Puss in Boots: 3D [Blu-Ray] Chris Miller

Puss in Boots: 3D [Blu-Ray] Chris Miller
In many circles, the term "family film" is used as a caveat, warning viewers that they're about to be showered with unbridled sanctimony and saccharine idealism. It's as though the only thing relevant for the nuclear family in modern culture are guiding parables that mostly ignore reality in favour of placating morality and contrived sentiment. Fortunately, there are wholly entertaining "family films" like Puss in Boots that can appreciate the need for heart-warming reassurance without denigrating themselves by pretending the world is all moon pies and pennywhistles. Puss in Boots plays out much like a cleaner, more tongue-in-cheek variation on Desperado, only with sassy animated cats, working as an action-packed adventure broken up by saucy one-liners and playful character interchanges. The titular Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) is an antihero of sorts, living life as a swashbuckling bandit and ladies' man with a repressed heart of gold. Here, he's reunited with his old friend ― now enemy ― Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) by a mysterious ally named Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), in a quest to steal some magic beans from Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris). Of course, this standard nursery rhyme-infused template is merely a blank canvas for a continually engaging series of chase sequences and feline-related jokes to flourish. Amongst the many amusing sequences of the dapper Puss demonstrating common housecat behaviour at inopportune moments, there's a strangely dark subplot about the nature of growing in different directions than friends that challenges the dominant belief that unconditional support is always paramount. It's a smarter observation than the standard for animated cinema, save the inherently philosophical Kung-Fu Panda franchise, which makes some of the more PG elements of the film, such as implied death, more digestible for an audience being acclimated to its mature text. But the minor darkness and frequent referential humour are merely what make this "family film" accessible to actual families, rather than the Judeo-Christian Disney variation that exists only in cereal commercials and '50s television. Should a family have 3D capabilities at home, this package is a definite must-have, featuring the same fully realized dimensional animation that made the movie so immersive on the big screen. There's also a short 3D film, The Three Diablos, wherein Puss tries to retrieve a missing crown jewel with three problematic kittens, included with the set. On top of this, there are extensive supplements included with the separate Blu-Ray, such as a remote control game and a feature-length trivia track. As usual, there are featurettes on the voice actors and the "making of" as well, rounding out a very impressive package. (Paramount)