Puss in Boots Sheds Shrek Image

Puss in Boots continues the DreamWorks momentum that began with Kung Fu Panda and continued through How to Train Your Dragon: it’s witty, ironic, unpredictable, beautifully designed, and heart-felt. Best of all, this origin story about Puss redeeming his past and forging a legend works as a standalone distinct from the Shrek universe from which it sprang. The DreamWorks animators have created a rich, naturalistic world that recalls Leone, The Mask of Zorro, and a surreal fairy land that’s literally up in the clouds, and director Chris Miller has pulled it all together with verve and fun. (You can read all about the design challenges for the characters and environments along with the new procedural animation for clouds and the beanstalk in Ramin Zahed’s superb The Art of Puss in Boots, Insight Editions.)

Credit exec producer Guillermo Del Torro for his outside the box influence and live action ethos (from suggestions about cutting to recommending that Humpty Dumpty be a da Vinci-like inventor). Speaking of Humpty, his wily character is a refreshing surprise that adds balance and pathos to Puss’ coming of age tale. The end of the year is shaping up nicely for animation and Puss in Boots is a definite Oscar contender.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Movies, Oscar, Tech, Trailers

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