The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots

The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots (Japanese: 長靴をはいた猫, Hepburn: Nagagutsu o Haita Neko, literally "Cat Who Wore Boots") is a 1969 Japanese cel-animated action-comedy musical film produced by Tōei Animation (then Tōei Dōga) and the second film to be directed by Kimio Yabuki. The screenplay and lyrics, written by Hisashi Inōe and Morihisa Yamamoto,[3][6] is based on the European literary fairy tale of the same name by Charles Perrault, expanded with elements of Alexandre Dumas-esque swashbuckling adventure and cartoon animal slapstick, with many other anthropomorphic animals (kemono in Japanese) in addition to the title character. The Tōei version of the character himself is named Pero, after Perrault. It is the 15th film that Tōei Dōga produced.

Puss 'n Boots
Front cover of Japanese DVD of the original film
(Nagagutsu o Haita Neko)
Anime film
Nagagutsu o Haita Neko
Directed byKimio Yabuki
Produced byHiroshi Ōkawa[1]
Written byHisashi Inōe
Morihisa Yamamoto
Music bySeiichirō Uno
StudioToei Animation
Licensed by
ReleasedMarch 18, 1969
Runtime82 minutes[3]
Anime film
Nagagutsu Sanjūshi
Directed byTomoharu Katsumata
Produced byIsamu Takahashi
Written byHirokazu Fuse
Music bySeiichirō Uno
StudioToei Animation
ReleasedMarch 18, 1972
Runtime53 minutes[4]
Anime film
Nagagutsu o Haita Neko:
Hachijū Nichi-kan Sekaiisshū
Directed byHiroshi Shidara
Produced byChiaki Imada
Written byYūsuke Jō
Tadaaki Yamazaki
Music bySeiichirō Uno
StudioToei Animation
Licensed by
  • NA: Discotek Media
ReleasedMarch 20, 1976
Runtime69 minutes[5]

The film was released straight to television in the United States by AIP-TV.

The film is particularly notable for giving Toei Animation its mascot and logo and for its roll call of top key animators of the time: Yasuo Ōtsuka, Reiko Okuyama, Sadao Kikuchi, Yōichi Kotabe, Akemi Ōta, Hayao Miyazaki and Akira Daikubara, supervised by animation director Yasuji Mori[3] and given a relatively free rein and adequate support to create virtuosic and distinctive sequences, making it a key example of the Japanese model of division of labour in animation by which animators are assigned by scene rather than character. Most famous of these sequences is a chase across castle parapets animated in alternating cuts by Ōtsuka and Miyazaki[7] which would serve as the model for similar sequences in such later films as Miyazaki's feature-directing début The Castle of Cagliostro and The Cat Returns.[8] Miyazaki is also the manga artist of a promotional comic book adaptation of the film originally serialised in the Sunday Chūnichi Shimbun during 1969, in which it is credited to Tōei Dōga as a whole, and republished in 1984 in a book about the making of the film.[9] The film was re-released 9 years later in the 1978 Summer Toei Manga Matsuri on July 22.

Since becoming Toei Animation's mascot, Pero's face can be seen on the company's primary logo at the beginning or ending to some of Toei's other animated features, both from Japan and some of their outsourced work for other companies. In 2016, a new 3D on-screen logo featuring Pero was revealed in celebration of the company's 60th anniversary. The 3D on-screen logo without the 60th Anniversary wordmark and the company's motto was used since 2019. The former on-screen logo is currently used as a print logo.

Cast edit

Character Japanese English
Pero Susumu Ishikawa Gilbert Mack
Pierre Toshiko Fujita Jack Grimes
Princess Rosa Rumi Sakakibara Corinne Orr
Assassin Ado Mizumori Un­known
Little Mouse Yōko Mizugaki Un­known
Boss Mouse Kazuo Kumakura Un­known
Daniel Kenji Utsumi Ray Owens
Raymond Shun Yashiro Un­known
Assassin Boss Kinya Aikawa Un­known
Lucifer Asao Koike Ray Owens
King Kiiton Masuda Gilbert Mack

