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Western Animation / Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale

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Puss in Book: Trapped In A Epic Tale is a Netflix interactive Gamebook-style short film.

After an average day of defeating thieves, Puss finds an unusual book titled "The Adventures of Puss in Boots". Compelled, Puss opens it to have a look and finds himself trapped within the book's pages! At the whims of the Storyteller and/or Reader, Puss in Boots must find a way out of this twisted storybook, while making several choices along the way.

By watching it on Netflix with a supported device, the viewer gets to play the role of The Reader, and make the choices presented throughout the story. Otherwise, an alternate version of the story is shown where the Storyteller alone makes the choices for Puss instead.

Tropes in Puss in Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale:

  • Alternate Self: The stories are populated by alternate versions of existing characters.
    Puss: This Storyteller uses my own friends to populate his diabolical world! Apparently he's too lazy to come up with new characters.
    Storyteller: It's not laziness, it's recycling!
  • Babies Ever After: If Puss chooses to kiss Snow White/Senora Zapata to wake her up, she forces him into marriage and they have 5 half human half cat children.
  • Becoming the Genie: In the Pirate route, Puss is given the option to use his third wish to either free the genie or free himself. If Puss chooses to free the genie, Puss is forced to take his place inside the lamp.
  • Big Damn Kiss: After defeating her and reconciling, the option comes up to have Puss in Boots give Evil Queen Dulcinea a handshake or a kiss. Said kiss is a big sweeping musical number that is notably bigger than anything that has happened between Puss and the real Dulcinea before now. It's also unavoidable, picking the handshake will cause an unimpressed Dulcinea to kiss Puss herself.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • In most cases, if you make the “wrong” choice, the narrative will send you back on the “right” choice, anyway.
    • In an example that benefits the protagonist, the Puss has the option of kissing the beautiful evil queen or simply shaking her hands, if you choose to shake hands, the queen will take the initiative and kiss him anyway.
  • Big Bad: The Narrator who turns out to be Fartholomew Fishflinger in one of the endings.
  • Call-Back: Puss often comments on the Alternate Selves of characters by mentioning their previous interactions in the real world.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Lampshaded when Puss wonders why Golem is fighting him, since he became good at the end of his episode in The Adventures of Puss in Boots, he replies that "this story is not a part of traditional continuity".
  • Casting Gag: The narrator is voiced by Jeff Bennett. This is not the first time he's voiced a narrator he voiced the narrator in a Doug Langdale-helmed show.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: It's a Gamebook episode! It's something different even for Netflix, not just for The Adventures of Puss in Boots.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The scenarios The Storyteller puts Puss reference stories such as; Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Sinbad the Sailor and Snow White.
  • Gamebooks: As part of an experiment, this is the first such Choose Your Own Adventure available on Netflix.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: In the Giant branch, Toby as the giant says that he's stepped on a lot of people, a lot of them by accident. The branch ends with him stomping on Puss.
  • Golden Ending: The Evil Queen route ends with Puss in Boots discovering who is behind it all, defeating him and freeing himself from the story. In contrast, the Pirate route ends with Puss simply brute forcing himself out of the story, and due to a taunt by the Storyteller, trying but failing to force himself back into the story so he can see what he missed.
  • Here We Go Again!: After Puss escapes the book, Artephius finds it and gets trapped inside it.
  • In-Scene Title Text: After the standard title sequence, the camera zooms back to show the title on the cover of the magic book.
  • Interactive Narrator: The Storyteller.
  • Jackass Genie: In the Pirate branch, Puss finds a magical lamp containing a wish granting genie played by Artephius. Each of the three wishes is a choice given to The Reader, but all 6 of them play out badly.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: When Puss is faced with Malarena, El Moco, Alessandra and the Golem. The Storyteller gives Puss the option of fighting it out or having a tea break. If the tea break is selected, the ensuing tea break is so awkward a fight breaks out anyway.
  • Multiple Endings: One of the few non-Video Game examples
  • No Fourth Wall: Within the storybook in the interactive version. At several points Puss attempts to beg and butter up The Reader to get them to make the choices he desires.
  • Reused Character Design:
    • Parodied and lampshaded, when a fearsome giant is summoned, which turns out to be Toby the orphan. Puss comments on the laziness.
    • Dulcinea appears as an evil queen.
  • Reset Button: Standard for a Gamebook, there are several bad endings along the way that end with Puss badly injured or imprisoned for eternity, but in each case Puss is able to beg the Storyteller to let him go back and explore the other choice.
  • The Reveal: The Evil Queen route eventually ends with the revelation that The Storyteller is Fartholomew Fishflinger.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: All the choices are presented in the form of a rhyme. Puss in Boots takes note of this when he takes over the story in the Pirate branch.
  • Running Gag: The gag of Puss being called "pretty" when he would prefer "handsome" comes up in a few branches.
  • Ship Tease: Although it isn't really her, Puss has a hard time hiding how much he wants to kiss Evil Queen Dulcinea. In the non-interactive story he makes a half-hearted argument for going with the handshake before settling on the kiss, and in the interactive story, Puss feels it would be inappropriate to mention his preference, but he gives The Reader a thumbs-up if they pick kiss and expresses extreme disappointment in them if they pick handshake.
  • Shmuck Bait: In the Pirate branch, Puss is able to take control of the story and attempts to break out, but the Storyteller taunts him about what could have happened in the Evil Queen branch. While it does work, the Reader is given the option of sending Puss to the Evil Queen branch or ending the story, which will kick Puss in Boots out of the book screaming, desperate to know how the other story would have played out.
  • The Unreveal: When Fartholomew was last seen, he was just a soul sealed away by the Lorenzo Lapis Lazuli. He starts to explain how he got his mouse body back and came to be in control of a magic book, but cuts his story short when it becomes apparent that Puss in Boots doesn't really care.
  • Title Drop: The magical book Puss is trapped shares its title with the name of the main show; "The Adventures of Puss in Boots".
  • Troll: The Storyteller has it out for Puss and almost every branch plays out badly for him. The non-interactive version of the story even has the Storyteller take Puss through as many bad endings as possible by twisting or flat out ignoring Puss' own decisions, at one point even forcing Puss through mutually exclusive branches of a choice just because he can.
  • Interactive Narrator: The Narrator of the story and the Big Bad.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Snow white/Senora Zapata and the Evil Queen/ Dulcinea, needless to say which of the two the Puss In Boots was more happy to kiss.
  • Voice Changeling: When The Narrator is found to be Fartholomew Fishflinger, his voice suddenly switches voice actors. After a monologue, he imitates Puss in his own voice.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In the Pirate branch, it is revealed that The Storyteller hates song and dance, so Puss fills the story with as much song and dance as he can to ruin the story enough that The Storyteller will force him out.

Alternative Title(s): Puss In Book