12 December 2006

Ink Blots XLII - The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots

Pero, the ironically named titular "Puss" not only wears boots but a whole musketeers ensemble. As the film begins, Pero is sentenced to death by the cat folk for refusing to eat a mouse (he likes to favor the underdog... or in this case undermouse). Of course, Pero escapes, but throughout his adventure, he is pursued by three sword-toting dim-witted cat cops. Pero meets up with the young fair skinned pauper Pierre. Pero, being a cunning cat, devises a plan to get the Princess of the land, Princess Rose, to fall in love with and marry Pierre. Unfortunately, the ogre Lucifer also wants the hand of Princess Rose (so why is it that dastardly villains always have such a desire to enter into the holy bonds of matrimony). Its Pierre and Pero to the rescue along with a gaggle of mice that Pero has befriended.

Produced in 1969 Japan, this early anime is probably best known for its key animator, Hayao Miyazaki. The film has a nice old school animation style full of simple shapes and vibrant colors. Highlights include the character of the Ogre who uses a magical skull medallion to transform and use magic. Also, the brave mice that accompany Pero are comical. As for the cat, he's fairly charming, and his skillful deceptions prove that he is a clever little scamp.

Prior to seeing this film, I did not have much exposure to the character of Puss 'n Boots other than the comical version in Shrek 2. I knew he was an ogre slayer and that he wore boots, but I have no idea how faithful this story is to the original, or how much it deviates. I don't even know if Puss's name is really Pero in the original story, but whoever thought of that is a genius. So, did I like this film? It was entertaining, and not without its charm, but neither did it blow me away. The dated look and forgettable tunes are more nostalgic than great, but film still has class (as the infamous "pop culture reference" in animated films had not even been thought up yet) and a timelessness. For that Pero the Cat and his boots walk away with a B.

Support SERVEwithCHIPS: The Wonderful World of Puss 'N Boots:


j said...

Doesn't sound like it follows the original story too closely. In the original version, Puss defeats the Ogre by getting him to transform into a mouse and then eating him. This Puss seems opposed to mouse eating in all forms.

Also, are you saying its ironic that his name is "Pero" because in Spanish "Perro" means dog?

Chip Chief said...

Pero tries the old ogre-mouse thing, but to no avail. and yes, i think the cleverest I could be would be naming the Puss "Gato."

Kory said...

The art in the movie poster alone makes me want to go out and find this, I love the simpler artwork of animation in the 50s-60s. Now I'm on a mission!