Perrault meets Eastwood... and it's NOT a good thing.
After watching the original 'Nagagutsu Wo Haita Neko' on DVD (a most amazing and entertaining effort I was lucky to see at the theater as a child) and getting my hands on its sequel, Nagagutsu Sanjushi, I had great expectations... which eventually were shattered, quickly and mercilessly.
First of all, the title is erroneous as 'Nagagutsu Sanjushi' translates as '3 Musketeers in Boots', mainly because the 3 cat antagonists who hunted Pero down in the first film are here too and they are actually the bad guys. Add the use of a western setting and the absence of any element related to Alexander Dumas' novel and the name for the movie is pretty confusing already.
The animation is decent but the bland character design and colors (way different from the ones in Puss 'N' Boots 1) quickly take away from it. I just couldn't connect with this Pero. In the original he was bold, witty and resourceful. Here he is mostly a bumbling pushover and the plot twist near the end is dumb and unbelievable, even for an animated feature.
Toei took a major step back with this well-meaning yet inferior film which tried to expand the universe and exploits of Charles Perrault's famous feline hero. Not bad, but not the best either... definitely the weakest entry in the Puss 'N' Boots trilogy. I suggest you see the original or its second sequel (Puss 'N' Boots Around the World in 80 Days) which returns to the winning formula and manages to recapture the magic and charm not found in this one.
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