Although the character of Puss in Boots originated in a European fairy tale in 1697, the film is a spin-off prequel to the Shrek franchise. It follows the character Puss in Boots on his adventures before his first appearance in Shrek 2 in 2004. Accompanied by his friends, Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws, Puss is pitted against Jack and Jill, two murderous outlaws in ownership of legendary magical beans which lead to great fortune.
Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) is a talking cat named for his signature pair of boots. Puss is a fugitive on the run from the law, looking to restore his lost honor. He learns that the outlaw couple Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris) have the magic beans he's been looking for most of his life, which can lead him to a giant's castle holding valuable golden goose eggs. When Puss tries to steal them from the outlaws' room, a female cat named Kitty Softpaws interrupts, and both fail. Kitty is allied with Humpty Alexander Dumpty, a talking egg and Puss' long-estranged childhood friend from the orphanage where he was raised. Puss tells Kitty his origin story and of his feelings of betrayal for a youthful misadventure when Humpty tricked Puss into helping commit a bank robbery in his hometown of San Ricardo; Puss has been on the run ever since. Humpty eventually convinces Puss to join them in finding the beans and retrieving the golden eggs.
The trio steal the beans from Jack and Jill and plant them in the desert. Puss and Kitty's relationship becomes romantic. The trio ride the beanstalk into the clouds to find the castle of the late giant, while avoiding the Great Terror, a giant goose that guards the Golden Goose. When they realize the golden eggs are too heavy to carry, they steal the Goose, which is just a gosling, and escape the castle. While celebrating their victory, the group is ambushed by Jack and Jill, who knock Puss unconscious.
When Puss wakes up, he tracks Jack and Jill to San Ricardo where he learns the entire heist was a plot by Humpty to lure him home to be arrested, as revenge for abandoning him to the authorities when Humpty's youthful heist went bad. Jack, Jill, and Kitty were involved in the con. After pleas from Imelda, his adoptive mother, Puss turns himself in to the guards while Humpty donates many golden eggs to the town and becomes a hero.
While in prison, Puss meets the original Jack from "Jack and the Beanstalk" who warns him that the Great Terror is in fact the Goose's mother, and it will stop at nothing to get its child back. Realizing Humpty intended to destroy the town all along, Puss lets a repentant Kitty help him break out of prison and she also tells him she loves him. Tracking him down just as the Great Terror arrives, Puss convinces Humpty to help him fight off the Great Terror, saying he knows Humpty is a good person at heart. Using the Goose as bait, Puss and Humpty lure the Great Terror out of the town. During the chase, Jack and Jill betray Humpty and try to take the Goose, but get crushed by the Great Terror. Humpty and the Goose are knocked off a bridge with Puss holding onto them. Humpty knows Puss cannot hold both of them, so he lets go, sacrificing himself to save the Goose and the town. Humpty's shell cracks open to reveal he was a golden egg on the inside. The Great Terror then takes the Goose and Humpty back to the giant's castle.
Puss' efforts to save San Ricardo make him a hero among the townspeople and Imelda. In the epilogue, Jack and Jill are recovering from their injuries, Humpty is shown once again in his regular egg form, wearing a golden egg suit, as he rides the Great Terror into the clouds, and Puss and Kitty kiss.Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots, a fugitive from the law and a hero of San Ricardo.
Zach Galifianakis as Humpty Alexander Dumpty, the mastermind who intends to retrieve the Golden Eggs from the one-of-a-kind Goose.
Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws, a street-savvy Tuxedo cat who is Puss' female counterpart and love interest.
Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris as Jack and Jill, a murderous outlaw husband and wife couple.
Constance Marie as Imelda, Puss' human adoptive mother
Guillermo del Toro as Comandante, Moustache Man
Mike Mitchell as Andy "Jack" Beanstalk
The film had been in development since 2004, when Shrek 2 was released. As a Shrek 2 spin-off, it was initially planned for release in 2008 as a direct-to-video film, then titled Puss in Boots: The Story of an Ogre Killer. By October 2006, the film was re-slated as a theatrical release due to market conditions, and due to DreamWorks Animation's realization that the Puss character deserved more.
In September 2010, Guillermo del Toro signed on as executive producer. Discussing del Toro, Miller stated: "We worked out a system for him to come in once every few months or whenever we had something new to show him. If we needed someone to bounce ideas off of, he was always there, and if we had a problem we were tackling, we'd get Guillermo on the red phone – our emergency phone – and ask him advice on what we should do with a certain character or scene. It was like having our own film school." Miller stated that del Toro was particularly involved in Humpty's character design. "Guillermo loved the dreamy quality of Humpty Dumpty. He suggested we push that further, make him more like da Vinci." It was del Toro's idea to make Humpty "an ingenious freak of nature" who builds contraptions such as a flying machine. Del Toro rewrote the ending to redeem the character and deepen his relationship with Puss – an unconventional conclusion for a children's film. He helped design the fantasy elements of the giant's castle, as well as the architecture of the town, which he conceived as "an amalgam of Spain and Mexico".
