The Oscar-nominated Puss in Boots has all the hallmarks of a DreamWorks animation film, a mash-up of fairy tales and hipness. It is, after all, a spin-off from the Shrek franchise.
Antonio Banderas is back, voicing the fluffy, puffed-up swashbuckling cat who at the drop of a hat can give you a irresistible pitiful look that's guaranteed to melt your heart. In this tale, the feline finds himself mixed up in a plot involving Humpty Dumpty — there are plenty of egg jokes — the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, Jack and Jill, and Mother Goose herself.
Along the way, Puss meets up with another cool cat, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), who at first is a rival. After a flamenco/salsa dance number between the two, they become allies, but always with a bit of romantic tension. Having been in live films together, Hayek and Banderas have a nice give-and-take — even if it is just in their voices.
Beyond that, Puss in Boots is what it is. Visually, it's bright and shiny, and the bad Jack and Jill, voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris, are fun characters — sort of Beverly Hillbillies gone wrong. At least, it doesn't try too hard with the culture references, unlike the later Shrek films. Kids will like it, and parents won't mind it.
Puss in Boots retails for $29.99 or $39.99 Blu-ray.