Since DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots will finally be released this Friday release (Oct. 28), both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have posted their reviews of the movie already. Studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg, director Chris Miller, and producers Joe Aguilar and Latifa Ouaou should be relieved as early reviewers admire the film’s wonderful humor, great visual panache and clever re-imagining of the 17th century fable.
Variety’s Peter Debruge gave the film a generally positive review, praised its delightful visuals, use of 3-D and clever script, as well as the unforgettable contribution of the voice of Puss in Boots, Antonio Banderas.
He writes, “however crass the motivation for its existence, 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. The consistently amusing result should appease audiences and shareholders alike as the swashbuckling cat leaves his prints all over the fall box office.”
Meanwhile, Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy is kinder to the film’s third act than Deburge.
Calling the pic a perfectly diverting romp, he notes, “Colorful, clever enough, free of cloying showbiz in-jokes, action-packed without being ridiculous about it and even well choreographed, this latest DreamWorks Animation offering moves Antonio Banderas’ dashing little kitty centerstage in an entertaining way that points to strong, if not blockbuster, box office results in all markets but particularly in Spanish-speaking territories.”
McCarthy is especially impressed with the film’s use of 3-D:
“In the assorted chases, sword fights, dance interludes, ascents into the clouds, perilous treks through forest and jungles and even more conventional dialogue scenes, it’s clear that the filmmakers have diligently applied themselves to conceiving the shots from dynamic dramatic perspectives that would make use of 3D as a constructive tool and not just a gimmick. As a result, this is one film for which paying the extra-dimensional fare can be enthusiastically recommended.”
Jaime Christley of Slant Magazine is the sour puss in the bunch, opining that the movie is:
“As handsome as any animated movie you can name, but it doesn’t even have the slick, narrative efficiency of one of the Kung Fu Panda movies.”
The film has already earned an 83% on Rottentomatoes.com, but as more national reviewers chime in, the percentage can go up or down until opening day. Puss will also be playing on 268 domestic Imax screens and 47 international screens with 24 theaters releasing day-and-date.
You can read Animag’s cover story about the making of Puss in Boots here: