- “'I am Puss in Boots and my name would become legend!'”
- ― Puss in Boots [src]
Puss in Boots is a cat loosely based on the fairy tale character of the same name with the boots, hat, cape and sword commonly associated with the fairy tale. Puss speaks with a Spanish accent and is voiced by Antonio Banderas.
He first appeared in Shrek 2 as a mercenary hired to capture Shrek. After becoming Shrek and Donkey's friend, he appeared in the rest of the Shrek franchise, including Far Far Away Idol, Shrek the Third, Shrek the Halls, Shrek Forever After, Scared Shrekless and Donkey's Caroling Christmas-tacular. He has also appeared in his own spin-off franchise that includes Puss in Boots, Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos, The Adventures of Puss in Boots and the upcoming Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.
He is a smooth-talking cat with a Spanish accent, usually wearing a cavalier's hat, a belt with a sword, a small black cape, and small Corinthian boots.
Puss is a character parody of the popular character, Zorro. He is a proud and honorable fighter. He can come across as somewhat silly and has a lot of traits associated with cats but is also a smooth-talking, suave, kind-hearted, charming, and heroic character. Puss is also a "ladies' cat" (similar to a ladies' man). Puss likes to tell stories and sing and dance.
Puss in Boots was born and raised with a moral compass, strong sense of justice and valour. Though he may appear self-serving and greedy at times he is actually a very selfless and honorable person. Part of this stems from his small beginnings as a stray, abandoned at an orphanage with the only person who ever had any hope for him was his adoptive mother. Because of this he strives to make her proud by being more than a criminal that others brand him to be. However he is also a survivor at heart and will protect himself and his interests in dubious manners such as becoming an outlaw to fight and steal. Despite this, Puss' high sense of honor prevents him from stealing simply out of selfish reasons and believes in repaying debts.
Like many orphans. Puss has a high desire to receive love and affection. This crux in behavior from a typical thief acts as cause to his growing morality during his childhood with Humpty and his growing popularity among the town as a hero led him to abandon thieving ways. Puss can act vicious and possibly hold a grudge if he is betrayed, especially if it's by ones he is loyal towards. He abandoned his childhood friend and surrogate brother, Humpty Dumpty, when the latter betrayed him, leaving get captured by the guards. After this betrayal and loss of the only family he knew, Puss became colder as he seemed concerned about only securing his survival by adapting the lifestyle of an assassin and would kill whoever demanded for a high price of gold. He would later abandon this due to his loyalty and gratitude towards Shrek for showing him mercy after years of rejection and loneliness.
When people treat him with kindness, Puss will repay them in term. He will defend those who cannot do so themselves, such as the Three Diablos, three kittens whom he protected from their wrathful master, The Whisperer. Self-sacrificing and extremely generous for a thief, Puss was not a greedy cat and most of his felonious actions and robberies were based solely to repay the crime he was tricked into committing and give the people of his hometown the money that was stolen from them. A great example of Puss' self-sacrificing nature was when he entered his hometown, San Ricardo, to save Humpty and Kitty, despite the high risk of his reputation. Puss, however, can act very vicious and vengeful at times. He held a massive grudge towards his former friend, Humpty for betraying him which did little to soothe even after years apart and still blamed him for turning him to a life of crime, only agreeing to help him on strictly business terms, making it clear there was no loyalty or connection between the two of them. Puss seems to have grown into a more forgiving person. Even after being betrayed by Humpty a second time he accepted his apology with little to no difficulty and took sympathy for him, accepting he had a part in creating the rift between them and putting a strain on their friendship.
Many things that are infamous about Puss in Boots is his legend and many relationships. A known ladies' man, Puss possesses a suaveness, swagger and confidence in his movements which attracts the eye of many a fine woman. However Puss' lack of interest in commitment normally lead him to even forget the names of his relationships. The one person who does match him, in both skills and reputation was Kitty Softpaws who was said to be the only cat Puss ever loved.
Despite his infamy and reputation as a fearless warrior, Puss is still a cat and has many traits of a common house-cat. For example, he licks himself clean, plays with a ball of yarn and light rays and occasionally suffers from hair balls. He has a fondness for milk and uses his cuteness and feline prowess to get what he wants; another famous trick of his.
He starred in the film Puss in Boots, which revealed Puss's past and beginnings before he met Shrek. He was abandoned as a kitten in a basket, which somehow found its way to the doorstep of an orphanage in a Spanish town called San Ricardo. He was taken in by the head of the orphanage, Imelda, who became his mother figure.
He befriended a young Humpty Alexander Dumpty, who gave him his name Puss, and they became brothers in heart with a dream: To find the Magic Beans so they may find the Giant's Castle and get the Golden Eggs of the Golden Goose, setting themselves up for life. Throughout their childhood, Puss and Humpty got in and out of trouble, stealing various beans in their search for the magic beans until one day, Puss saved the mother of the Captain of the Guard (Comandante) from a bull, and was regarded as a hero when Imelda gave him a pair of boots to wear with pride.
This event, however, drove a wedge between Puss and Humpty as Puss didn't want to steal anymore while Humpty continued and thought Puss was breaking their promise. One night, Humpty tricked Puss into helping him rob the San Ricardo bank. Puss tried to explain to the Comandante, but his words fell on deaf ears. Chased by the guards, they passed the orphanage and seen by Imelda, who was heartbroken to see, from her perspective, her son, Puss, having returned to his thieving ways.
The chase ended at a bridge where the money fell over the bridge and was lost, and Humpty fell and couldn't get back up as he begged Puss to help him. Angry that Humpty had tricked him and branded him an outlaw, Puss told him to help himself, left him to the guards and fled San Ricardo.
Over the next seven years, Puss became a swashbuckling hero but wanted by the law, as he searched for a way to clear his name and repay the stolen money to return home, when he found himself at a bar where he heard of two murderous outlaws, Jack & Jill, in possession of the magic beans he had long sought. He broke into their hotel room, set on the stealing the beans but so did a masked cat with the same intention, causing them to get caught and run out. Puss chased after the masked cat back to a bar with a bunch of other cats, where they both have a dance fight and a sword fight, ending with Puss smacking her over the head with a guitar, which upsets the cat so much that she rips her mask off and reveals to a surprised Puss that she is, in fact, a woman. Puss then reunites with Humpty Dumpty who also introduces her as Kitty Softpaws, named because she can take things without anyone even noticing they are gone (as she does frequently with Puss's hat, boots, and money simply to tease him) and asks him to join them in finding the beans, planting them, and getting the golden eggs which lie at the top. Puss immediately refuses, and even after Kitty tries to woo him into going with them, he denies and then tells her his history with Humpty and how everything went wrong (though she falls asleep while he is telling the story out of boredom).
After Humpty, who had followed the two, explains to Puss that he wants a second chance, Puss agrees to help him find the beans/golden eggs, making it clear that he is doing it for the town and the woman who had faith in him, not for Humpty. The three of them set off to find Jack and Jill, finally seeing them coming towards them, hiding in a canyon type place in the desert. Kitty jumps onto their cart which is pulled by warthogs, followed by Puss, while Humpty readies their getaway vehicle. Puss lowers Kitty into the back of the cart, who struggles to open the box the beans are held in (which is around Jack's hand), with Puss urging her to use her claws. She finally admits to him that she has no claws, which wakes up one of the baby warthogs sleeping in the back. Puss drops in beside her and opens the box with his claws as Kitty quiets the baby pig, giving him to Puss as she uses her paws to get the beans from Jack's hand, giving them to Puss. Just as they are about to leave, Puss accidentally backs up and steps on two pigs' tails, alerting Jack and Jill, who drop into the bottom where they are. They manage to get outside, jam the levers to force their seats to stay up, and tie up their heads, signaling Humpty to get their own cart beside the one they're on now. Kitty jumps onto the cart, but Jill headbutts Puss before he can, briefly knocking him out and causing him to drop the beans, which bounce around the top of the cart, almost falling off. Puss gets them back while fighting Jill, who somehow escaped, but she grabs him and dangles him over the edge of the cart and the canyon, about to drop him. Humpty rams the side of their cart and Puss lands back in their cart, and they get away. Kitty explains to Puss, as they are riding in the cart, that her owners got her claws removed for an unknown reason (although she does suggest it was for shredding the curtains or "playing too roughly" with the hamster).
They make it to the perfect spot to plant them, being directed in the right way by Humpty, and plant the beans in a bare, sandy area, right as a storm cloud comes overhead, and a giant funnel of green-lit clouds and wind comes spinning down the place they planted the beans, cracking the sand, then suddenly disappearing, leaving only a small weed where the beans are buried. Kitty suggests Humpty talk to it, which he does, but barely gets a few words out before a giant beanstalk shoots up out of the ground, taking them with it, higher and higher into the clouds before it finally stops. The three got off and surprisingly are able to stand and walk on the clouds without difficulty, although their voices grow higher due to the thin air (their voices return to normal in the normal air pressure of the castle.) They see a castle type building and they enter it, not having to fear the giant, as Humpty says it's been dead for years; although, there is a beast in the castle known as the Great Terror, which if gazed upon, allegedly turns the gazer to stone. They cross the water far below and get to the island. With only a small run-in with whatever the beast is, they find the golden eggs and the gosling that lays them. They take the gosling because the eggs are far too heavy and make it to the edge of the island before the rope they used to get across is broken, and they fall down into the canyon, the beast not far behind. As they are trying to get away, Kitty falls into the water, unable to pull herself back onto the branch due to her not having claws, but she is saved by Puss. They escape and get back down to the ground, cutting the beanstalk down and rejoicing over getting the golden goose. They briefly dance, and Humpty pulls Kitty aside to tell her to not lose focus, obviously talking about her falling in love with Puss. Kitty seems about to tell Puss something but is interrupted by Humpty and leaves to get rest, leaving Humpty and Puss outside with the goose. Puss tells Humpty he is glad to have his brother back, and Humpty goes to sleep with the goose lying on top of him. Meanwhile, Jack and Jill suddenly come up behind Puss and knock him unconscious.
When Puss awakens, he is lying in the desert surrounded by crows, which he shoos away. He finds footprints and wagon tracks around him, and he follows them to the town he was raised in. He sees a shadow of Humpty being held by Jack and Jill, and he follows them to save him, only to find them laughing and celebrating. Humpty explains to him how the only thing he wanted against Puss was revenge, and everyone had been working for him, even Jack and Jill. He prepares to fight the guards, but Imelda arrives before he can. Out of empathy for all the grief he caused to his adoptive mother, Puss accepts his fate and doesn't fight arrest. He sees Kitty as he is being led away in a carrier, knowing she has betrayed him. While in jail, he finds the Jack, who had the beans in the first place, as his cellmate. Jack tells Puss actual goal of Humpty's plan. The Great Terror is, in fact, the golden goose's mother and will destroy the town while trying to get her baby back. Puss escapes using his adorably big eyes to practically hypnotize the guard, and Kitty comes back to do the rest. She helps Puss escape, and he goes to find Humpty. Puss confronts him about his actions. Humpty claims that Puss was the one who betrayed by neglecting him and choosing the town over their brotherhood. Puss apologizes for this and the two reconcile. With the Great Terror arriving, they lead her to the bridge, which breaks under her weight, and Puss has to hold onto a rope that Humpty is holding onto to be sure he doesn't fall into the wreckage. The gosling was also caught by a rope, but it is breaking. Knowing that Puss can't save both him and the goose, Humpty lets go of his rope, so Puss can give the baby back to make sure the mother does not destroy the whole town. He does save her and later finds Humpty has been turned into a golden egg, which the mother takes and flies back to the castle.
Puss is still wanted though, but before leaving, he and Imelda reconcile. Puss and Kitty get away from the guards still, and Kitty says she will see him again soon, showing that she has taken his boots. During the first half of the credits, Puss and Kitty finally kiss.
After the events of the film, Puss is riding his horse through the desert when he is captured by Italian knights. He is then taken to Princess Alessandra Belagomba, whose "Heart of Fire" Ruby, the crown jewel of her kingdom, is missing. At first, it is believed that Puss is being wrongfully charged for the theft, but it later turns out that the Princess only wants to hire him based on his reputation, revealing that a thief called "The Whisperer" was the one who committed the crime and that the Princess' knights have captured three of his henchmen. The henchmen turn out to be three kittens called the Three Diablos. Though Puss cannot believe that such innocent creatures could be thieves, the princess and her guards are terrified of them. The kittens kindly agree to help Puss on the premise that they will be free if they return the ruby.
