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... one bottle of catnip!


Puss in Boots
(2011)

This starts of so confidently I thought it might end up head and shoulders over the rest of Dreamworks' animation fare, but it soon settles into a more standard tick box template. 

The visual palette is a treat (Guillermo Del Toro's new executive producer role on their animated movies making its presence felt?), and whenever it remembers that there's humour to be mined from Puss being a cat (obvious though that comment sounds) it's consistently funny (I particularly liked Puss being suddenly distracted by a light reflected on the ground and chasing it about). But too much time is spent on Zach Galifianakis' Humpty Alexander Dumpty (whose character arc involves obligatory forgiveness and sentiment), including a plot twist that makes very little sense, other than I suppose it felt like the thing to do these days. 

While the riffs on classic fairy tales in the first Shrek were generally witty in both script and visual terms, the success here is more sporadic. Not nearly enough is made from the beanstalk plotline; even the "monster" revealed gag can only work once (and was better achieved in The Goodies' Kitten Kong). If anything, Antonio Banderas works better here than in the Shreks, as I felt he was always (understandably) overshadowed by Eddie Murphy.

***

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