Puss in Boots | Modern Interpretations

The story of Puss in Boots and its themes have appeared in literature and other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists.Novels produced by romance publishers are not listed on this page, but can be found on Romance Novels: Fairy Tale Romances at Puss in Boots.

Modern Interpretations

Whittington by Alan Armstrong

Armstrong, Alan. Whittington. New York: Random House, 2005.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

NOVEL: Newbery Honor Book. From publisher: "Bernie keeps a barn full of animals the rest of the world has no use for–two retired trotters, a rooster, some banty hens, and a Muscovy duck with clipped wings who calls herself The Lady. When the cat called Whittington shows up one day, it is to the Lady that he makes an appeal to secure a place in the barn. The Lady’s a little hesitant at first, but when the cat claims to be a master ratter, that clinches it. Bernie’s orphaned grandkids, Abby and Ben, come to the barn every day to help feed the animals. Abby shares her worry that Ben can’t really read yet and that he refuses to go to Special Ed. Whittington and the Lady decide that Abby should give Ben reading lessons in the barn. It is a balm for Ben when, having toughed out the daily lesson, Whittington comes to tell, in tantalizing installments, the story handed down to him from his nameless forebearer, Dick Whittington’s cat–the legend of the lad born into poverty in rural England during the Black Death, who runs away to London to seek his fortune. This is an unforgettable tale about how learning to read saves one little boy. It is about the healing, transcendent power of storytelling and how, if you have loved ones surrounding you and good stories to tell, to listen to, and to read, you have just about everything of value in this world."

Note: This novel is based on Dick Whittington and His Cat, a fairy tale about a helpful cat, similar to Puss in Boots, but not of the same Aarne-Thompson tale type.


Further Adventures of Puss In Boots Jr

Corey, David. The Further Adventures of Puss in Boots, Jr. Wildside, 2001.
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NOVEL: Children's book. From publisher: "To know Puss Junior is to love him forever. That's the way all the young people feel about this young, adventurous cat, son of a famous father."


Garnett, David. The Master Cat: The True & Unexpurgated Story of Puss In Boots. New York: Macmillan, 1974.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

NOVEL: From publisher: "Relates the further exploits of the cat who as Puss in Boots gained a fortune for his master."


Gray, Nicholas Stuart. The Further Adventures of Puss in Boots. London: Faber and Faber Ltd, 1971.

NOVELLA: Based on the play by Gray.


Reserved For the Cat: Elemental Masters, Book 5 by Mercedes Lackey

Lackey, Mercedes. Reserved For the Cat. New York: DAW, 2007.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

NOVEL: From publisher: "In 1910, in an alternate London, a penniless young dancer is visited by a cat who communicates with her mind to mind. Though she is certain she must be going mad, she is desperate enough to follow the cat's advice and impersonates a famous Russian ballerina. The cat, it turns out, is actually an Elemental Earth Spirit, and leads her to minor stardom.

"Meanwhile, the real Russian ballerina has fallen victim to an evil troll who takes over her body and kills her patrons, drinking their life essences in order to strengthen his powers. And soon, the troll focuses his dark attentions on the young dancer..."


A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

Levine, Gail Carson. A Tale of Two CastlesNew York: Harper Collins, 2011.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover
 or ebook.

NOVEL: From the publisher: "Newbery Honor author of Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine weaves a spellbinding tale about a clever heroine, a dragon detective, and a shape-shifting ogre. Newly arrived in the town of Two Castles, Elodie unexpectedly becomes the assistant to a brilliant dragon named Meenore, and together they solve mysteries. Their most important case concerns the town’s shape-shifting ogre, Count Jonty Um: Someone is plotting against him. Elodie must disguise herself to discover the source of the threat amid a cast of characters that includes a greedy king, a giddy princess, and a handsome cat trainer. Readers will delight in this tale of a spirited heroine who finds friendship where she least expects it and discovers that goodness and evil come in all shapes and sizes."


Serafin by Sophie MassonCarabas in Sophie Masson's Fairy Tale Trilogy


Masson, Sophie. Serafin. Saint Mary's Press, 2000.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

Originally published in Australia as:
Masson, Sophie. Carabas. Australia: Hodder Headline, 1996.

NOVEL: Synopsis from the book cover: "They hated her. She knew that. She could see it in their eyes, their twisted faces. They hated her because they did not understand her." When the people of a small village discover that the young woman known as Catou can mysteriously change her shape, they decide to try her as a witch. Only the miller's son, Frederic, defends her, and the two are forced to leave their village forever. On their travels, young Frederic realises that there is more to Catou than he ever imagined. And when the two travelling companions find themselves in the court of the great king, the mystery of Catou's powers is finally revealed..."


