Puss in Boots

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Puss in Boots Movie Poster Image
Shoddy musical tale with some scary stuff and hammy humor.
  • G
  • 1988
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie is intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

The story sends the message that a resourceful, clever being (in this case, a cat with good intentions) can outwit and overpower even the most powerful villain. Also, being spirited and emotionally true to yourself is better than being "genteel" and living a placid, feeling-free life. On the negative side, deceit and guile win the day, though in the process, a great evil is destroyed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Puss is exuberantly wily and dishonest. He'll do whatever it takes to get what he wants for his master, as long as no innocents are hurt by his actions. The romantic hero and heroine are gentle, trustworthy, loyal, and vibrant. The king and his entire court are gullible and materialistic.

Violence & Scariness

In two cartoonish sequences, spooky music, wailing wind, and fiery lightning signal the presence of The Great Ogre ... an ugly, pallid man with soft spikes for hair and a ferocious laugh. The ogre turns into a roaring lion, a bear ready to pounce, a tiger, and a vicious dog. He only frightens, though -- he never attacks. A clever cat catches two mice and gobbles them up (off camera). A character dies off camera.

Sexy Stuff

One character swims naked in a pond; he's only visible from the waist up. A kiss between the princess and her beloved.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine is consumed at a royal banquet.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know the heroes of this centuries-old fairy tale are schemers and disguisers, but they do have a sense of fair play. Their goal is to make a better life for themselves while outwitting the foolish and ridding the world of villains. There are two potentially scary, storm-filled scenes in which a villain turns himself into a series of ferocious animals (lion, tiger, bear, vicious dog). But they're only threatening, and there are no attacks or battles. In the movie's first scene, the father of three young men is seen on his death bed and dies off camera. A naked young man is seen from the waist up swimming in a pond. 

User Reviews

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Adult Written byisabel616 November 6, 2011

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What's the story?

Based on a late 17th-century tale by Charles Perrault, PUSS IN BOOTS is the story of magic and wily cleverness. A poor miller leaves his beloved cat, Puss, to his youngest son, Corin (Jason Connery). When Corin and Puss set off to make a new life, they happen on the frightening kingdom of The Great Ogre. To the young man's surprise, they're saved when Puss reveals his special power: The cat can turn himself into a human (Christopher Walken) and, if given a set of boots with which to walk upright, a wondrous human at that. Capable of astounding feats of hoodwinking and chicanery, Puss helps Corin disguise himself as the very rich (and totally fictitious) Marquis of Carabas in order to win the hearts of the local king and the beautiful Princess Vera (Carmela Marner). When the two young people fall in love, it's Puss's task to prove that Corin is, indeed, a nobleman and a worthy suitor. The cat's efforts lead them once again into the treacherous world of the ogre where only a Puss-inspired miracle can rescue them all.

Is it any good?

It's not easy to get past the movie's tacky sets, amateurish direction, amazingly unspecial special effects, and substandard musical numbers. But the always outrageous Walken is a sight to behold. He sings (not well); he dances (with a flourish); he mugs and struts his way through this movie, at times even mimicking the feline mannerisms of a cat. His performance, along with some cunning trickery and a sweet ending, helps save an otherwise shoddy production from oblivion.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about honesty. In this movie, the hero is dishonest but causes no harm to anyone but The Great Ogre. Are there degrees of lying, pretending, or fibs (sometimes called "white lies")? When, if ever, is it acceptable to tell less than the whole truth?

  • This movie's special effects are rather crude and old-fashioned. Do they still make the magic "work" and seem believable enough?

  • Do you agree with the movie's message that "it is important to be yourself"? What does that mean to you, and is that sometimes a challenge in your life?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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