Puss in Boots (Shrek)

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Puss in Boots
Shrek/Puss in Boots character
Pussboots.jpg
Puss in Boots as he appears in Shrek 2.
First appearance Shrek 2
Last appearance Shrek Forever After (Shrek franchise)
Puss in Boots (prequel)
Voiced by Antonio Banderas
Frank Welker and Dan Castellaneta (meowing noises)
André Sogliuzzo (Most Video Games and Commercials)
Roger Craig Smith (in the other video games)
Carlos Alazraqui
Species British shorthair
Gender Male
Family Unnamed parents
(Possible) litter of brothers
Imelda (adoptive mother)
Humpty Alexander Dumpty (adoptive brother)

Puss in Boots is a fictional cat and a supporting character in the Shrek film series, as well as the primary protagonist of the 2011 spin-off prequel Puss in Boots. He is voiced in English, Spanish and Italian versions by Antonio Banderas. He is based loosely on Giovanni Francesco Straparola and Charles Perrault's fairy tale character of the same name, and is the main "other fairy tale character" in the three sequels. He was introduced in Shrek 2.

Recommended to King Harold by Doris (the Ugly Stepsister and barmaid of the Poison Apple Pub) as a famous Ogre Killer, Puss is hired by the king to assassinate Shrek. However, unlike his fairy tale counterpart, he does not try to trick the ogre into changing into a mouse, but instead makes a direct, frontal assault on Shrek, which works up until the feline gags on a hairball, spitting it up. Shrek and Donkey think of what to do with him as Donkey even proposes to give him the "Bob Barker treatment", but the swashbuckling cat begs for his life. Puss claims to have taken the contract to help his poor family, consisting of a litter of brothers, a sick mother and a father who lives off garbage. Ultimately, they spare his life, and Puss proposes to the ogre he owes a life debt to him, in thanks. Although there is some tension/rivalry between Puss and Donkey (who seems nervous that Puss is taking his place as "annoying talking animal" and as Shrek's best friend), the three eventually become close friends and allies.

Shrek appears to have accepted this debt, as Puss in Boots stays with him throughout the course of the film. When Shrek and Donkey enter the castle to find Fiona and are being chased by the castle's knights, Puss repays his debt to Shrek by holding them off with one of his signature tactics: Clutching his hat to his lower face, he transfixes the guards with a wide-eyed, appealingly innocent gaze. When they pause their charge to exclaim "Awww!" at such overwhelming cuteness, Puss counter-attacks. After Shrek and Fiona get back together, and the King turns back to a frog, Donkey finds out he has become a dad. Due to the hatred that has developed, Puss decides to be Donkey's friend.

Puss in Boots in the Shrek franchise[edit]

Shrek 2[edit]

Puss is introduced in Shrek 2, in events happening after Puss in Boots. Harold, the King of Far Far Away and the father of Princess Fiona, hires Puss to 'take care' of Shrek, under orders from the Fairy Godmother to dispose of the ogre so her son, Prince Charming, can marry Fiona instead. Puss uses Harold to draw Shrek and his companion Donkey into the woods, before springing a surprise attack on them. However, on meeting the pair, he has a change of heart and apologizes for his actions, agreeing instead to help them. Despite Donkey's apprehension, Shrek is persuaded by his cute facade and agrees to take him on their quest to get a true love potion from the Fairy Godmother.

After a brief skirmish at the Godmother's factory, they manage to get the potion, and Shrek turns into a human while Donkey turns into a horse. When the Fairy Godmother is revealed to be Charming's mother, they attempt to warn Fiona that the man she believes to be Shrek is actually the prince. However, they are captured and imprisoned by the Fairy Godmother's forces. They are rescued by a gang of fairytale characters led by Pinocchio and Gingy, and attack the castle to rescue Fiona. Puss distracts the guards while Shrek searches for Fiona, and proves his loyalty to Shrek and his friends in the process. When the Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming are defeated, Puss and Donkey lead the celebrations.