McBain, Ed. Puss In Boots. New York: Henry Holt, 1987.
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NOVEL: Mystery: Part of McBain's Matthew Hope series.


Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Carter, Angela. "Puss-In-Boots." The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. Penguin USA, 1993. 
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.


Once upon a Galaxy by Wil McCarthy, Martin H. Greenberg, John Helfers

Di Filippo, Paul. "Sleeping Beauty." Ailoura. Will McCarthy, Martin H. Greenberg, and John Helfers, eds. New York: DAW, 2002.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.



Snow White, Blood Red

Friesner, Esther M. "Puss." Snow White, Blood Red. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 1995.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.


Once Upon a More Enlightened Time: More Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner

Garner, James Finn. "Puss in Boots." Once Upon a More Enlightened Time: More Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.New York: MacMillan, 1995.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.



Twice Upon A Time edited by Denise Little

Hirsch, Connie. "Puck In Boots, The True Story." Twice Upon A Time. Denise Little, ed. New York: DAW Books, 1999.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.



Goldilocks on Management: 27 Revisionist Fairy Tales for Serious Managers

Mayer, Gloria Gilbert and Thomas Mayer. "Puss in Boots." Goldilocks on Management: 27 Revisionist Fairy Tales for Serious Managers. New York: American Management Association, 1999. 
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.


Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City

Sargent, Pamela. "Puss in D.C." Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City. Martin H. Greenberg and John Helfers, eds. New York: DAW, 2004.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.



None so far!


I have listed primarily classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided links to popular recordings of the music when available at Amazon.com. The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the music at no charge.


None so far!


To learn more about these films, please visit the
Internet Movie Database.


Puss In Boots (1922). Walt Disney, director. 
Buy the movie on VHS.

ANIMATION SHORT: Notable as an early Walt Disney film. It is silent, black and white, and nine minutes long. "A boy falls for a princess, his cat for hers. But her father does not like the idea of a commoner marrying a noblewoman and kicks him out. After seeing a Rudolpho Valensino movie at the local theater his cat has the idea that he could try impressing the king as bullfighter, to win his daughters hand. Bullfighting is relatively easy, when you can hypnotize the bull, but why does his cat need new boots?" (IMDB.com)


Puss in Boots (1936). Lotte Reiniger, director. Germany.

SILHOUETTE ANIMATION SHORT: Lotte Reiniger is historically important as an early animator, specializing in shadow puppet animation, also known as silhouette animation. She was arguably the best talent in this particular craft. She started in silent films while living in Germany and continued producing shorts for over 40 years, primarily in the UK. For more information, read this article by William Moritz published by Animation World Magazine:


Der Gestiefelte Kater (1955). Herbert B. Fredersdorf, director. West Germany. Also known as: Puss in Boots.

Margitta Sonke .... Kater Hinz 
Harry Wüstenhagen .... Hans/Heinrich von Karabass 
Christa Oenicke .... Prinzessin Rosine 
F.W. Schröder-Schrom .... König Wonnebald


Rocky and Bullwinkle Season 1 featuring Fractured Fairy Tales

Fractured Fairy Tales: Puss & Boots #1 (1959-60) (TV). In Rocky and Bullwinkle. Jay Ward Productions.
Buy the collection on DVD.

ANIMATION SHORT: The Fractured Fairy Tales segment became a popular part of the first season of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (known under various names through the years) that premiered in the fall of 1959. They have remained in syndication ever since. Puss & Boots #1 originally aired in Episode2 of Season 1.


Puss In Boots (1982) (TV). John Clark Donahue, director.

Garrett Lewis .... Puss (as Gary Q. Lewis) 
Jason McLean .... Murlis Boozer 
George Muschamp .... Mayor Daugette 
Nancy Wagner .... Magnolia Daugette 
Wendy Lehr .... Mrs. Daugette


Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale TheatreFaerie Tale Theatre: Puss 'n BootsFaerie Tale Theatre: Puss 'n Boots

Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre: Puss 'n Boots (1985) (TV). Robert Iscove, director.
Amazon.com: Buy the series on DVD.

Alfre Woodard ... Princess Lovina
Brock Peters ... Ogre
George Kirby ... The King
Gregory Hines ... Edgar
Ben Vereen ... Puss

This television series originally aired on Showtime for six seasons and a total of 27 episodes. To see a full episode list, go to Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre.


