Starring in the film and also in attendance – Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, along with director Chris Miller. Hayek who voiced “Kitty Softpaws”, had not done an animated feature until “Puss in Boots” said she was grateful to have had training from the director, Chris Miller who comes from an impressive animation background working with DreamWorks. “I was by myself. At first it scared me to be by myself. Chris is a great director. He pushed me to explore and improve with comedy, ” said Hayek. She also said, “I never really prepared. They didn’t show me the script. Chris would explain everything and walk me through the scenes. It was like when I was a kid and my grandmother would tell me a story”.
Billy Bob Thornton who plays Jack from the infamous nursery rhyme “Jack and Jill”, was also new to animated features. Thornton commented that his intrigue with nursery rhymes is that “when you’re little you don’t think about them. But, when you grow-up you realize that they’re dark. With Jack and Jill, something went wrong when they went up that hill to get the pail of water”.
Thornton’s newness to the animated world he said, “not having done this before, we completely relied on Chris. I had to sound like my voice had a bit more weight on it. I’m 140lbs, and my character is a big guy”.
The lead in the film is played by Antonio Banderas (Puss in Boots). Banderas’ reaction to the fact that the film has two Spanish leads was that he has been acting for twenty-one years and when he started-out in “The Mambo Kings” someone told him that if he stayed (in America) that he would get “bad characters” The original “Puss in Boots” was in French “so this is a victory doing it in Spanish” said Banderas.
Amy Sedaris who is the “Jill” to Jack’s “Jack and Jill” said that she tried-out many batches of Southern accents before she landed that right one that the director liked. Miller stated that much of her dialog was great improvisation.
Miller was able to secure producer and writer Guillermo del Toro (who also voices Comandante/”Moustache Man”) to the project. Miller stated that when he heard that Del Toro was going to DreamWorks, he knew he had the opprotunity to pitch “Puss in Boots” to him. Del Toro ended-up asking Miller if he could be part of the movie. “He pushed us. He’s a great film maker and a great producer” said Miller of Del Toro.
Ultimately, Miller said “Puss in Boots” is about redemption, revenge, betrayal, and brotherhood which are all the underlying themes. “That’s what makes the film special. I wanted to make a film epic and took from the legends.” Clint Eastwood is one said Miller. He also stated that “3D lends itself to this world for scale and depth. It helped frame the action scenes. It’s best seen in 3D.” Miller said that his Director of Photography is the same one used to make “How to Train Your Dragon”, and next to “Avatar”, is the most beautiful 3D film.
“Puss in Boots” opens in theaters in 3D IMAX on Friday, October 28, 2011.