Shrek the Third[edit]

When Shrek and Fiona decide to abdicate the throne of Far Far Away following Harold's death, Shrek enlists Puss and Donkey's help in search for the next heir, Arthur Pendragon. On meeting Artie and telling him about his good fortune, Puss accidentally scares the young king by telling him of the responsibility needed to be a king. When they learn that Prince Charming has attacked and captured Far Far Away and wants Artie dead, he assists Shrek by helping him journey back to the city and rescue Princess Fiona; however, when the abstract wizard Merlin casts a spell wrong, he swaps Puss and Donkey's bodies, leaving them both fuming. When Shrek lies to Charming saying that Artie was just a pawn in his plan to become king of Far Far Away, it is left to Puss and Donkey, still in the wrong bodies, to explain to the young prince that he is truly destined to be king. Artie convinces the villains to give up their evil ways, and victory is taken when Charming is killed by Donkey's wife, Dragon. Puss and Donkey are restored to their original bodies by Merlin, and he travels with Shrek and Fiona back to the swamp and lives there with them.

Shrek the Halls[edit]

In this short film made for DVD, Puss visits Shrek, Fiona and their triplets at Christmas. On Christmas Eve, Puss tells his own version of the Christmas story, and ends up imagining that one of the baubles on the Christmas tree is the ball at the end of Father Christmas' hat. When the day descends into a fight over a Christmas book, Shrek loses his temper and ejects his friends, including Puss, into the cold night. However, they make up after Shrek apologizes and they have a fun fight in the snow.

Shrek Forever After[edit]

In the fourth film, Puss is seen as a regular guest at Shrek's home, eating dinner with Shrek's family and telling the children of the tale of how Shrek met Princess Fiona. He is not properly seen again until Shrek has entered the alternate reality made by Rumpelstiltskin. Here, he has retired from swordsmanship and has become obese and shiftless, and Fiona's pet cat as well. He befriends Shrek when he realizes there was a spark of romantic interest between Shrek and Fiona. Puss takes part in the ambush on Rumplestiltskin's ogre hunt, but Fiona's army of ogres are captured by the Pied Piper. Puss and Donkey rescue Shrek and Fiona from the Piper, but Fiona leaves in anger when she thought Puss told Shrek everything about her.

Puss and Donkey later lead the ogres in the battle against Rumpelstiltskin's forces, and helps save Shrek and Fiona from Dragon. Puss eventually disappears with everything else when Fiona's curse is broken and reality is restored. In the real world, Puss celebrates the ogre babies' first birthday with everyone else.

Scared Shrekless[edit]

In this 2010 Halloween television special, Puss and Donkey share the job of telling a scary story while spending Halloween night in Lord Farquaad's abandoned castle, Duloc. Boots Motel spoofs the Bates Motel in Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho. It starts off well but they end up fighting over whose story is better and generally making each other look bad. Donkey gets Pinocchio to spray Puss with water, making him run away to Shrek's home.

Prequel[edit]

Puss in Boots[edit]

He starred in the film "Puss in Boots" (2011), which also revealed Puss's beginnings. He was abandoned as a kitten in a basket, which somehow found its way to the doorstep of an orphanage in a Spanish town called San Ricardo. He was taken in by the head of the orphanage, Imelda, who became his foster mother.

He befriended a young Humpty Alexander Dumpty, who gave him his name Puss, and they became brothers in heart with a dream: to find the Magic Beans so they may find the Giant's Castle and get the Golden Eggs of the Golden Goose, setting themselves up for life. Throughout their childhood, Puss and Humpty got in and out of trouble, stealing various beans in their search for the magic beans until one day, Puss saved the mother of the Captain of the Guard (Comandante) from a bull, and was regarded as a hero when Imelda gave him a pair of boots to wear with pride.

This event, however, drove a wedge between Puss and Humpty as Puss didn't want to steal anymore while Humpty continued and thought Puss was breaking their promise. One night, Humpty tricked Puss into helping him rob the San Ricardo bank. Chased by the guards, they passed the orphanage and seen by Imelda, who was heartbroken to see, from her perspective, her son, Puss, having returned to his thieving ways.

The chase ended at a bridge where the money fell over the bridge and was lost, and Humpty fell and couldn't get back up as he begged Puss to help him. Angry that Humpty had tricked him and branded him an outlaw, Puss told him to help himself, left him to the guards and fled San Ricardo.

