Ever since his introduction in SHREK 2 nearly 20 years ago, Antonio Banderas’ suave and swashbuckling feline Puss in Boots has had quite a ride, both as the member of a ragtag group of hilarious creatures and as the star of his own movie. This journey has taken the iconic character to all kinds of lands where he’s faced situations straight out of fairy tales and dangers that feel as if they were pulled from nightmares.
With the December 2022 release of PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH right around the corner, AMC Theatres has put together a quick yet comprehensive rundown of the character’s journey so far, where we’ll break down some of the major points and iconic scenes from his previous cinematic adventures. We don’t yet know how Puss’ plan to secure additional lives will play out in his upcoming movie, but we do know his story so far is one full of thrilling action with side-splitting humor to boot.
From Adversaries To Allies
Puss in Boots, Shrek, and Donkey have since become close friends with numerous adventures together, but the allies started out as anything but. Early on in SHREK 2, Princess Fiona’s (Cameron Diaz) father hires the feline swordsman to get rid of his new son-in-law so that his daughter can marry Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) instead. With Shrek and Donkey out on a “hunting trip,” Puss in Boots jumps from the shadows and attempts to assassinate the duo. The plan, however, is ultimately foiled, not by some powerful maneuver by Shrek or crafty idea by Donkey, but instead by a cat’s mortal enemy: a hairball.
To make up for his treachery, Puss in Boots offers his services to get back at those who’ve done Shrek harm, and the three become fast friends, carrying on with an epic journey that would go on to span multiple movies and daring adventures.
Trading Places With Donkey
The 2007 sequel SHREK THE THIRD has a relatively simple premise — Shrek has to find and convince Fiona’s cousin, Artie (Justin Timberlake) to take the throne — but in the execution is where things get all switched up, literally in the case of Puss in Boots and Donkey. Following a mishap with Merlin (Eric Idle), the two characters trade places, with Puss trapped in Donkey’s body and vice versa.
As expected, this leads to some incredibly hilarious moments throughout the later part of the movie, and it also teaches the characters some new tricks. The pair eventually go back to their original forms, but not before some classic moments like Puss trying to pull off his “cute cat” routine, only to remember he’s no longer in his feline body. The pair eventually grow accustomed to their new bodies and team up to save Shrek and save the day once again.
An Alternate Reality
A lot of crazy things happened in the franchise up to the point of the 2010 release of SHREK FOREVER AFTER, but the events of the fourth movie in the series are nothing like any of the characters have ever seen before. There’s a simple reason for that: Shrek is sent to an alternate reality, one where everything is all switched up. Yes, more than the body swap at the center of the previous installment.
In this twisted dimension, Puss in Boots is not the fearless, swashbuckling, and smooth-talking assassin, but instead an overweight house cat that has very little in common with his regular self. This begins to change when the alternate Puss agrees to team up with Shrek to take down the mastermind behind the operation, Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) and bring the chaos to an end, once and for all.
Becoming A Hero
The 2011 animated adventure film PUSS IN BOOTS is set years before the titular feline first crossed paths with Shrek, and provides an origin story of how he became a hero in his own right. Together with his duplicitous former best friend, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), and fierce rival-turned-companion Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Puss sets his sights on the biggest score of his nine lives: Jack and Jill’s magic beans. Though it appears simple in theory, the heist proves to be anything but, resulting in a valuable lesson in friendship and heroism for the young cat.
Not quite the mature feline assassin from earlier movies in the franchise, Puss is as rash as he is dashing and daring, resulting in several situations where he’s in way over his head. Despite it all, and himself, Puss becomes a hero, ready to face whatever his new life throws his way.
Now that we are all caught up on the character’s journey to PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH, all there is to do is watch the new family-friendly animated adventure film from Dreamworks Animation when it opens December 21, 2022 in AMC Theatres nationwide.