“Puss in Boots” slashes into theaters

After appearances in the “Shrek” movie series, the scene-stealing character Puss in Boots is getting a spinoff, inviting fans on a different kind of adventure. The titular, unapologetic Don Juan (Antonio Banderas) is comical and irresistible in this prequel to his “Shrek” debut.

The portrayal of a little cat with a daring, vivacious, and often naughty personality creates a humorous atmosphere throughout the movie that will uplift fans of the “Shrek” franchise.

Banderas said at a press conference the weekend prior to the film’s release, “A cat is not supposed to behave or talk like that. We go in the opposite direction. It’s the contrast that makes the source of the comedy.”

The movie pairs Puss in Boots with equally charming sidekicks Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), a seductive thief, and Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), a corrupt prodigy.

While the three characters have different motives, they set off on a journey together to find three “magic beans,” which leads them on the path to an enchanted palace in the sky, inhabited by a goose that lays golden eggs.

Their venture becomes increasingly intricate and exhilarating as the wicked and often hilarious outlaws Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) interfere with their plans, determined to reach the treasure first.

While the storyline is transparent and simple, the charismatic all-star voice cast brings the dynamic characters to life and engages the audience.

With a husky voice, Spanish accent, and over-the-top mannerisms that combine the ego of a hero with the sweetness of a cat, Puss in Boots’ multidimensional character undoubtedly carries the movie.

“This character is larger than life. [It’s funny] how seriously he takes himself, how melodramatic he becomes at times,” said Director Chris Miller at the same press conference.

Kitty Softpaws’ (Hayek) sultry and sensuous voice, which effortlessly characterizes a femme fatale, complements Puss in Boots’ character. She is strong, beautiful and funny.

“She’s a very good verbal fighter, and also a very good physical fighter. I enjoy that she always wins, and that she’s always right. It’s really a joy to be this kind of cat,” said Hayek in a press release.

The evil genius Humpty Dumpty (Galifianakis) adds another dimension to the movie with his impressive intellect, and lifelong grudge that veils his sweet nature. The vulnerable side of Humpty Dumpty adds authenticity to his character.

The main villains Jack and Jill (Thornton and Sedaris) were cheated of their on-screen time. They had great chemistry and were very funny, but the comic relief they brought could not fully mask their underdeveloped characters.

The detailed scenery, well-animated characters, and exotic background translate particularly well into the 3-D format. “Puss in Boots” is visually impressive and entertaining, making it clear that DreamWorks may have another franchise on its hands.