Over the next seven years, Puss became a swashbuckling hero but wanted by the law, as he searched for a way to clear his name and repay the stolen money, when he found himself at a bar where he heard of two murderous outlaws, Jack & Jill, in possession of the magic beans he had long sought. He broke into their hotel room, set on the stealing the beans but so did a masked cat with the same intention, causing them to get caught and run out. Puss chased after the masked cat back to a bar with a bunch of other cats, where they both have a dance fight and a sword fight, ending with Puss smacking him over the head with a guitar, which upsets the cat so much that he rips his mask off and reveals to a surprised Puss that she is in fact a woman. Puss then reunites with Humpty Dumpty who also introduces her as Kitty Softpaws, named because she can take things without anyone even noticing they are gone (as she does frequently with Puss's hat, boots, and money simply to tease him) and asks him to join them in finding the beans, planting them, and getting the golden eggs which lie at the top. Puss immediately refuses, and even after Kitty tries to woo him into going with them, he denies, and then tells her his history with Humpty and how everything went wrong (though she falls asleep while he is telling the story out of boredom).

After Humpty, who had followed the two, explains to Puss that he wants a second chance, Puss agrees to help him find the beans/golden eggs, making it clear that he is doing it for the town and his mother who adopted him, not for Humpty. The three of them set off to find Jack and Jill, finally seeing them coming towards them, hiding in a canyon type place in the desert. Kitty jumps onto their cart which is pulled by warthogs, followed by Puss, while Humpty readies their getaway vehicle. Puss lowers Kitty into the back of the cart, who struggles to open the box the beans are held in (which is around Jack's hand), with Puss urging her to use her claws. She finally admits to him that she has no claws, which wakes up one of the baby warthogs sleeping in the back. Puss drops in beside her and opens the box with his claws as Kitty quiets the baby pig, giving him to Puss as she uses her paws to get the beans from Jack's hand, giving them to Puss. Just as they are about to leave, Puss accidentally backs up and steps on two pigs' tails, alerting Jack and Jill, who drop into the bottom where they are. They manage to get outside, jam the levers to force their seats to stay up, and tie up their heads, signaling Humpty to get their own cart beside the one they're on now. Kitty jumps onto the cart, but Jill headbutts Puss before he can, briefly knocking him out and causing him to drop the beans, which bounce around the top of the cart, almost falling off. Puss gets them back while fighting Jill, who somehow escaped, but she grabs him and dangles him over the edge of the cart and the canyon, about to drop him. Humpty rams the side of their cart and Puss lands back in their cart, and they get away. Kitty explains to Puss, as they are riding in the cart, that her adoptive owners got her claws removed for an unknown reason (although she does suggest it was for shredding the curtains or playing too roughly with the hamster).

They make it to the perfect spot to plant them, being directed in the right way by Humpty, and plant the beans in a bare, sandy area, right as a storm cloud comes overhead, and a giant funnel of green-lit clouds and wind comes spinning down the place they planted the beans, cracking the sand, then suddenly disappearing, leaving only a small weed where the beans are buried. Kitty suggests Humpty talk to it, which he does, but barely gets a few words out before a giant beanstalk shoots up out of the ground, taking them with it, higher and higher into the clouds before it finally stops. The three got off and surprisingly are able to stand and walk on the clouds without difficulty, although their voices grow higher due to the thin air (their voices return to normal in the normal air pressure of the castle.) They see a castle type building and they enter it, not having to fear the giant, as Humpty says it's been dead for years; although, there is a beast in the castle, which if gazed upon, allegedly turns the gazer to stone. They cross the water far below and get to the island. With only a small run-in with whatever the beast is, they find the golden eggs and a gosling that lays them. They take the gosling because the eggs are far too heavy and make it to the edge of the island before the rope they used to get across is broken, and they fall down into the canyon, the beast not far behind. As they are trying to get away, Kitty falls into the water, unable to pull herself back onto the branch due to her not having claws, but she is saved by Puss. They escape and get back down to the ground, cutting the beanstalk down and rejoicing over getting the golden goose. They briefly dance, and Humpty pulls Kitty aside to tell her to not lose focus, obviously talking about her falling in love with Puss. Kitty seems about to tell Puss something, but is interrupted by Humpty and leaves to get rest, leaving Humpty and Puss outside with the goose. Puss tells Humpty he is glad to have his brother back, and Humpty goes to sleep with the goose lying on top of him. Meanwhile, Jack and Jill suddenly come up behind Puss and knock him unconscious.

