After four films and four happy endings, the Shrek franchise may have come to an end but the wonderfully entertaining spirit lives on thanks to its scene-stealing feline. Puss, voiced by a breathy, seductive Antonio Banderas, gets his chance to shine in his own film and he doesn't let us down.

Puss in Boots follows a simple formula, which director Chris Miller is familiar with as the co-director of Shrek 3 - fairytale inspired plot, humour appealing to adults and kids and the odd amusing film reference.

To avoid deja vu and to distance Puss from the forest-based Shrek franchise, the writers have produced a swashbuckling spaghetti western which tells the legend of this outlaw, and his boots.

Here, Puss is joined by a devious egg, Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Galifianakis), and a street savvy cat called Kitty Softpaws (Hayek). They convince Puss to help them steal magic beans from Jack and Jill, notorious outlaws voiced in a southern style by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris. Having the beans will enable them to capture the golden-egg laying goose at the top of the beanstalk.


The real star though is Banderas's Zorro-like Puss - part action hero, part Latin lover and dancer, and also the little kitty with adorable giant eyes who just wants to please his mother. Puss in Boots is a light affair intent on simply entertaining, and it does that well thanks to the charm of its title character. It's also fast-paced, funny and action-packed, and its crisp and colourful animation is well worth catching in 3D.

Puss in Boots may be shameless in the way it attempts to woo us through the cute appeal of its feline stars, but it goes a long way to making this film irresistible.

Stars: 3.5/5
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis
Director: Chris Miller Running
Time: 90 mins
Rating: PG (Low level violence)
Verdict: A rollicking good ride full of wit and charm