Except for Puss, the film features new characters. Citing the co-writer, David H. Steinberg, "It doesn't overlap with Shrek at all. Partly that was done to tell an original Puss story, but partly because we didn't know what Shrek 4 were going to do with the characters and we couldn't write conflicting storylines." The film was teased in Shrek Forever After, when Shrek finally shuts the book titled "Shrek", and puts it away next to a book titled "Puss in Boots".
Puss in Boots is the first DreamWorks Animation feature film that was partly made in India. A Bangalore studio owned by Technicolor, which had mainly worked on TV specials and DVD bonus material, spent six months animating three major scenes in the film. The outsourcing had financial advantages, with 40% less labor costs than in the US, but the primary reason for outsourcing to India was lack of personnel, due to the studio producing as many as three films a year.
The release date was originally set for November 4, 2011, but was pushed a week earlier to October 28, 2011. Anne Globe, head of worldwide marketing for DreamWorks Animation, said the decision to move the film's release date a week earlier was to attract parents and their children to see the film before other family-friendly movies were released in November 2011.
The film was renamed Cat in Boots in the United Arab Emirates for officially unknown reasons, but it is suspected for religious and cultural reasons. According to UAE's The National Media Council, which is responsible for censorship, UAE didn't have any involvement in the rename and that "the decision to change the name had been made by the Hollywood studio and the movie distributors in the UAE." Consequently, since the film's distributor was based in the UAE, the same print was syndicated to all theaters throughout the Middle East. However, the name change was limited to the film's original theatrical run, as merchandise and later regional home media release retained the film's original title.
Henry Jackman, the composer for Puss in Boots, utilized folk instruments of traditional Latin music. Inspired by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, Jackman blended guitars and Latin percussion with an orchestral sound influenced by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela contributed to Jackman’s score, and two of their songs, Diabolo Rojo and Hanuman were included in the soundtrack. Lady Gaga's song "Americano" was also featured in the film. The soundtrack for the film, featuring the original score by Jackman, was released on October 24, 2011, by Sony Classical.
Puss in Boots had its world premiere on October 16, 2011, aboard the Royal Caribbean International's cruise ship Allure of the Seas, docked in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the time. It was theatrically released in the United States on October 28, 2011. The film was digitally re-mastered into IMAX 3D, and was released in 268 North American IMAX theaters and at least 47 IMAX theaters outside North America.
Puss in Boots was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on February 24, 2012. The movie was accompanied by a short animated film called Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos. As of July 2013, 7.2 million home entertainment units were sold worldwide.
Another featured extra short is "Klepto Kitty"; a three-minute profile of Dusty the Klepto Kitty, a notorious cat in California who steals items from neighbors' yards, some of it captured on a night vision kitty-cam, hung around Dusty's neck by the Animal Planet network for their own documentary.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 84% based on reviews from 142, with an average rating of 6.8 out of 10. The website's consensus is, "It isn't deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 65% based on 24 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was an "A-" on an A+ to F scale.
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, saying "Puss in Boots is a perfectly diverting romp that happens to showcase some of the best 3D work yet from a mainstream animated feature. Colorful, clever enough, free of cloying showbiz in-jokes, action-packed without being ridiculous about it and even well choreographed." Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "Puss' origin story could easily stand on its own -- a testament to clever writing on the part of its creative team and an irresistible central performance by Antonio Banderas." Christy Lemire of the Associated Press gave the film three out of four stars, saying "For quick, lively, family friendly entertainment, "Puss in Boots" works just fine, even in 3-D, which is integrated thoughtfully into the narrative and doesn't just feel like a gimmick." Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic gave the film three and a half stars out of five, saying "As good as Banderas and Hayek are together, Galifianakis is better, making Humpty-Dumpty, of all people, one of the more intriguing animated characters to come along in a while. He's a nice surprise." Moira MacDonald of The Seattle Times gave the film three out of four stars, saying "I left dreaming of a world in which cats could tango - and when's the last time a movie did that?" Marjorie Baumgarten of The Austin Chronicle gave the film three out of five stars, saying "The seductive interplay of Banderas and Hayek, the barely recognizable vocal contributions of Galifianakis, and the Southern backwoods speech of Thornton and Sedaris all keep us attuned to the events on the screen."
