Puss in Boots

(Bow Tie Cinemas, November 2, 2011)


We’ve had this discussion…and I lost. I guess I have to admit it. We know that the film is good. We like Puss. We do. He is cute. He is funny. There is something irresistible about him. When he showed up in that Shrek picture, he stole the show. He didn’t steal the following Shrek picture mostly because they didn’t give him enough to do, and the picture suffered for it.


And now he has his own film: funny and entertaining. But, a question:

When the masked cat shows up at Jack and Jill’s place, we know that Puss and the Masked Cat will battle and try and one-up themselves. Then we know that it will turn out that the Cat is actually the cute kitty played by Salma Hayek. We know this because this has been a trope through all of storytelling. We have seen this story time-and-again.

Once we know this, we also know that Humpty Dumpty will betray Puss; that Salma is working for Humpty, and that while she is betraying him, she is also falling in love, and will help make everything right.

So, the question: We also know that “Puss In Boots” will make oodles and oodles of money even if it was just the cat dancing for ninety minutes, and we know that everybody on the film got well paid. So why didn’t they try harder? Everybody and their dead aunt knew every turn the story would take after the Masked Cat showed up.  A film guaranteed to make money is a good film to take some chances and spin the wheel on. Something truly special could have come about, rather than just an entertaining slice of what-we-already-know.

As I have said above,  I have lost, so I just have to enjoy. I asked this question before, and the answer was: the kids don’t know this trope. Let them discover it.  They are enjoying it in a way the older audience isn’t: with fresh eyes and ears.

Yeah, I suppose. This way, when they are watching the same film in fifty years time with different assorted animals, they can marvel at the creative innovations: “Yes, but last time it was a cat. This time it is not.”




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