack Horner, from the nursery rhyme we all know and love. Well…Big Jack Horner, now. Turns out he has some unresolved childhood trauma and developed a few sociopathic tendencies along with an obsession with collecting mythical artifacts.
. . .
At this point, I need to take the time to mention the expert interweaving of various fairy tales. This movie is jam-packed with notable fairy tale and folklore cameos, some of which include:
- Aladdin’s magic carpet
- King Arthur’s Excalibur
- Marry Poppins bottomless bag of wonders
And the list goes on. There are almost too many easter eggs and references to count.
Not to ruin the sanctity of this ‘children’s film’ but I think it would be positively outrageous to play a drinking game where you take a shot each time there’s a fairy tale reference.
Try it now and thank me later. Unless you end with alcohol poisoning, in which case, I don’t know you.
. . .
So, if you’re keeping track, not only does ‘El Gato’ have the Bounty Hunter on his trail, he now has to deal with this Goldilocks from a parallel universe. Oh and did I mention a fellow feline female nemesis, Kitty Soft Paws, is also after the map and on Boots’ bad side? It isn’t revealed to the audience exactly why she’s so pissed at Boots, but it’s Puss in Boots so we assume it’s for a good reason.
And so the hilarity and shenanigans ensue. We’re taken on P.I.B.’s hero journey as he battles adversaries and regains his sense of self, all while accompanied by his two unlikely companions — Perro and Kitty Soft Paws.
I loved the deliberate use of different animation styles for the fight scenes. They were reminiscent of certain battle sequences in anime. One calls to mind Samurai Jack. It was a great way to draw the viewer in even more and emphasize shots.
I think the audience will appreciate not only the inclusion but the interplay of personality types in the movie. I’m by no means an accredited psychologist but I can pinpoint at least 4 different ones:
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Puss in Boots)
- Antisocial Personality Disorder (Big Jack Horner)
- Anxious Attachment (Perro)
- Avoidant Attachment (Kitty Soft Paws)
There’s a good mix of drama and comic relief from the characters, which allows them to incorporate some pretty heavy issues (i.e. when Perro discusses his past trauma — You’ll get it when you watch it).
It’s an all around a great movie. The fact that I wasn’t expecting such a pleasant watch made it that much better. Consider giving it a watch yourself and let me know what you think.