One of the reasons that I love Pixar movies is because they make brilliant family movies that everyone can enjoy because of the overall quality. Even as a fan of the first two Shrek movies, I feel like Dreamworks had this mentality that in order for parents and grown-ups to enjoy their movies, they needed to add in subtle grown-up jokes, which is something that has always irked me about the studio. Near the very beginning of the movie, one such joke was made about someone showing Puss his “golden eggs” and I immediately felt embarrassed for Dreamworks. I’m not a prude, I just believe that there’s a time and a place for such jokes and disguised in a kid’s movie is not one such place. Needless to say, I feared the worst for the rest of the film ahead.
As the film continued though, I found myself more drawn into the story and when it focused more on the characters and building up where it would all go, I began to enjoy myself. The story takes several fairytale characters and mashes them together in a PUSS IN BOOTS/Jack and the Beanstalk-ish story. It puts an interesting spin on it and is a lot of fun.
While again, I like the first couple of Shrek films, I don’t always love the animation used in it (although that’s not to say that the animation is bad). In the case of PUSS IN BOOTS, a similar animation style is used, but it’s noticeably improved upon and the result is an absolutely beautiful film to watch. Additionally, PUSS IN BOOTS does a really exceptional job of being a standalone film from the Shrek franchise and no prior knowledge of the films of the character is needed to enjoy it. As far as the voice acting goes, Antonio Banderas does such a fantastic job with his role in the film. Prior to this film, I never really cared who voiced the character, but in this film Banderas really makes Puss his own and now I could never picture any other actor voicing the character.
A Dreams Fairytale: This is basically a silly fairytale mad libs game for kids to play. You choose from a series of words and the feature inserts them into a fairytale rhyme and reads it back to you.
Puss’ Paw Pouncing Challenge: In this feature, you control Puss’ paw and your goal is to catch as many lights as possible within the time limit. Remember all those times you thought it was hilarious to make your cat chase a laser pointer light? Now you get to be the cat chasing the light.
The Artist’s Corner: This is a commentary that has both storyboards that take you behind the scenes and it has thoughts from the team behind the movie and provides insights on the movie like that over 600 artists worked on the film.
Trivia Track: This is sort of like pop-up video, where during the movie you can turn this feature on and it’ll provide you with facts and tidbits about the film and such.
Purr-fect Pairing: The Voices Behind The Legend: The director and producer go through Puss’ story and lead into the actors that voiced the characters. We get a chance to hear about what it was like for the actors to work on the film and get to see them recording some of their dialogue.
Deleted Scenes: These are storyboard deleted scenes… aka they’re completely unfinished. Each scene has its own mini introduction where it’s explained why it was deleted and what it was all about. It’s not a great feature, but I did really like the fact that each scene was explained and briefly talked about instead of leaving us to guess where it fit in.
Kitten to Cat: A look at how Puss went from being a supporting character in the Shrek franchise to a starring character in his own solo film. It’s a prequel to the Puss we see in the Shrek movies and the cast and crew discuss how it all came to be.
Glitter Box Dance-Off: The choreographer from the movie talks about the cantina dance scene and shows off the dance moves that inspired the animators working on that scene. This features doubles as a lesson for kids wanting to learn Puss and Kitty Softpaws’ dance. It’s a neat feature but it honestly goes a bit fast for a special feature that is clearly geared towards kids. They use a couple of child dancers I guess to make it seem easier, but they’ve obviously rehearsed beforehand. The choreographer doesn’t even dumb down her language and uses official names for the dance moves, making it difficult for kids who just want to do the dance for fun at home.
Klepto Kitty: Since in the movie, Puss gets his start in life by being a thief, the creators of the bonus features thought it would be fun to include a story about a real-life cat burglar named Dusty. Seriously.
Kitty Keyboard: An interactive feature where you choose a song and cats come on screen, play the piano and meow out the song for you. It’s like Jingle Cats, but with fairytale songs.
Fairytale Pop-Up Book: The main characters from the film get a little interactive page where audiences can choose a character and get a better look at the character through “Memorable Moments”, “Favorite Line”, “Gallery” and “You Know _________ From” menus. Kitty Strikes Again: This is a spot the differences games that kids can play. There are a few different sets of images for kids to go through and to try and play along with.
Dreamworks additionally put a lot of effort into the bonus features and as such, all in all, the Blu-ray Combo Pack of PUSS IN BOOTS will provide hours of entertainment for little ones.