When it comes to movie night around here, we're always looking for titles that will entertain the whole family. After all, finding the line between something that will be too boring for adults and a story that is appropriate for a 2- and 5-year-old isn't always the easiest feat.
Having heard that The True Story of Puss'n Boots is available from Phase 4 Films on DVD and Blu-Ray now, I took one look at that cat and knew that Big Sister E and Little Sister B would be thrilled. After all, I wasn't going to resist something that cute and how could we go wrong?
Unfortunately, we could.
Based on the famous Puss'n Boots character by Charles Perrault, The True Story of Puss'n Boots is the tale of a young farmer's son that inherits a strange talking cat with magical boots. With Puss' cunning wit, tricks and humor, he is able to help the boy win the heart of the Princess while battling devious suitors that are after the throne.
Although on paper the plot isn't too complex, on the screen this movie left much to be desired. Starring Emmy and Golden Globe winner William Shatner as the voice of Puss, this animated CGI film does have an underlying positive message about accomplishing your dreams no matter who you are. However, having previewed this film before showing it to my kids, I'm pretty certain that if they had a chance to see it that they wouldn't end up taking that away from it.
Instead, the strange, dark humor and the creepy, evil characters overpowered most of the movie and the lesson of finishing first no matter who you are is lost behind the devious acts, underhanded plotting and outright lying.
Filled with ogres, monsters and "bad guys" of all sorts, maybe older children wouldn't have been frightened by the various characters that loom and plan devious acts, but we're far from being at that point.
I also don't think that I would have wanted to explain why the King and Queen seemed extremely intoxicated throughout the entire film, causing her to stumble and slur her words and him to sleep through 95% of his time on screen. But maybe that's just me.
Needless to say, The True Story of Puss'n Boots isn't making it to our movie night schedule anytime soon. I found myself watching the full 79 minutes with a mixture of puzzlement and downright confusion, often baffled at the outright strangeness of it all and knowing that it just wasn't something that I had any desire for my kids to view.
Although I couldn't find a rating for this movie, its Facebook page has it listed in the Children's Animated Feature genre, which I feel needs a clarification for older children. The animation was truly interesting to watch, particularly that there are 3D aspects to it (that don't require glasses), but I didn't feel that made up for just how dark and wicked it was overall.
Possibly I'll revisit this movie in the future and find that my kids are old enough to ignore the lying and pessimism enough to grasp the lesson that "children can make a success of their lives even if they're not top of the class" (according to the director), but for now it would be lost in the translation.
The True Story of Puss'n Boots DVD features exclusive interview footage with William Shatner as well as a slide show and the official movie trailer. The Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack is available for $24.99, while the DVD is available for $19.99 (or $17.49 on Amazon). For more information visit the The True Story of Puss'n Boots website or Facebook page.
(Other than The True Story of Puss'n Boots DVD that I was sent in conjunction with my membership to Team Mom, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of this movie.)