A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Adventures of Puss in Boots has sword fighting, punching, kicking, and peril similar to the feisty feline's adventures in Puss in Boots and various Shrek movies and specials, but visible injuries are rare. Puss is said to be a "lover," but his affections are sweet and well-intentioned. Villains are more comically inept than they are scary, and even mythical creatures who make appearances tend to be friendly and funny. It's mentioned that Puss is an orphan, and a handful of recurring characters are young orphans as well. This series offers plenty of laughs but also some good examples of selflessness and taking responsibility for your actions.
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What's the story?
Swashbuckler Puss in Boots (voiced by Eric Bauza) prides himself on being a lone wolf and a nomad, but then he meets a beautiful, unassuming stranger named Dulcinea (Jayma Mays) at the thieves market and offers her his loyal protection. He follows her to mythical San Lorenzo, a city whose treasure holds a spell that hides its inhabitants from the world. But when Puss inadvertently breaks that spell, revealing the city and its treasure to outsiders, he must stay put to fend off new invaders and keep the people of San Lorenzo safe.
Is it any good?
It was only a matter of time before this breakout star of the Shrek tales made the jump to a series like THE ADVENTURES OF PUSS IN BOOTS, particularly after proving himself a worthy leading man in his feature-length film. Much is made of Puss's nomadic lifestyle, which easily explains the new setting and surrounding characters, but it's also quite enjoyable to see him settle down and forge relationships with the myriad of quirky townsolk -- and kind-hearted Dulcinea in particular. There are still opportunities for quests of the day-trip variety, inviting encounters with all sorts and putting Puss's claims of legendary skills to the test, always with hilarious results.
The most notable change to Puss is the departure of Antonio Banderas' richly accented voice, but Bauza does a good job mimicking his predecessor's work so as to bridge the two performances and appease fans. Other than that, everything you've come to love about this endearing feline makes a triumphant return in this series: his abundant self-confidence, devotion to justice, weakness for string, love of leche, and, yes, pleading kitten eyes. This enjoyable series is sure to please fans of all ages, making it a great pick for families.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of the Puss in Boots character. What makes him heroic? Is he courageous of his own volition, or is he inspired by his desire to protect others? Is it always as easy to distinguish between good and bad as he makes it seem?
How does Puss change his view of his previously solitary life as the show progresses? What does he gain by establishing lasting relationships? What responsibilities does he find friendship requires?
This series (and Puss's experiences in movies before it) suggest that violence can be comical. Is this an inherently dangerous idea? Could the fighting you see in this show be misinterpreted as representative of real life? Why, or why not?
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