Reboot for Puss in Boots
Compiled by John Millen
'You have made the cat angry. You do not want to make the cat angry!' - Puss in Boots, voiced by Antonio Banderas
Puss in Boots has been around a long time. Like many cats, he keeps vanishing and then coming back when we least expect it. In his latest reincarnation, he popped up in the movie Shrek 2 in 2004 and again in Shrek the Third in 2007. You just can't keep a good cat down! He was so successful in the two Shrek films that the producers gave him his own movie last year. About time, too!
Puss had to insist that this new film was called simply Puss in Boots. It was about him. He was the star, and he hated what DreamWorks first wanted to call HIS film. The Story of an Ogre Killer!! How pathetic a title was that? After many heated meetings, Puss got his own way - he usually does - and Puss in Boots opened to great reviews in October last year. It went on to be nominated in the Best Animated Feature Film category at the 2012 Oscars.
Here, Kitty! Kitty!
Through the years, Puss has been known by many names - Diabolo Gatto, the Devil Cat, Chupacabra, the Ginger Hit Man, the Furry Lover and Frisky Two-Times - but to most he is Puss in Boots. He is very particular about what people call him. To enemies and strangers, he prefers to be addressed formally by his full name. To friends, associates and girlfriends, he is just 'Puss'.
He began life in France in 1697 in a fairy story written by Charles Perrault, and his name then was Le Chat Botte - the Booted Cat. The one name Puss will not answer to is 'Kitty!' Anyone trying to attract his attention with 'Here, Kitty! Kitty!' will be completely ignored.
A price on his fur
Let's make no bones about it, Puss is an outlaw. He is forever running, looking over his shoulder, searching for a way to clear his name. He is a whizz swordsman, an expert tango dancer and a gentleman lover when an attractive lady cat appears on the scene. He is a solitary operator, only teaming up with sidekicks like Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws when it's to his advantage.
His swordplay and acrobatic skills are legendary, and he shows no fear even in the most dangerous of situations. Puss in Boots is a movie hero with a price on his head but with a steely determination to bring villains to justice.
Viva el Diabolo Gatto!
Puss v Zorro
The sword-swishing Puss in Puss in Boots is based on the popular fictional character Zorro, a dashing black-masked outlaw who has appeared in more than 40 films, countless novels, comic books and TV serials. Zorro - Spanish for 'fox'- is the secret identity of nobleman Don Diego de la Vega, who donned a black mask, black boots and flowing cape to become Zorro, the mysterious fighter for justice during the 19th-century Spanish occupation of California. Zorro is cunning, brave and dashing. He rides through the countryside on a white horse named Phantom.
You could say Zorro is the father of the Puss in Puss in Boots, something that the masked fugitive would be very surprised indeed to hear.
A great secret
Does Puss unintentionally let a secret slip and solve one of the world's mysteries at the beginning of Puss in Boots?
In Mexico, there are legends about a mysterious cat-like creature called 'Chupacabra' that roams the countryside attacking livestock and terrorising villagers. Can this really be Puss in Boots in one of his disguises, or is he only adding a bit of mystery to his image when he suggests this at the start of his movie? No one knows, and the Cat is saying nothing more.