Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2011 by Angie Han
If you can see the header image, you probably already know exactly what’s coming next. A new viral video has been released for DreamWorks’ Shrek spinoff Puss in Boots, and yup, it’s a fairy-tale spin on Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like ad, with the feline adventurer standing in for Isaiah Mustafa.
Directed by Chris Miller, the movie goes back in time to tell a story from Puss’ pre-Shrek days, in which he joins forces with Humpty Dumpty and Kitty to steal the Goose that laid the Golden Eggs. Banderas lends his voice once more to the character of Puss, with Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Amy Sedaris contributing their vocal talents as well. Watch the video after the jump.
The ad itself is fine. The animation looks good, the character is still adorable, and the slick, womanizing Puss does indeed seem like he’d have a thing or two in common with Mustafa’s ladykiller. What I don’t get about this video is the timing. The Old Spice ad came out a year and a half ago, and has inspired countless parodies since then. (My personal favorite being this one from Sesame Street.) The Puss in Boots riff comes right at a time when the reference is old enough that it’s no longer fresh, but not old enough to be retro-cool or nostalgia-inducing. It seems especially off when you contrast it to the savvy marketing for The Muppets, which released its takes on Green Lantern and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo right as those films were getting tons of hype.
All this to say, it’s not an auspicious sign for Puss in Boots. One of the more annoying aspects of the Shrek franchise has been its overuse of outdated pop culture references. Between this and the Most Interesting Cat in the World video (a spin on the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, which launched in 2006), it seems a quite likely that Puss in Boots is going to have the same problem.
Then again, I suppose it could be worse. At least Puss isn’t singing Bad Romance in an obnoxiously high-pitched voice.
Puss in Boots drops November 4 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D.