Western Animation: Puss in Boots
"Live for danger. Fight for justice. Pray for mercy."Puss In Boots
is a DreamWorks Animation
film, serving as a prequel to the Shrek
series and telling the backstory
of Puss in Boots. Guillermo del Toro
is executive producer. It seems that Antonio Banderas
is so sexy and awesome even as a cat, that Dreamworks went and made a theatrically released sequel just for his character.
The film shows Puss reunited with an old friend - Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) who betrayed him once, and who convinces him to steal the magic beans
from Jack and Jill (who are dangerous outlaws here) so they can climb to the castle in the clouds and steal the goose that lays the golden eggs. Along for the ride is Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek
) a Classy Cat-Burglar
, who becomes Puss's Love Interest and Rival.
As a spin-off, it plays more with the conventions of swashbuckling adventures (appropriate, given that Puss himself is a Zorro Expy
), though not in the parodic manner of the Shrek
series, and was rather well-received upon release.
The film was released on October 28, 2011. Here's the teaser
, and here's the first theatrical trailer.
Here is the character sheet.
and DVD release featured the short film The Three Diablos
, which is set almost immediately after the events of the film.
This work contains the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Kitty Softpaws.
- Adorkable: Young Humpty Dumpty, from the freckles to the Oliver Twist getup.
- Alien Blood: Watch carefully in the flashback when Puss and Humpty become Blood Brothers. Humpty has yolk instead of blood, naturally.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite the 'verse being a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, Jack and the Beanstalk is considered a myth, but only because Puss has had no way to verify it.
- Arc Words: "You are better than this."
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The mother goose.
- Badass Adorable: Puss, as usual, and also Kitty Softpaws. Particularly Puss as a kitten, look at his little belly!
- Bad-Guy Bar: Puss visits one at the beginning of the film.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: "You are not as good as they say you are, Miss Softpaws - you're better."
- Bar Brawl: More like Bar Dance Brawl, and it later plays into a swordfight.
- Battle Couple: Puss and Kitty; Jack and Jill.
- Berserk Button: Don't even get one drop of milk on Puss' boots. During the dance fight, this is the moment when the dance fight becomes a Sword Fight.
- Beware The Cute Ones: This goes for both Puss and Kitty.
- Big Bad Friend: Humpty was the Big Bad the entire time. Although later in the movie, he redeemed himself and was on Puss' side again.
- Bilingual Bonus: Many, as the movie is set in an AU! Spain. Yet this one takes the prize:
Puss (Referring to Humpty Dumpty): Maldito huevo...
- Literally, "Damned egg". Made even better by the fact that huevo is also used as an euphemism for testicle.
- When the tattooed man offers to show Puss his tattoos of "the golden eggs" and goes for his fly, to Puss's horror. As stated above, the Spanish word for "egg" is also slang for "testicle," making this at least an implied bilingual pun.
- You also get a relatively rare occasion in which the phrase "Holy frijoles!" - often used in a stereotypical fashion in film and TV depictions of Mexicans, or used by non-Mexicans as a generic exclamation in the same context as "Aye Cayrumba!" - is actually uttered by a noted Hispanic actor in a non-stereotypical context.
- Bittersweet Ending: Kinda. Puss saved San Ricardo and earned his mama's forgiveness, but he's still an outlaw.
- Blood Brothers: Puss and Humpty, Blood Oath included.
- Book Ends: The movie opens and ends with a narration by Puss.
- Puss and Humpty flee San Ricardo with a horse carriage full of gold in both the flashback and the climax.
- The movie begins and ends with Puss and Kitty dancing together in almost the same moves.
- Break Up Make Up Scenario
- Carnivore Confusion:
Puss: I should make you into an egg salad sandwich!
Humpty: Yech! That is disgusting!
- Cats Are Mean: Played somewhat unconventionally in that most of the feline characters in the flick are only smarmy or jerks to those that really deserve it.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Kitty Softpaws easily qualifies; Puss himself might to a lesser extent.
