DreamWorks, having retired Shrek after four outings, keeps its eye on the box office by putting one of the ogre's best-loved allies centre-stage.
This sprightly adventure traces Puss in Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas) back to his early days as an outlaw and brigand, still sore at the betrayal of his one-time best friend Humpty-Dumpty (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). Now they meet again, this time with another feline felon, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), whose get-rich scheme involves climbing a beanstalk, stealing a golden goose and fighting off a couple of bad 'uns named Jack and Jill. It's a mash-up of children's fairytale and a spaghetti Western about ill-gotten gold, with knowing allusions to Zorro and Leone's Dollars trilogy. Most of the set-pieces – a flamenco dance-off, a rooftop chase, the arrival of a goose the size of Godzilla – are neatly handled and lent pin-sharp definition by the 3D format. There's enough slapstick to keep the kids amused, and adults may find themselves chuckling over the incidental details, primarily a cat in the background that goes "ooooo". No great surprises in the storytelling or digimation, but it's perfectly OK.