What’s the Story?
You remember Puss from Shrek 2-4? It’s his origin story. It takes place in the fairytale version of Mexico, in which Puss is a thief. He teams up with an old childhood friend – Humpty Dumpty – to rob Jack and Jill of their magic beans so they can rob the giant of his golden goose.
What’s the Problem?
Choice of Characters
Puss acquires the regular dose of friends on his quest. In this case, Kitty Soft-Paws – a master thief – and Humpty Dumpty who was, apparently, Puss’s childhood friend. Which is weird, in my opinion: having a talking cat the friend of a talking egg. I get that this is a world in which all of the fairytales happen. I have no problem with Humpty being in the story. But I think it’s odd that, of all the characters in every fairy story, they decided to go with Humpty Dumpty as one of their main characters.
Like, he’s in half of the scenes. He’s the second-main character. Why pick the talking egg? It baffles me.
Not an Origin Story
In Shrek 2, Puss was a sword-for-hire. He was the only assassin who would dare to kill an ogre. Thus, any origin story for him would, in my opinion, need to primarily address how he reached that point. That, at the end of the film, you would understand why Puss was in a dingy bar and was willing to kill anyone for the right price.
Instead, this film ends with Puss as the uplifted hero. It’s a great ending for a standalone film, but for a prequel designed to explain how a character reached a certain point, it fails. It doesn’t even tell us why Puss can talk and walks upright; it’s just something he does right from the word “go”. I can’t remember whether that’s part of the original Puss in Boots story, but this is their opportunity to tell us. Instead, they say nothing. Not where he came from, not why he ended up how we first found him, nothing. It just tells its own story, ignoring what came before or after.
What’s the Solution?
This could have been a sequel to the Shrek films. All they had to do was give us a sentence that explained why he left Shrek and his swamp (say, it was boring). That would have removed all my objections to this origin story not telling us the origin of anything. Change Humpty out for any other character and that would pretty much fix everything.
Yep. It’s as good as Shrek 1 or 2 if you don’t want this story to explain why Puss is, well, Puss. If you do, it entirely misses the point.
Also, it’s fun that this whole thing is essentially a pisstake of Zorro starring Zorro himself.