When Puss takes the kittens to the desert, the kittens quickly turn on him (revealing their backstabbing nature) and bury him alive. Puss later escapes and recaptures the kittens using his wide eyes against theirs. Later, he talks about sending them back to jail for double-crossing him, but he learns that they have no family and are orphans like him. He then sympathetically tells them how he also knows it's tough not knowing whom to trust and being led to the wrong path, making an example of how Humpty betrayed Puss, just as the Whisperer has done to them. Puss then decides to point the Diablos in the right direction and trains them how to fight and plays with them, becoming friends. He also gives them names: Perla (because she is one of a kind), another Gonzalo (for his scrappy temper) and the other Sir Timoteo Montenegro the Third (a title is all he needs).
The next day, the kittens, turning over a new leaf, show Puss to The Whisperer's secret hideout, and are immediately confronted by The Whisperer himself, who, by his name, has a low voice volume and uses his hat as a cone to speak clearly. It is also revealed that The Whisperer himself has used the heart as a decoration for his own belt. After learning that the Diablos brought Puss to him to recover the heart, the Whisperer is about to make them pay for their betrayal, but Puss fights him and lets the kittens escape. They, however, return to help Puss with what they learned from him and The Whisperer falls into a bottomless pit to his death. Puss then returns the heart to the Princess and is rewarded with gold, and he gives the Princess the kittens as her new personal bodyguards. They then say their goodbyes and Puss claims "He will never forget them, just as he is sure they will never forget the name of Puss in-"; unfortunately, the guards slam the doors before he can finish his goodbye.
Recommended to King Harold by Doris (the Ugly Stepsister and barmaid of the Poison Apple Inn) as a famous ogre assassin, Puss is hired by the king to assassinate Shrek. However, unlike his fairy tale counterpart, he does not try to trick the ogre into changing into a mouse, but instead makes a direct, frontal assault on Shrek, which works up until the feline gags on a hairball, spitting it up. Shrek and Donkey think of what to do with him as Donkey even proposes to give him the 'Bob Barker treatment', but the swashbuckling cat begs for his life. Puss claims to have taken then contract to help his poor family, consisting of a litter of siblings, a sick mother and a father who lives off the garbage (although he may have been lying so Shrek would spare his life). Ultimately, they spare his life, and Puss proposes to the ogre he owes a life debt to him, in thanks. Although there is some tension/rivalry between Puss and Donkey (who seems nervous that Puss is taking his place as "annoying talking animal" and as Shrek's best friend), the three eventually become close friends and allies. Puss seems desperate throughout the movie to repay his debt to Shrek, for example, volunteering to test the "Happily Ever After" potion to prove that isn't poisonous.
Shrek appears to have accepted this debt, as Puss in Boots stays with him throughout the course of the film. He has also stated that he "hates Mondays". When Shrek and Donkey enter the castle to find Fiona and are being chased by the castle's knights; however in the Jail Tower after Shrek said “what you lack is the capacity,” Puss appears to be in chains. Puss repays his debt to Shrek by holding them off (he removes his hat, looks at the guards cutely, and then attacks them when they stop and say "aww!") After Shrek and Fiona get back together, and the king turns back to a frog, Donkey finds out he has become a dad. Due to the friendship that has developed, Puss decides to be Donkey's dronkeys' uncle.
Donkey and Puss remain in Far Far Away with Fiona and Shrek, helping the royal couple run the country in the place of the ailing king. Puss joins Shrek and Donkey on their journey to find Artie (Fiona's cousin and heir to the throne) and later encourages Shrek to be kinder to Artie and take a diplomatic approach to gain the teenager's trust. He also tries to advise Shrek who has just found out that Fiona is expecting a baby, on fatherhood.
