Puss in Boots
“PURR-FECT PAIRING: THE VOICES BEHIND THE LEGEND” Featurette
When he was originally introduced all the way back in Shrek 2, Puss in Boots instantly became a fan favorite. With his feathered hat, trusty sword, and trademark boots, Puss has certainly solidified himself as a mainstay of pop culture. It was only a matter of time before the feline sidekick got to headline his very own movie. In 2011, Puss in Boots premiered in theaters to both critical acclaim and commercial success. There is so much that went into making this spin-off the classic that it is today. One of the biggest contributors to the Puss in Boots phenomenon is certainly the voices behind the film’s most memorable characters. If you’re curious to see how the Puss in Boots crew went about securing the best possible talent, make sure to watch "PURR-FECT PAIRING: THE VOICES BEHIND THE LEGEND," one of the many featurettes found in our "Extras" section.
As with any animated movie, the voices that are lent to each individual character is one of the most important aspects of production. In a way, it has to feel as if an actor’s or actress’ voice feels authentic to the character. There is no better example of this than the person behind Puss in Boots – acclaimed actor, Antonio Banderas (star of the upcoming Uncharted.) Despite their many differences, Banderas and Puss seem to be rather inseparable from one another. Director Chris Miller even jokingly says, “Puss in Boots is played by Antonio Banderas. Or is Antonio Banderas played by Puss in Boots? I don’t know.” This just goes to show how important voicework is. Banderas’ voice compliments the heroic Puss in Boots so well that people might associate it more with the heroic cat than the actor himself.
Further along in this Puss in Boots behind-the-scenes feature, you’ll come to know the level of talent and ownership that Banderas brought to the role. You would probably think that a cat like Puss would have a quiet and squeaky voice considering his size and stature. However, Banderas’ voice gives our titular cat a powerful presence wherever he goes. Whether it be in a bar full of angry goons or in a castle fighting off knights, Puss is truly a formidable kitty. That dichotomy, itself, is what makes the role so fun, because, according to Antonio Banderas, “It’s the difference where he is physically, you know, a very little animal, with a great voice that contradicts, completely, that body. And, that is where the comedy is.”
Accompanying Puss on his solo adventure is Kitty Softpaws, who is played by actress Salma Hayek (star of Marvel Studios’ Eternals.) Just like Banderas, Hayek was chosen for the role because she made this feisty feline her own. Producer Latifa Quaou says that Hayek “brought a lot of her own attributes to the character.” If you have ever seen Hayek in a movie, then you will know that she is a master of comedy. While you’re watching Puss in Boots, you can hear her bring that same level of wit and humor to Kitty Softpaws.
The same exact thing can be said for Zach Galifikanakis, who voices Humpty Alexander Dumpty in Puss in Boots. However, as you’ll find out in this feature, this was one of Galifikanakis’ first voicing gigs. Prior to Puss in Boots, the actor was mainly known for his live-action roles in comedy films. Thankfully, he was able to be as zany in his voicework as he was in acting. Galifikanakis says, “Chris Miller let me be all over the place because the character was all over the place, and that is a lot of fun to do.” From this, it is easy to see how the actor managed to give the nursery rhyme egg personality and spirit alongside Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws.
All three of these stars were truly meant for their respective roles. Lucky for you, you can learn even more about the cast and the voiceover process for Puss in Boots when you buy the movie on DVD, Digital, or Blu-rayTM*.
*Bonus features are only available at select digital retailers. Check the retailer for details.