Review: The True Story of Puss 'N Boots

Everyone these days thinks of Puss in Boots as Shrek's friend, but Puss has been having adventures of his own even before Shrek was a gleam in the Dreamworks eye! I recently received a DVD copy of The True Story of Puss 'N Boots to review, and since my kids want to see Puss in Boots the movie, I thought it would be nice to watch this DVD to remind the kids why exactly Puss in Boots is a fairytale character.

I thought it was an interesting time to be releasing an animated DVD of a Puss in Boots story, just before the release of the Dreamworks' animated movie, Puss in Boots, starring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. I guess they hoped the interest stirred up by the movie would spill into purchases of this DVD as well. The comparisons are inevitable and the competition is formidable, especially since millions of kids already know Banderas' version of Puss from the Shrek series.

I haven't watched Puss in Boots yet, but I know that the story doesn't follow the plotline of the classic fairytale at all -- and here lies the strength of this DVD. The True Story of Puss 'N Boots does follow Charles Perrault's story, the one I grew up on, the one I've read to my kids countless times. The synopsis reads:

A young farmer's son inherits a strange talking cat with magical boots. With his cunning wit, Puss helps him win the heart of the Princess while battling devious suitors that are after the throne.

The True Story of Puss 'N Boots was originally a French-language film, released in December 2008, and I kind of get why the US release (William Shatner voices Puss in the English version) was limited to DVD. It's a relatively dark sort of fairy tale (Puss is kind of a rogue!) for kids to begin with, and this version features a hint of nudity (when the farmer's son comes out of the water with no clothes, covered by just a hat) and a lot of princess cleavage. Personally I don't think it's anything too scandalous, but American audiences are far more conservative. Unfortunately for The True Story of Puss 'N Boots, I think they would prefer to read the fable to their kids and let the imagination handle the details, rather than show them in plain sight on the TV screen. As for our family, we enjoyed seeing the actual fable come to life on the tv screen -- but we'll probably enjoy the movie screen version more.

Disclosure: I received a preview DVD of The True Story of Puss 'n Boots from Child's Play Communications. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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