Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 21st, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1969
Directors: Kimio Yabuki, Fred Ladd
Writers: Hisashi Inoue, Morihisa Yamamoto
Cast: Susumu Ishikawa, Toshiko Fujita, Rumi Sakakibara, Asao Koike
DVD released: May 30th, 2006
Approximate running time: 80 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese, Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Discotek
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: Pero is not like other cats and his refusal to kill mice has made him an outcast. Now he travels the land with three of his former kind stalking him until they can find the right opportunity to kill him. During Pero’s travels he meets a young boy named Pierre who two greedy older brothers have all but written him out of the family fortune. The two quickly become friends. There is a king who seeks a prince for his daughter Rose. Pero wanting the best for his friend Pierre convinces him to pose as prince and win the heart of the fare princess. Enter Lucifer (the prince of darkness) who has plans of his own for princess Rose. He kidnaps her after she refuses his advances. Pero and Pierre bravely go to Lucifer’s castle to rescue the princess. Will they be able to defeat the mighty Lucifer or will Rose forever belong to him?
Puss N’ Boots is a tale about two outcasts Pero and Pierre who become friends. The story evolves naturally and it is filled with characters that we are introduced to through their journey. Pero is a confident feline who also resembles Zorro at times. Pierre is shy young boy who allows those around him to push him around. They becomes friends with mice during their journey and in an ironic twist when Pierre needs a new suit the mice steal the clothes off the backs of the brothers who stoles his part of the family fortune. The films bad guy is none other then Lucifer and one have to wonder if are two heroes have any chance in hell to defeat the dark prince.
The story mixes slapstick action with many standard clichés that can be found in just about any fairy tale. The animation looks phenomenal with many symbolic shots and its vivid colors. Seiichiro Uno score and songs perfectly compliment the story. Toei had their best animators like Hayao Miyazaki and visually is where this film really shines the most.
Discotek presents for the first time ever in North America Puss N’ Boots in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and this transfer has also been anamorphic enhanced. Colors look nicely saturated with blues and greens looking the most striking. There is no noticeable print damage and details remains stable and look sharp through out.
This release comes with two audio options the films original Japanese language and the rarely heard English dubbed track. Both audio options are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The Japanese mix fares better of the two audio mixes as it sounds fuller and is free of any sound defects. The English mix is more then adequate, still there are some minor instances of were the sound is less then prefect. Removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow. Also the English subtitles appear to be faithful to the Japanese language track since they do not even come close to matching what the characters say during the English dub.
Extras include trailers for Puss N’ Boots, Animal Treasure Island and Taro the Dragon Boy. Other extras include an extensive Black & White/Color still gallery and text interviews with director Kimio Yabuki and animator Yoichi Kotabe. Rounding out the extras is a music and effects track for the film. This last extra is a feature that I wish more movies would start including. Overall Puss N’ Boots is a magical adventure that the whole family is sure to enjoy and Discotek’s DVD is a must have purchase for fans of this film.