You thought you'd seen the last of the Shrek characters? Think again, for this is Puss... in Boots! It's the spinoff we never really wanted, but it lands on all four feet quite gracefully and delivers the best entry to the franchise since Shrek 2. A large part for that is Antonia Banderas, who has clearly had a huge amount of fun with this character, but it's also because the team behind this film clearly get cats. There's just something special about the way Puss is animated; subtle facial expressions, movements, even the way his eyes dilate all feel incredibly true to real-life felines. That's just as much the case with co-star Salma Hayek's Kitty Softpaws, who's character is a welcome addition to the wider roster.
I'm also a fan of Humpty Dumpty, even if they can't seem to decide whether he was actually smashed into pieces and had to be put back together again, or if he was just stuck in prison for a bit. Nor is it ever made entirely clear how he escaped/was released? So yes, there are some plot holes – Jack and Jill's twist being another one, as it's never entirely clear why the whole chase sequence was necessary for their part of the plan to succeed, it purely serves to hoodwink the audience a little longer. Still, much of that is forgiven simply because it's secondary to the underlying plot, which holds together well enough to be enjoyable.
On top of which, we finally get a slightly different take on this fairytale world, with some excellent jokes along the way. Everything about the cat club is brilliant; I love the way they create the land of the giant (though again, Jack being in jail does contradict Humpty's earlier logic for the lack of said giant) and the geese are excellent; and there are plenty of small jokes that had me genuinely laughing. Again, it's a case of it being far more than it ever needed to be, which feels like it was made by people who really enjoyed the process. And ultimately, when you're making a film about a swashbuckling cat, who can blame you from having a huge amount of fun along the way!