- Cats Hate Water: Zigzagged - Puss is shown taking a leap into a river during the flashback, but a prison guard can keep him in line with just a spray bottle. This is actually similar to the way cats behave in real life - most will enter water without a fuss if they need or want to, but they hate having it thrown on them against their will.
- Cephalothorax: Humpty.
- Chekhov's Gun: Both Humpty's original glider (the one built in childhood) and the flying carriage end up being used during the climax.
- Chekhov's Skill: Puss and Kitty's dancing pops up on several occasions.
- The Chessmaster/Batman Gambit: Humpty's scheme.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: Salma Hayek's character, literally. She's able to steal Puss's hat AND boots without Puss realizing it!
- Clear My Name:
- Combat Pragmatist: When Softpaws makes him lose his sword in their fight, Puss has no problem hitting her with a guitar. Softpaws doesn't let him live that one down.
- Cool Mask: Kitty has a black luchador-style one.
- Cool Sword: Puss has an ornate rapier, but Kitty does one better with a size-retractable dagger.
- Creator Cameo: The Comandante is voiced by Guillermo del Toro, the film's producer.
- Cub Cues Protective Parent: The Goose that lays the Golden Eggs turns out to be the gosling of a gargantuan goose, who is not too keen about having her offspring stolen.
- Cute Giant: The Golden Goose's mother.
- Dance Battler: Both Puss and Kitty during their first duel.
- Dance of Romance: Subverted in Puss and Kitty's first "dance" due to Puss being unaware his opponent is female; played straighter in their dance after retrieving the Golden Goose, which is much more intimate.
- Dance Party Ending: It's a Shrek tradition, this time set to Lady Gaga's "Americano."
- Darker and Edgier: Unlike the series it was spun off from, which was a comedy with a bit of drama mixed in, this movie is more of an action/comedy.
- Dashing Hispanic: Both Puss and Kitty are mask-wearing stylish swashbucklers that give a heavy Zorro vibe.
- Deadpan Snarker: Kitty Softpaws
Puss: Do not worry. I will protect you.
Kitty: What are you gonna do? Hit it in the head with a guitar?
- Defecting for Love: Kitty starts out as Puss' rival and is in on Humpty's plot against him, but ultimately ends up as his Love Interest.
- Disney Death: Humpty topples off a bridge and supposedly dies, but the epilogue shows that he recovers.
- Dreamworks Face: From Humpty rather than the actual lead.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Jack and Jill are by all means ruthless bandits, but are Happily Married and treat their hogs like children.
- Evil All Along: Kitty, the drinkers at the bar and the white cat from the start were secretly part of the Big Bad's scheme. Also, the Big Bad was Humpty Dumpty.
- Face-Heel Turn: Humpty gets a bit too into his dream of finding the golden eggs, and what once began as an innocent dream turns into an unhealthy obsession when he grows older. Enough for the Reveal in the movie to be that Humpty orchestrated the whole plot, thereby turning Puss into the outlaw once again. However, later in the movie after Puss is angry at him for betraying him, he becomes Puss' friend again and even tries to help him out at the end.
- Famous Last Words: "I won't make you choose."
- Femme Fatale: Kitty. Also, the white cat Puss is implied to have slept with at the very beginning, who turns out to have been on Humpty's payroll.
- Flashback: A lengthy one is given by Puss to explain to Kitty (and the audience) the extent of his relationship with Humpty Dumpty.
- Foregone Conclusion:
- Humpty Dumpty, upon finding the Golden Goose's "nest", remarks that he feels like he belongs there, and later remarks that he didn't feel like he belonged in San Ricardo much less anywhere. He turns out to be a golden egg given life.
- Also, when Jack and Jill say that "it's their cue" after finding Humpty's telescope, things feel like Humpty was the one responsible for the whole thing.
- Furry Reminder: Similar to the previous movies, while Puss is more or less a swashbuckling hero, he can't overcome his feline instincts.
- Gambit Roulette: EVERY event up to the climax at San Ricardo was Humpty's gambit for revenge.
