Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past


Flat...and Fun: 'Puss in Boots'

Bookmark and Share
Friday, Mar 2, 2012
Two cats, an egg and a golden goose: a note on 3D aesthetics.
cover art

Puss in Boots

Director: Chris Miller
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek

(US DVD: )

Like most Americans, I haven’t seen the two European dark-horse nominees for Oscar’s Best Animated Feature (they haven’t opened where I live), but again like most Americans, I’ve seen the three Hollywood offerings: Rango, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots, which has just come out on DVD and Blu-Ray in multiple packages, including a 3D Blu-Ray. I’ve seen them only in the flat presentation, and to me Puss in Boots is easily the most pleasant and satisfying of the three. It’s cute and clever and short enough not to outwear its welcome. It’s genuinely, absurdly surreal in its casual handling of a talking egg, fashionable cats with Spanish accents, a beanstalk, and a rampaging Mother Goose. Rango struck me as intelligent but overlong and a bit self-congratulatory, while the Panda sequel disappointed me by just being loud and frantic.

What I’ve really noticed, however, is a side benefit of the push to release everything (esp. animated kids’ movies) on 3D. For years I’ve been annoyed by the flashing, edit-happy manner of so-called “action” movies, which disguise their lack of real action and effects with a thousand strobing cuts in our faces. 3D is forcing a re-imagined approach to action sequences and composition in general that relies more on composing lengthier shots in time as well as depth. This gives us time to register what we’re seeing, even if it’s still very quick. I’ve been noticing it in such CGI-heavy productions as Captain America and Iron Man 2 and in these animated efforts, and it’s one point I appreciate even when watching the movies flat. Just thought I’d mention it.


Related Articles
4 Mar 2012
How easy is it to screw up a spin-off of one of animated movies' most beloved characters? Extremely easy when you bring in the director of your franchise's hands-down worst film ...
28 Oct 2011
The film squeezes a lot of laughs from the sheer logistical weirdness of a walking, talking egg forming a partnership with two spry, well-dressed cats.
16 Sep 2011
Like the seminal song by Queen, November is "no time for losers" as the Oscar races heat up (J Edgar, The Descendants) and superficial fluff (Piranha 3DD, Tower Heist) becomes scarce.
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.