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C, saying "In the Shrek films, the joke of Puss in Boots, with his trilled consonants and penchant for chest-puffing sword duels, is that no one this cuddly should try to be this dashing. But in Puss in Boots, that joke wears out its welcome in 15 minutes." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Puss in Boots doesn't break any new ground in the storytelling department, and its reliance on go-go-go state-of-the-art action sequences grows wearying by the end, but the movie has a devilish wit that works for parent and child alike." Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News gave the film four out of five stars, saying "It's always a pleasure to find a family film that respects its audience all the way up the line." Colin Covert of the Star Tribune gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "Remember that toy where you yank a string and hear the sound of a barnyard animal? "Puss in Boots" has about half as much entertainment value." Olly Richards of Empire gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Like most kittens, it's not always perfectly behaved, but at least this new Puss adventure doesn't have you reaching for the cinematic spray bottle. And thank goodness the spin-off does nothing to neuter the charismatic cat's appeal." Stan Hall of The Oregonian gave the film a B, saying "Puss in Boots isn't particularly deep, nor does it take itself seriously -- it just wants to seek glory, win affection and cash in. Done, done and done."
Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film four out of five stars, saying "Perhaps the most engaging thing about "Puss in Boots" is that it never takes itself too seriously." Stephen Holden of The New York Times gave the film three and a half stars out of five, saying "It is a cheerfully chaotic jumble of fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters parachuted into a Spanish storybook setting." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "Basically, this toon is a tired riff on Sergio Leone's spaghetti Westerns, punctuated by more puns and cat jokes than you can shake a litter box at." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film three out of four stars, saying "With his impeccable comic timing and lyrical Spanish accent, Banderas' swashbuckling charmer is an undeniable treat." Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Puss in Boots" proves there is at least one cat with multiple lives. The feature-length animated spinoff - a star turn for the popular "Shrek" supporting character voiced by Antonio Banderas - is almost shockingly good. And not just because a lot of you will approach it with lowered expectations." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film three out of four stars, saying "An almost purr-fect little film that even a dog owner can enjoy."
Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal gave the film a positive review, saying "Puss made his debut in "Shrek 2," then did time in the two decreasingly funny sequels. Now he's got a movie of his own, and not a moment too soon." Lisa Kennedy of The Denver Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying "It would overstate matters to say Puss in Boots leaves its cat holding the bag (we had to get that in). But it also leaves its hero awaiting a richer fable, one befitting his charms and his portrayer's talents." Anna Smith of Time Out gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Puss in Boots is uneven, but when it's on course, cat fans will be in heaven." Amy Biancolli of the Houston Chronicle gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Puss in Boots prances along on three basic truths. One, cats are funny. Two, vain Spanish cats in high-heeled musketeer boots are even funnier. Lastly, booted, vain Spanish cats voiced by a breathy Antonio Banderas are flat-out hilarious." Tasha Robinson of The A.V. Club gave the film a C+, saying "Puss In Boots makes a great theme-park ride, a thrill-a-minute feast for the eyes and the semicircular canals. But while the settings are impressively multidimensional, the characters are flatter than old-school cel drawings."
The film grossed $149,260,504 in North America, and $405,726,973 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $554,987,477. It is the eleventh highest-grossing film of 2011 and is also the third highest-grossing animated film that year behind Kung Fu Panda 2 ($665.7 million) and Cars 2 ($559.9 million).
In North America, the film topped the box office on its opening day with $9.6 million. On its opening weekend, the film made $34,077,439, topping Saw III's record ($33.6 million) for the highest Halloween weekend opening ever. It retained first place during its second weekend, with $33,054,644, declining only 3%.
Outside North America, on its opening weekend, it earned second place with $17.2 million. The film opened at #1 in both the UK with a weekend gross of £1.98 million ($3.1 million), and Australia, with $2.98 million. It topped the box office outside North America on its seventh weekend with $47.1 million from 40 countries. It ranks as the ninth highest-grossing film of 2011 outside North America. Its highest-grossing country after North America was Russia and the CIS ($50.6 million), followed by Germany ($33.9 million) and France and the Maghreb region ($33.2 million).
In November 2012, executive producer Guillermo del Toro said that they already did a couple of script drafts for a sequel, and that the director Chris Miller wants to take Puss on an adventure to exotic places. In April 2014, Antonio Banderas, the voice of Puss, said that the work on the sequel had just begun. In June 2014, the movie was titled Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves and was scheduled to be released on November 2, 2018. Two months later, it was moved back to December 21, 2018. In January 2015, Puss in Boots 2 was removed from the release schedule following corporate restructuring and DreamWorks Animation's new policy to release two films a year. Two months later, Banderas said in an interview that the script was under restructuring, and that Shrek may appear in the film.
The film also spawned an animated series that premiered on Netflix on January 16, 2015.Puss in Boots, a video game based on the film, developed by Blitz Games, and published by THQ on October 25, 2011 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Nintendo DS. It features support for Kinect and PlayStation Move on the respective platforms.
Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots, a Puss in Boots-themed Fruit Ninja video game, which was released on October 20, 2011, on the iOS App Store, and was released for Android devices on November 28, 2011, on the Amazon Appstore.