- Genre Shift: The regular Shrek series was an Affectionate Parody of fairy tales, a trait that's prevalent even through its most serious moments. Puss' story in the 'verse keeps the irreverent sense of fairy tale humor (in a lesser amount) but has a much more action-orientated tone similar to Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- The opening scene has Puss grabbing his stuff and getting ready to leave this sleeping kitty in the morning. Apparently he only did that to steal her owner's ring, which adds fresh implications.
- Puss has quite the reputation with the ladies. Apparently, he's called "Mr. Friskie Two-Times".
- This line from Humpty:
Do you know what they do to eggs in San Ricardo Prison? I'll tell you this much.... it ain't over easy
- Getting even more past the radar, if it ain't over easy? Guess what it is - sunny side up. Yikes.
- From one ad, Puss says "That's not what your mama said." For those who don't know, the full version of this comeback is "That's not what your mom said when I was doing her."
- When an outlaw tries to show Puss his "golden goose eggs".
- A cat walks into a bar and orders milk. Whereas the humans are drinking from actual beer bottles. Or are they?
- The prison guard seemed pretty put-out to find Puss carrying catnip. Knowing how cats react to the stuff...
- Kitty Softpaws' costume includes a little kitty cat gimp mask.
- Puss in prison starts to clean himself—the way cats do—until he realizes he's being watched by an apparently perverted old man....
- When Humpty Dumpty first appears, Puss says "Maldito huevo," which translates as "Damn egg."
- One of the lowlifes in the bar tells the story of the legendary Golden Eggs, via his various tattoos. Then he reaches for his pants, asking if Puss would 'like to see the eggs'.
- There is a friendly nudge to the second film. When he's being inspected by guards, they find a bag of catnip in his boot, and he claims that it's not his again. Unlike when it was pulled in the earlier film, it's less subtle in this scene.
- The scene where Puss and Kitty dance together is really...intimate. They can barely keep their paws off each other.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Subverted. Jack and Jill slam Humpty against a wooden cart by their shadows on a wall, then a crack sound is heard and liquid starts spraying out of Humpty. Turns out it's just a champange bottle.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Puss and Kitty.
- Hand Cannon: Jack and Jill have a literal one — the gun they use is a miniaturized, handheld cannon. complete with a fuse.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Humpty goes through it twice.
- Heel-Face Turn: Both Kitty and Humpty go back on their plan to abandon Puss and San Ricardo.
- Held Gaze: A very short one, as part of the Mating Dance scene between Puss and Kitty (see example below).
- Heroic Sacrifice: Humpty sacrifices himself so Puss can save the Golden Goose, and thus San Ricardo from her mother's wrath.
Puss: I will not let you go, Humpty.
Humpty: (smiling) I know you won't. So I won't make you choose.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Puss and Humpty, though it gets muddied for... complicated reasons.
- High On Catnip: Puss claims his bag of catnip is for his glaucoma.
- Hollywood Density: Averted; the golden eggs turn out to be so heavy even taking one would have been difficult. That said, the characters do occasionally handle them as if they were far lighter, but this is more artistic than plot-relevant.
- Hypocritical Humor: Puss takes offense at Kitty doing the "litterbox" (a kicking-sand motion with her hind legs) at him, only to turn around and drag his butt on the floor as an equally offensive comeback.
- Impossible Thief: Kitty. A Running Gag has her steal Puss' hat and boots without him noticing until she points it out. Puss later gets to do this to some guards by making their pants fall down without apparently moving a muscle.
- Improvised Weapon: Puss uses a guitar to knock Kitty out in their first duel, revealing her identity.
- In Love with the Mark
- Inspector Javert: The Comandante of San Ricardo.
- It's All About Me: Humpty's main character flaw, and ultimately the cause of Puss becoming an outlaw.
- Jump Scare: A minor one when Humpty says, "Hi, plant" to the little sprout in the desert.
- Kirk's Rock: The trio pass in front of a creditable rendered version at one point.
- Kissing Discretion Shot: Finally, after all the UST between the two, Kitty and Puss finally kiss. Which is hidden behind Puss's hat which Kitty lifts off his head and holds over their faces. Likely done just the give the two some privacy, though they hadn't really been discreet about their attraction before. Could also count as a (covered up) The Big Damn Kiss, because of the dramatic lighting behind them.