When the group is magically sent back to Far Far Away by Merlin, Puss and Donkey have their bodies accidentally switched, something they were not happy about. The two swapped animals later join forces with the Far Far Away princesses and other captives of Prince Charming and help rescue Shrek. Towards the end of the movie, they confront Merlin and demand he put them in their correct bodies. He does so, although their tails seem to have been switched this time (in the next scene, this is shown to have been corrected as well).
At the end of the movie, Puss helps Shrek and Fiona care for their newborn ogre triplets. He has trouble with them pulling his fur and tail. Later, when Shrek and Fiona change their new babies, Shrek fastens a diaper on Puss as Puss glares at him.
Puss is seen as a regular guest at Shrek's home, eating dinner with Shrek's family and telling the children of the tale of how Shrek met Fiona. He is not properly seen again until Shrek has entered the alternate reality made by Rumpelstiltskin. Here, he has retired from swordsmanship and has become obese and shiftless, and Fiona's pet as well. He befriends Shrek when he realizes there was a spark of romantic interest between Shrek and Fiona. Puss takes part in the ambush on Rumplestiltskin's ogre hunt, but Fiona's army of ogres are captured by the Pied Piper. Puss and Donkey rescue Shrek and Fiona from the Piper, but Fiona leaves in anger when she thought Puss told Shrek everything about her.
Puss and Donkey later lead the ogres in the battle against Rumpelstiltskin's forces, and helps save Shrek and Fiona from Dragon.
Fiona didn't think Shrek was her true love due to her lack of faith, and just believes Puss told everything about her to Shrek. When, at sunrise, Shrek fades from existence, Puss is first to notice that Fiona is still in her ogress form.
Puss eventually disappears with everything else when Fiona's curse is broken and reality is restored. In the real world, Puss celebrates the ogre babies' first birthday with everyone else.
At the end of the film, when Puss admires himself in the mirror, he sees his alternative self.
Puss tells the story of Santa Claus as a smooth Spanish cat (similar to himself). He is distracted from telling the tale when he sees a glass Christmas tree ornament and begins batting at it. When he realizes what he was doing, he walks away muttering "I have shamed myself". Later, when Shrek explains that he never celebrated Christmas before and wanted it to come right, Puss tells his friend "Christmas just comes".
Puss takes part in the tournament to crown the "King Of Halloween". Shrek says they are doing it in Lord Farquaad's ghost, who Puss (supposedly) doesn't know who Farquaad is, not being present in the first movie. He and Donkey tell the story of Bates Motel, where they are invited in a hotel by its warm and friendly owner (who turns out to be Prince Charming), but Donkey that as Puss was taking a shower, Charming came and killed him.
Puss and Donkey argue over who was killed, and Donkey gets Pinocchio to spray him with water, making him run away.
Puss' Shrek form is based on Zorro's (whom Banderas also portrayed in the The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro) fighting style, accent (Spanish) and personality. While attacking Shrek, he used his sword to scratch up a P, a parody of Zorro's trademark move. In Shrek the Third, Donkey, while in Puss' body, scratches a D instead.
Puss in Boots makes a silent cameo in the Shrek the Musical song, "Travel Song" as Donkey says "Hey look, a cat that's wearing boots, that's crazy!". Puss tips his hat to Shrek and Donkey and walks off. He is one of the many puppets seen in the song, along with a bunny Shrek scares away and some African-style animals that parody the opening number of "The Lion King".
- He makes a very strange appearance on the casual game "Indy Cat" (the parody of Indiana Jones) by PlayFlock. The outfit used for the cat appears to be the Deluxe Indiana Jones costume. The boots used in this variant of Puss in Boots isn't intact on that game.
- In Shrek 2, Puss in Boots is portrayed as an antagonist but he reforms and becomes friends with Shrek. This movie also reveals that Puss hates Mondays, making it a reference to how Garfield from the comic strip of his name hates Mondays.
- In Shrek 2, Puss is seen drinking milk at the bar using his lips while in his own film he is seen drinking milk at the bar using his tongue. He probably does these based on his humor.
- "Fear me... if you dare!" (second signature phrase)
- "Feed me... if you dare." (Shrek Forever After)
- "I must hold on before I, too, go totally mad." (Shrek 2)