Plot edit

The enigmatic Puss, Pero, is declared an outlaw by his feline home village for saving mice, an act that defies the nature of cats and is therefore illegal. After Pero escapes to avoid punishment, the Feline King dispatches three bumbling assassins to find and capture Pero, warning them that they face execution should they fail. Pero begins his journey, (all the while dodging his would-be captors throughout the adventure) soon meeting young Pierre, a poor, neglected miller's son who is ousted from his home. The two quickly become good friends and set off together across the countryside. They eventually arrive at a bustling kingdom where a ceremony has begun in which to select a suitable prince who shall wed the lonely, innocent Princess Rosa. Pero sees potential in Pierre as the perfect candidate and hurries into the castle to begin his plan, much to Pierre's opposition. Misfortune soon enshrouds the kingdom as Lucifer, an ogre sorcerer, appears displaying his awesome magical abilities with promises of power and riches if Rosa becomes his bride. Despite the King's excited willingness, the next day Pero and their contury guard had shown up but was busted the Feline King chasing Pero to his frightened, during the time Pero made Pierre to strip off his clothes and go to the lake naked and swim to seduce his plan to his embarssment to Pierre looking the edge of the water so he decided to, later they follow to the carriage seeing the Pierre in the water swimming naked, he later dresses to look like a prince, that later on Rosa sternly declines Lucifer's offer which enrages him with disappointment. He threatens the King with a terrifying demonstration of the darkness that will befall his country if Rosa is not surrendered to him in three days time, During the night Lucifer kidnaps Princess Rosa by Pierre and disappears, later Pero, now dumbfounded, witnesses this shocking event and what was once a simple mission of persuasion has now become more than he ever bargained for after Lucifer was defeated, Rosa and Pierre we’re soon wed at the castle, and Pero sets off to their new journey.

Release edit

The film was released in Japan theatrically on March 18, 1969.[10]

The AIP English dub version was first released on VHS twice, first by Vestron Video in 1982 (under licensed from then-owner Orion Pictures) and by Media Home Entertainment in 1985, then by Hi-Tops Video. In 2006, Discotek Media has released a DVD version of the film containing the original Japanese version with English subtitles, the AIP English dub, and a music and effects track in Region 1 NTSC format in the United States, under the title The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots. On December 2, 2020, Toei released the film on Blu-ray in Japan.[1]

Reception edit

The film placed 58th in a list of the 150 best animated films and series of all time compiled by Tokyo's Laputa Animation Festival from an international survey of animation staff and critics in 2003.[11]

A 1998 re-release of the film earned a distribution income of ¥200 million ($1.82 million) at the Japanese box office.[12]

Legacy edit

Manga edit

Miyazaki created a 12-chapter manga series as a promotional tie-in. The series was printed in colour and ran in the Sunday edition of Tokyo Shimbun, from January to March 1969. The series was released in pocket book form by Tokuma Shoten in February 1984.[13][14][15]

Sequels edit

Two sequels followed. The collective series is known as Nagagutsu Neko Shirīzu (長靴猫シリーズ, "Puss in Boots Series").

The second installment, released in 1972, Nagagutsu Sanjūshi (ながぐつ三銃士, "Cavalier-Booted Three Musketeers" or "The Three Musketeers in Boots"), departs from the first film's Dumasian Europe setting for a Western environment. Titled Ringo Goest West in non Japanese territories, with Pero renamed Ringo, it was released on VHS in the early 1980s by MPI Home Video in the United States, and by Mountain Video in the United Kingdom.[16] It is also marketed as Return of Pero[17] and popularly known today as The Three Musketeers in Boots,[16] despite featuring no musketeers, as the setting is the American Old West.

Voice cast
Character Original English
Pero Yasushi Suzuki Ron Lea as Ringo
Jimmy Kiyoshi Komiyama Unknown
Annie Kurumi Kobato Jane Woods
Killer A Shun Yashiro Unknown
Killer B Isamu Tanonaka
Killer C Ado Mizumori
Boss Ushio Shima
One-eye Hidekatsu Shibata
Big Hiroshi Masuoka
Fat Eken Mine
Tiny Setsuo Wakui
Mouse Leader Kôsei Tomita
Little Mouse Sachiko Chijimatsu
Jane Kazue Takahashi
Mayor Shoji Aoki
Coachman Kôji Yada

Neil Shee, Steven Chaikelson, Dean Hagopin, Arthur Grosser, Mark Walker and Terence Labrosse provide additional voices.

The third entry, released in 1976, Puss 'n Boots Travels Around the World (長靴をはいた猫 80日間世界一周, Nagagutsu o Haita Neko: Hachijū Nichi-kan Sekaiisshū, "Puss 'n Boots: Around the World in 80 Days") was licensed by Turner Program Services. In the dub, directed by Peter Fernandez, Pero is renamed Pussty.[18] The dub was released on video in the US by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video.