- Latin Lover: Puss prides himself as quite The Casanova.
- Like a Son to Me/Parental Substitute: Imelda and Puss' relationship.
- Logo Joke: The familiar Dreamworks opening animation is accompanied by lively Spanish music, including the sound of a whip-crack which coincides with the boy casting out his fishing line.
- Masked Luchador: Kitty wears a mask like this.
- Mating Dance: There is a quite passionate and fast paced one between Kitty and Puss after they retrieve the golden chick from the castle, they literally can barely keep their hands(/paws) off each other! Complete with with a Almost Kiss and even a Held Gaze moment. The "Dance Battle" can be interpreted as this, if one-sided.
- Meaningful Name: Kitty Softpaws can rob you blind and literally has no claws.
- Meet Cute: Despite the fact they were (so it seemed) preparing to fight to the death (and the fact guitar clubbing was included), the first real time Kitty and Puss meet, they seem to have easily over looked that fact, and Puss later expresses his regret over the guitar.
- Memento Macguffin: As it turns out, Puss's hat and boots.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The guardian of the golden goose is actually her gigantic mother. Humpty knew this and stole the goose to bring her mother's wrath down upon San Ricardo.
- More Dakka: Hand Cannons? A carriage with broadside cannons? Jack and Jill came down that hill packin'.
- My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Hilariously gender reversed with Jack and Jill, as Jack is the one who wants to have kids. He even uses this line at one point.
- Mythology Gag: A couple to Shrek 2:
- After Puss is arrested and searched, the guard finds catnip among Puss' possessions. This was part of the Cops parody in Shrek 2.
- The final scene has Puss and Kitty on the run, in what should have been a romantic scene if not for the soldiers attacking them, mirroring a scene in Shrek and Fiona's "honeymoon".
- Puss again puts on his Puppy-Dog Eyes, this time for a prison guard so he may escape. The score during this part is the same melody played during the first time Puss does it in Shrek 2. It's even on his Wanted poster.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe. Kitty keeps reminding Puss he hit her in the head with a guitar.
- Nice Hat: Puss has a Musketeer-esque hat, complete with feather.
- Nice Shoes: Who else?
- Offscreen Teleportation: Several times. In the bar scene at the beginning, and in a later scene with Jill.
- The Old Convict: "Jack" Andy Beanstalk.
- Once More with Clarity: Parodied with this scene warning: spoilers ahead.
The Big Bad
: "You never knew it Puss, but I was always there there there there."
- One Last Job:
- Jack wants to retire and start a family after the job is done. Jill however wants to continue the profession.
- Also Puss. He wants to stop being an outlaw and go back to San Ricardo, but he can't, unless this one last job lets him pay them back.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. The movie boasts both "Jack and Jill" Jack and "Jack and the Beanstalk" Jack. But then subverted when the latter Jack reveals that his real name is Andy Beanstalk, and Jack was a nickname he got saddled with.
- The One Who Wears Shoes: Both Puss and Kitty Softpaws own a pair of boots.
- Orphanage of Love: Imelda.
- Outlaw Couple: Jack and Jill.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Humpty attempts to blend in with the golden eggs in a gold bodysuit. Unfortunately the actual eggs are barely a foot wide. The goose buys into it at least once, though.
- Pop-Star Composer: Rodrigo y Gabriela did additional music for the film, teaming up with Hans Zimmer protege Henry Jackman.
- Prequel: To Shrek 2, the first appearance of the title character.
- Pungeon Master: Humpty Dumpty is usually surrounded by egg puns.
Do you know what they do to eggs in prison? I'll tell you this much... it ain't over easy
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Jack and Jill's boars have glowing red eyes, as does the mother goose in a brief shot.
- Redemption Equals Death: Puss manages to appeal to the good still in Humpty, who ends up performing a Heroic Sacrifice to save the golden goose (and by extension, San Ricardo).
