Aisle Seat: Here kitty, kitty

Jason Armstrong gives Puss in Boots, DreamWorks Animation's latest from the Shrek franchise, three-and-a-half stars out of five.

  • Nov. 6, 2011 3:00 p.m.
The swashbuckling hero Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) stars in his own movie sans Shrek.

The swashbuckling hero Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) stars in his own movie sans Shrek.

So uninspired was the Shrek franchise by the time it hit the finish line with the fourth (and very tired) chapter, it’s easy to forget what a great character the series initially had in Puss In Boots.

Not that I figured the feline’s big screen spin-off, Puss In Boots, would be a great movie, but I do recall, now that is, just how many laughs I got out of the little fuzzball when he first appeared alongside Ogre and Donkey.

See, with the swashbuckler’s big solo outing, fearlessly standing on its own,  I’m ready to admit that I was wrong in thinking this wouldn’t be fun.

This is a good family outing. Good laughs.  Good 3-D. Good kitty.

In Puss In Boots, the Antonia Banderas-voiced sword-wielding lothario cat is a fugitive from justice.

Teaming with Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and his former partner Humpty Dumpty (Zack Galifianakis), the trio attempts to wrestle away some magic beans from Jack and Jill (played out here as slobbering bullies, voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) in an effort to ride the magic beanstalk and track down the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Sound like a collision of children’s classic literature? It should.  This ain’t old whisker’s first time to the rodeo, after all.

Surprisingly, Puss In Boots is a pretty fresh, spunky movie.

With a distinct western flavour (director Chris Miller really loves the Sergio Leone ‘70s-style split screens), grown-ups will get as big a kick out of this one as wee ones. (And take it from me, don’t even attempt  to explain the cat’s comment about needing cat nip “for his glaucoma” to your kids –– just let them enjoy the cute critters.)

Spoofing fairytales hasn’t been this much of a hoot since the original Shrek.

The feature is currently playing at Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Jason Armstrong is The Morning Star’s longtime movie reviewer.