When Puss awakens, he is lying in the desert surrounded by birds, which he shoos away. He finds footprints and wagon tracks around him, and he follows them to the town he was adopted in. He sees a shadow of Humpty being held by Jack and Jill, and he follows them to save him, only to find them laughing and celebrating. Humpty explains to him how the only thing he wanted against Puss was revenge, and everyone had been working for him, even Jack and Jill. Puss doesn't fight against arrest (told not to by his adoptive mother) and sees Kitty as he is being led away in a carrier, knowing she has betrayed him. While in jail, he finds the Jack who had the beans first in the same cell, and he tells Puss that the beast is in fact the gosling's mother and will destroy the town trying to get her baby back; Humpty had in fact orchestrated a master plan to get revenge on both Puss and San Ricardo simultaneously. Puss escapes using his adorably big eyes to practically hypnotize the guard, and Kitty comes back to do the rest. She helps Puss escape, and he goes to find Humpty. Puss tells him that the mother is going to come back for her baby, and Humpty finally agrees to help save the town. They lead the mother goose to the bridge, which breaks under her weight, and Puss has to hold onto a rope that Humpty is holding onto to be sure he doesn't fall into the wreckage. The gosling was also caught by a rope, but it is breaking, and Humpty lets go of his rope, so Puss can save the baby to make sure the mother does not destroy the whole town. He does save her, and later finds Humpty has been turned into a golden egg, which the mother takes and flies back to the castle.

Puss and Kitty get away from the guards still, and Kitty says she will see him again soon, showing that she has taken his boots. During the first half of the credits, it shows Humpty once again in his regular egg form riding the goose in the clouds, and Puss and Kitty finally kiss.

Personality[edit]

Despite his small size, Puss is a capable fighter even when outnumbered against much larger opponents. He is skilled with a sword and often practically dances around his enemies who can't keep up with him. One of his defenses is using his cute nature by staring up at his foes with an innocent, wide-eyed expression, which softens his foes' hearts. In Shrek 2, he does this twice; while in the woods; trying to persuade Shrek to let him travel with him and Donkey, and in the castle of Far Far Away, while fighting the castle knights. He tried this technique twice in Shrek the Third, both times unsuccessful. The first time, he stands outside the window of Shrek's room but Shrek simply closed the curtains on him. Later, he tried it whilst in Donkey's body, but the effect was spoiled by Donkey's crooked teeth, causing his enemies to try to kill him and for which Artie saved his life. In Shrek Forever After he tries the technique with Donkey whilst he is trying to wash but failing due to his obesity. Asking to "borrow his tongue", Donkey refuses but succumbs when Puss deploys the "big-eyes". In Puss in Boots, he does it twice: first when a child, to Humpty (to persuade him to have Puss become his partner) and the second time whilst in prison (to have the guard let him out).

Puss also has a rogue-like charm which he affects as part of his enthusiastic courtship of female cats. He'll flirt with one immediately after having told another she is the 'love of his life'. "I don't know you but I'd like to" is a typical chat-up line. A catnip user, Puss will nonetheless deny it is for psychotropic use: when discovered in his possession, he'll attempt to rationalize usage by saying it is for his glaucoma or deny it entirely by asserting that he's 'holding it for a friend.'

Inspiration for Puss in Boots[edit]

In the beginning, when Banderas first got the role, they told him that the character was thought to be French, kind of a Charles de Batz Castelmore D'Artagnan, but with Banderas' accent, Puss became Lord Diego de la Vega better known as Zorro the Fox. Puss's characteristics are heavily influenced by his action hero his fighting style, Spanish accent and personality. While attacking Shrek, he used his musketeer sword to scratch up a P, a parody of Zorro's trademark. His hat is known as a musketeer cavalier hat with a feather on top.

In theater[edit]

Puss in Boots makes a silent cameo in the Broadway show Shrek the Musical, during the number "Travel Song", in which Donkey says, "Hey, look, a cat that's wearing boots, that's crazy!". Puss tips his hat to Shrek and Donkey and walks off. He is one of the many puppets seen in the song.

References[edit]