- Revenge: Humpty's entire plan was to lead Puss back to San Ricardo so he could be locked up (as revenge for "betraying" him), and to also lead the Golden Goose's mother there to destroy the whole town (as revenge for locking him up).
- Revenge Myopia: Humpty's big grievance against Puss is the fact that Puss abandoned him to the authorities after the failed robbery of the bank. Humpty seems unwilling to recognize that he is just as guilty by tricking Puss into aiding him against his explicit wishes, and ruined his hard-earned reputation as the town hero in the process. He doesn't even view what he did as a betrayal, thinking that Puss was just supposed to go along with it because they're blood-brothers.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Golden Goose. Kitty Softpaws and Puss also qualify.
- Roof Hopping: Quite a bit, mostly from Puss and Kitty.
- Running Gag:
- Kitty stealing Puss' things without him noticing.
- Jack pestering Jill about having kids.
- Pointing out that Puss In Boots turned a guitar into an improvised weapon.
- The cat that keeps covering its mouth whenever someone says a pun (or does something naughty) and goes "ooooooo...".
- Running on All Fours: Kitty, especially when jumping.
- Samus is a Girl: Kitty, who for the first few minutes of her appearance wears a heavy black mask to hide her face. Given the generally realistic cat proportions the only real thing marking her as a different gender anyway is her voice (at least to the audience. Puss has no problem telling by her face, even though he seems incapable of identifying a female cat otherwise, apparently).
- Senior Sleep Cycle: Jack and the Beanstalk's Jack.
- From this ad: "Stay Furry, my friends."
- From this one: "Look at your cat. Now back to me."
- Puss has mastered the Magnum... But only in the trailer.
- "The first rule of Bean Club is you do NOT talk about Bean Club."
- Puss facing off with a highly competent imitator who turns out to be female, which happens with Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. This dips into Actor Allusion as both ladies are played by Salma Hayek and PenÚlope Cruz, known for being best friends in real life. For that matter, both scenes lead into a Left the Background Music On moment.
- Kitty Softpaws is a black-and-white stray who was declawed.
- "There is only one word for you... me-WOW."
- The garden in the giant's castle looks like the Jungle of Misery, and the Great Terror's roar in that scene even sounds like Rudy the Baryonyx.
- Obvious Jurassic Park allusions with the mother goose (scenes similar to having the T-Rex baby in the car to lead the mother out of town).
- The split-screen shots are a reference to Sergio Leone films. Much of the film's score is also inspired by Leone's films.
- Puss hitting Kitty with a guitar could be a shout-out to El Kabong.
- The Running Gag cat that goes 'Oooh' thinks it's in a Carry On film.
- The Mother Goose's attack on San Ricardo is very similar to the 1997 Tri Star Godzilla, right down to the final assault on the bridge(and her attacking Humpty's plane from below, just how 'Zilla chomped a helicopter in the movie).
- "His boots are made of soft Corinthian Leather" is a reference to Ricardo Montalban (one of the most prominent Hispanic actors in early Hollywood) and his famously suave endorsements for Chrysler. Montalban also co-starred with Banderas in one of the Spy Kids films, and it's very likely "San Ricardo" is named in his honor.
- Jack and Jill's little ones are ten little piggies.
- Humpty at one point tightens his golden suit so that only his eyes are showing, and starts mumbling in an incomprehensible way. Kenny, anyone?
- "You made the cat angry. You do not want to make the cat angry!"
- Signature Style: Despite Guillermo del Toro merely producing, a couple of his trademarks like Steam Punk (Jack and Jill's cannon carriage, Humpty's transforming carriage) and fantastically improbable creatures (the mother goose) appear in this movie. Not to mention that it's the first work since Pan's Labyrinth that's set in a remotely Hispanic setting.
- So Proud of You: Imelda says this to Puss after he saves San Ricardo from the golden goose's mother.
- Spaghetti Western: The script, the visual style and even the music all owe a debt to the work of Sergio Leone and his imitators.
- The Starscream: Jack and Jill turn on Humpty at the end. Of course, Humpty had pulled a Heel-Face Turn by then, so it may be a subversion.
- Steampunk: Jack and Jill's wagon-cannons, Humpty's glider-wagon.
