Yesterday I took my kids to see “Puss in Boots.” The movie poster is included in Reel Girl’s gallery of girls gone missing from 2011 kids films. Antonio Banderas is the clear star, the movie is titled for him, and the movie is his quest. But I do have some good things to write about the movie.
We loved, loved, loved Kitty Softpaws played by Salma Hayek She is a bad ass– brave, smart, and cool. In the beginning, you can’t tell her gender. Her clothing, pose, or actions are not typical female as usually represented in animation world. Kitty would not be caught dead sporting a pink bow.
She’s not the best female role model ever– she uses her feminine wiles to manipulate Puss and he also saves Kitty’s life. Kitty is quite vulnerable as her name reveals because she was declawed. Though her vulnerability is also her strength; she’s a thief, and she’s always stealing Puss’s stuff without him realizing it. Puss respects and admires Kitty for her skills and talent, as well as her beauty.
Kitty also doesn’t have a huge part. The second star in this movie is the male Humpty Dumpty and the movie is about that relationship. If “Puss in Boots” were marketed in girl language, it would be billed as a movie about “friendship.” In boy language, a “buddy movie.”
Kitty is a great, intriguing and complex character who could easily carry her own movie. But even for this blog post, it was difficult to find a cool photo of her with Google images. I’m opting for the toy. If you find any good images, pass them along.
“Puss in Boots” also costars more strong females. The sadistic Jill of “Jack and Jill” fame is voiced by Amy Sedaris. Imelda, Puss and Humpty’s adopted mother is also a good character and plays the heart and moral center of the film. The Golden Goose, the most magical character, is female, and her power of laying golden eggs is a uniquely female skill. The Golden Goose’s mother is the scariest and most powerful creature in the movie. Its the mama Goose’s love for her child that makes her so fierce and scary.
Reel Girl gives “Puss in Boots” S/ GG rating– one S out of 3 for gender stereotyping, two Gs out of 3 for girlpower. Take your kids to this movie!