The film was a major success in the Soviet Union, drawing 42.4 million admissions at the Soviet box office.[19] This was equivalent to approximately 10.6 million Rbls[20] ($14.2 million).[21]

Voice cast
Character Original English
Pero Osami Nabe Lionel Wilson as Puss
Grummon Junpei Takiguchi Unknown
Dr. Garigari Chikao Ôtsuka
Father Mouse Kôsei Tomita
Cat King
Suzanna Eiko Masuyama
Carter Takuzô Kamiyama
Mayor Jôji Yanami
Newspaper President Osamu Katô
Restaurant Manager Shunji Yamada
Small Mouse Keiko Yamamoto
Eskimo Child Sachiko Chijimatsu
Killer A Sanji Hase
Killer C Ado Mizumori
Killer B Isamu Tanonaka

Video game edit

A video game, Nagagutsu o Haita Neko: Sekai Isshū 80 Nichi Dai Bōken, based on the third film, was released, in a heavily revised version, in the United States under the title Puss 'n Boots: Pero's Great Adventure, where it is better known than the film itself.[22] The game was released for the Famicom in Japan and was later released outside of Japan for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game and its plot were used as a plot in an episode of Captain N: The Game Master, entitled "Once Upon A Time Machine", which have re-designs of Pero and the two villains of the film, Count Gourmon (Gruemon in the game's instruction manual) and Dr. Garigari. Garigari had actually appeared a decade before in 1965 as the antagonist to Toei's animated TV series Hustle Punch and was recycled for use in this film.

Short film edit

In 2018, Toei produced a six-minute short film, entitled Dream, about a young boy who dreams about whales. Pero makes an appearance; however, to match the short's animation style, Pero has small black eyes.

References edit

  1. ^ "Puss 'n Boots Anime Classic from Miyazaki". YouTube. 2006-03-23. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  2. ^ "> The Wonderful World Of Puss 'N Boots". Discotek Media. 2006-05-30. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  3. ^ a b c "長靴をはいた猫 (1969)". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  4. ^ "ながぐつ三銃士". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  5. ^ "長靴をはいた猫 80日間世界一周". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  6. ^ The creators of the popular children's puppet television series Hyokkori Hyōtanjima and its title song, also scored by Seiichirō Uno, this being the fourth and last time, following Jack and the Witch, the animated Hyokkori Hyōtanjima feature and the previous year's Andersen Monogatari, also directed by Kimio Yabuki, that all three would contribute to a Tōei Animation production (Yamamoto but not Inōe handled both screenplay and lyrics for 1971's Uno-scored Ali Baba to Yonjū-ppiki no Tōzoku; only Uno would stay on for the latter two Puss 'n Boots).
  7. ^ "Toei Doga - pt. 2". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  8. ^ "Ghibli Blog - Studio Ghibli, Animation and the Arts: Puss in Boots Now on DVD". 2006-06-27. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  9. ^ Ryoko Toyama, Jorge Hernández Valiñani. "Nagagustu wo Haita Neko - The Miyazaki Web". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  10. ^ Galbraith IV 1996, p. 328.
  11. ^ "150 best animations of all time (from 2003 Laputa Festival)". Animatsiya in English. May 29, 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  12. ^ 「銀河鉄道999集大成版製作ピンチ!! 先月公開 エターナル・ファンタジー大赤字」『中日スポーツ』1998年4月5日号。
  13. ^ "Site COMIC BOX" 砂漠の民 [People of the Desert]. Comic Box (in Japanese). Fusion Products (3): 111. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  14. ^ "ナウシカの道 連載 1 宮崎駿・マンガの系譜" [The Road to Nausicaä, episode 1, Hayao Miyazaki's Manga Genealogy]. Animage. Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten (61): 172–173. June 10, 1983. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  15. ^ スタジオジブリ出版部のページ アニメージュ文庫「長靴をはいた猫」 [Studio Ghibli Publications 'Pickup': Animage Bunko Puss 'n Boots] (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. February 1984. ISBN 978-4196695189. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Anime Bargain Bin Reviews- Ringo Goes West aka Ringo Rides West or Nagagutsu Sanjyuushi". 1972-03-18. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  17. ^ "Return of Pero (Toei Animation Film List)". Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  18. ^ "Puss 'N Boots Travels Around the World". YouTube. 2007-06-22. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  19. ^ "Афиша Воздух: "Кругосветное путешествие Кота в сапогах"". Afisha. June 24, 2011.
  20. ^ Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War, page 48, Cornell University Press, 2011
  21. ^ "Archive". Central Bank of Russia. 1976. Archived from [ the original] on 2009-12-29. Retrieved 29 December 2009. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  22. ^ Merrill, David (December 3, 2008). "Wears boots, can talk". Let's Anime. Blogspot. Retrieved April 14, 2011.

Sources edit

  • Galbraith IV, Stuart (1996). The Japanese Filmography: 1900 through 1994. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0032-3.

External links edit