- Swallow the Key: Jack swallows the key that locks the box where the magic beans are kept.
- Taken for Granite: According to Humpty, anyone who looks at the monster in the castle will turn to stone. This is a lie and is only meant to keep Puss and Kitty from finding out that the monster is the Goose's mother.
- Talking Animal: Puss and Kitty.
- That Poor Cat
- Toothy Bird: The mother goose. Actually reminiscent of real-life geese, which have serrated beaks.
- Trailers Always Lie:
- A scene from the commercials where Puss uses his Puppy-Dog Eyes to repel a thrown dagger is nowhere to be found in the film proper.
- Puss's Overly Long Gag with sipping the leche. ...he still does it in the actual movie, but it's no longer a long gag, and he doesn't say, "I'm still thirsty" after finishing.
- The running gag with the cat that goes "Ooh...!" has him taking his hand out of his mouth after Puss scolds him, which doesn't happen in the actual movie.
- True Companions: Puss and Humpty, when they were kids, and considered each other "brothers". Not so much in the present, though Humpty tries to get it back or at least pretends to, in order to take revenge. However, Puss manages to appeal to the good still in him, and they seem to be friends again right before Humpty's death.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Puss, Humpty, and Kitty form this dynamic.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Humpty Dumpty.
- UST: Very much so between Puss and Kitty through most of the movie.
- Visual Pun:
- First off, Humpty admitting that he's been a 'rotten egg'. Then after his Heroic Sacrifice, his exterior is obliterated to reveal a golden egg, making him a literal Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Let's not forget the tip of the hat to the best known fairy tale mascot of all time - a literal Mother Goose.
- Puss literally takes the bull by the horn when he takes the initiative towards being a hero.
- Vocal Dissonance: In the flashback, Puss is revealed to have had the same voice he had as an adult... as a kitten. As did Humpty.
- The Voiceless: Subverted in the flashback, where a young Puss almost never speaks until near the end of the flashback.
- Walk Into Camera Obstruction: With Humpty, when he Puss and Kitty first get into the giant's castle. Humpty, being rolled inside, with his gold disguise fills the screen.
- We Used to Be Friends: Puss and Humpty.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Little Boy Blue is never heard from again. In a Deleted Scene, he appears briefly as an adult.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: The adorable Puss is praised as a hero and loved like a son by the orphanage matron while his childhood friend Humpty, who is pretty much just a big face, is regularly mocked, gets into much trouble, and is the true antagonist of the film.
- Where It All Began: The story eventually leads back to Puss' hometown of San Ricardo. Of course, this turns out to be intentional, as part of Humpty's revenge plot.
- Who's Laughing Now?: Invoked word for word (barring the accent) when the castle in the clouds is proven to be real.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: The Arc Words for this movie.
The Short Film The Three Diablos Includes:
- Animal Gender Bender: Gonzalo is a male tortoiseshell cat.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Fooood..." "Waterrrr...." "Toiler paper..." Puss then gives himself a hasty wash across the touch zone.
- Cats Are Mean: Initially played with, then subverted.
- Cat Stereotype: Gonzalo is a tortoiseshell cat whom Puss named for his scrappy temper.
- Cute Kitten: The titular kittens
- The Ditz: Sir Timoteo Montenegro III (a.k.a. Timmy).
- Epic Flail: The Whisperer's weapon.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Initially played straight for the kittens, then subverted. See Heel-Face Turn.
- Heel-Face Turn: Puss helps the kittens away from being the Whisperer's minions, having learned from his experiences in his movie.
- Disney Death: Averted because unlike in the main film, or the first Shrek film, the villain dies for real and isn't shown still alive at the end of the film.
- Disney Villain Death
- Furry Reminder: As usual
- Killer Rabbit: The kittens
- The Speechless: The titular kittens again.
- Tasty Gold: On giving the kittens each a gold coin, two of them (Gonzalo and Perla) bite it to check its authenticity. The third (Timoteo) sees what they're doing and eats his own.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Gonzalo (male), Timoteo (male), and Perla (female)