Puss in Boots (Blu-ray)

February 22, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

The enduring legend of the Shrek lives on with its witty characters and seemingly never-ending bevy of source material. Fans of the franchise will no doubt gravitate to this “spinoff” of sorts starring Antonio Banderas’ highly popular “Puss.” Part of the allure and magic of the animated domain is that the actors aren’t really present. Yes, their voices are, but the same thing that’s kept The Simpson’s on the year for two decades is in full effect here. We can jump back and forth in time (this film actually takes place before Puss made his appearance in Shrek) and tell new tales. Of course this movie was a natural progression as Puss was a very popular character and a natural choice to continue the legacy. Antiono Banderas gives the character life and personality fitting of a swashbuckling…feline.

As the movie opens we meet Puss (voiced by Antonio Banderas) who’s a wanted man, er, cat. Puss is on the run and has made it his mission to get a trio of magic beans that are in the possession of notorious criminals Jack and Jill. But just as he’s about to get his paws on the beans, his plans are foiled by the notorious Kitty Softpaws (voiced by Selma Hayek). As the two square off, we get a bit more insight into the past of Puss and his upbringing with Humpty Dumpty (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). Like a lot of modern-day tales, Humpty and Puss were once the best of friends. But, by a strange sequence of events the two have now grown apart. In fact, we learn that it’s Humpty that has set Puss up. Now Puss must work with his enemy to retrieve the magic beans while not being caught by Jack and Jill. Will he figure it out and, the most important question of all – do cats always land on their feet?

As was the case with the Shrek films, there’s really not a whole lot to dislike with this film. It delivers more of the same humor that’s applicable to both children and adults. The story moves at a rapid pace and is easy enough to follow. Those who enjoyed Puss in the earlier movies will find more of the same to like here. And it’s an unexpected surprise that he’s joined by the lovely Selma Hayek (the two have collaborated on other films in “human” form) as the two certainly have chemistry. While the film wasn’t quite as commercially successful as the Shrek films, it still turned a profit and will no doubt be a hot seller on Blu-ray. I’ve been deliberating on saying this, but…what the heck…Puss in Boots is the cat’s meow. There. That wasn’t so bad.

Video: How does it look?

Oh who are we kidding here, right? Anyone who’s seen an animated movie on Blu-ray knows that it would be surprising to see any sign of an error. And Puss in Boots once again falls into that high standard that so many other movies have set before this. This 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer is another shining example of how good a movie can look on your television. Detail is amazing, even seeing the occasional white hair on Puss’ otherwise auburn coat. The twinkle in his eye, the glow of the magic beans. I could go on. Black levels and contrast are spot on as well with some scenes being engorged in shadows and keeping any sort of crush from happening. This is one movie that you can pop in your player and won’t have to worry how it looks. It’ll look amazing.

Audio: How does it sound?

Though it’s not on as many tracks as a few years back, this Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is second to none. This 7.1 mix is everything you’d expect from an action/adventure movie (albeit an animated one) and more. Vocals are rich and full and Banderas’ voice seems to emanate from seemingly every channel available. There are plenty of action scenes that engage the surrounds, the LFE and the front stage as well. One that comes to mind is the battle in the “Glitter Box” as well as the horse and carriage chase scene with Jack and Jill. Home theater enthusiasts will appreciate this disc on a technical level and no doubt will enjoy the film as well. There’s nothing here to complain or nitpick about in the least as this track is literally puuuuurfect.

Supplements: What are the extras?

We’ve already got a good, entertaining story with reference quality video and audio so what more do we want? How about hours of supplements! Ok, there’s a lot to cover so let’s get started. First off is the included bonus feature Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos which takes place right after the events of the end of the film. A segment on the voices behind the film entitled “Purr-fect Pairing” focuses on Banderas and Hayek as well as some short segments on Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris. Next up are a trio of deleted scenes and also included is “Kitten to Cat” in which we see the evolution of Puss’ character. “Glitter Box Dance Off!” focuses on the choreography of the dance-off between Puss and Kitty. “Klepto Kitty” is an odd one in that it shows a cat stealing things from its surroundings. I think we could have done without this one. “Kitty Keyboard” has “you” playing the piano with cats paws. A Fairytale Pop-Up Book lets you “flip” through a book highlighting the characters from the story. “Kitty Strikes Again” is a find the differences that correspond to scenes in the movie. Finally we have a highlight reel of sorts with all of the Dreamworks Animated films.

Moving onto the Blu-ray exclusive content we find “A Dreamworks Fairytale” we can make some custom ad-libs from “Jack and Jill”, “Little Boy Blue” and “Humpty Dumpty” that will be read back to you when done. “Puss’ Paw Pouncing Challenge” which is kind of clever and pertinent to the film. “The Animator’s Corner” has a Picture-in-Picture screen with a commentary and some segments (consider this like Warner’s “Maximum Movie Mode”). Finally we have a trivia track which can be watched while watching the film for some fun facts. Keep your eyes on the “Meow Meter” for a running tally of the sound!

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