I'm not a particularly knowledgeable or dependable barometer on the canon of DreamWorks properties post-2001's "Shrek," but I can say that "Puss in Boots," the latest offspring of that film that so enchanted viewers a decade ago, is better than the last two sequels and I haven't even see them.
Which isn't so much a gleeful rave of this feline spin-off, but rather a condemnation of the floundering "Shrek" franchise that so dwarfed most of the goodwill from the original with its three sequels, each more punnily titled than the last.
Having said that, "Puss in Boots" is, for the most part, a pretty delightful little film, a Zorro-styled sand-and-sun swashbuckler with traces of Spaghetti western elements all under the umbrella of DreamWorks Animations' cheeky realm of fairy-tale satire.
There are portions of the film that reek of narrative convolution (holy flashback!) and childish pandering (we have to end every animated film with a dance number?), but on the whole, the film - essentially a Cain and Abel tale set against the backdrop of a quest to find the golden eggs up Jack's beanstalk - has a classic adventure feel that the filmmakers clearly mined for inspiration. [B-]