Cannon Movie Tales: Puss In BootsCannon Movie Tales: Puss In Boots

Cannon Movie Tales: Puss In Boots (1988). Eugene Marner, director.
Amazon.com: Buy it on DVD.

Christopher Walken .... Puss 
Jason Connery .... Corin

From Sony Pictures: "Before he was a swashbuckling sensation in Shrek 2, Puss in Boots was already one of the most popular storybook characters of all time, thanks to his sly schemes and fearless bravado. Screen legend Christopher Walken (Catch Me If You Can) steps into the wily feline's magical boots in this exciting live-action version of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, complete with singing, dancing…and acrobatics!

"A dying mill owner divides his meager wealth among his sons, leaving only his beloved cat, Puss (Walken), to his youngest son Corin (Jason Connery). Initially disappointed with his four-legged bounty, Corin soon discovers that Puss is no average kitty. In fact, the cat's a brilliant strategist who concocts a daring plan to win both the king's favor – and the princess' heart – for his new master!"

To see a full list of Cannon Movie Tales, go to Cannon Movie Tales.


Puss In Boots (1999). Phil Nibbelink, director.

Kevin Dorsey .... Ogre 
Dan Haggerty .... King 
Judge Reinhold .... Gunther 
Vivian Schilling .... Princess 
Charles von Bernuth .... Zeek 
Michael York .... Puss In Boots

"Handsome Gunther is a young man with only one possession... a walking and talking cat! This crazy Puss is the cleverest creature in the Kingdom and he's determined to make Gunther into a Prince. But there's a big obstacle to the cat's plan. The evil Ogre a fire breathing, shape shifting monster has set his sights on marrying the Princess. With only an hour until the wedding, it's up to the resourcefull Puss and the love-struck Gunther to rescue the Princess and live happily ever after." (IMDB.com)


Shrek 2 DVDShrek 2 Movie Poster

Shrek 2 (2004). Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon, directors.
Buy the movie on DVD. or Buy the movie on VHS.

Mike Myers .... Shrek (voice) 
Eddie Murphy .... Donkey (voice) 
Cameron Diaz .... Princess Fiona (voice) 
Julie Andrews .... Queen (voice) 
Antonio Banderas .... Puss In Boots (voice) 
John Cleese .... King (voice) 
Rupert Everett .... Prince Charming (voice)

ANIMATED FILM: The sequel to the blockbuster Shrek (2001) features Puss in Boots as a new character. The character is a sly musketeer, similar in personality to the traditional fairy tale character.


Shrek the Third (2007).

Mike Myers .... Shrek (voice) 
Eddie Murphy .... Donkey (voice) 
Cameron Diaz .... Princess Fiona (voice) 
Julie Andrews .... Queen (voice) 
Antonio Banderas .... Puss In Boots (voice) 
John Cleese .... King (voice) 
Rupert Everett .... Prince Charming (voice)

ANIMATED FILM: The second sequel to the blockbuster Shrek (2001) once again features Puss in Boots.


Goo Goo Goliath (1954). Friz Freleng, director.

ANIMATION SHORT: "An inebriated stork must deliver a baby to a giant at the top of a beanstalk, but doesn't feel like flying that high and instead delivers the baby to a normal-sized couple, who try to raise the giant tot as their own."(IMDB.com)


The True Story of Puss'n Boots 2011 Film DVD

The True Story of Puss'n Boots (2011). Jerome Deschamps, Pascal Herold, directors.
Buy the movie on DVD. or Buy the movie on Blu-ray.

William Shatner, Yolande Moreau 

ANIMATED FILM: A young farmers son inherits a strange talking cat with magical boots. With his cunning wit, Puss helps him win the heart of the Princess while battling devious suitors that are after the throne.


Puss in Boots 2011 Film Blu-RayPuss in Boots 2011 Film DVD

Puss in Boots (2011). Chris Miller, director.
Buy the movie on DVD. or Buy the movie on Blu-ray.

Antonio Banderas .... Puss In Boots (voice) 

ANIMATED FILM: The sequel to the blockbuster Shrek (2001) series featuring Puss in Boots as the hero. The character is a sly musketeer, similar in personality to the traditional fairy tale character.



Bennett, Rowena. Puss in BootsNew York: Samuel French.

FULL-LENGTH PLAY: Puss acquires the magical boots of the ogre, and with them cleverly plots to bring about a meeting between his master and a beautiful princess who is traveling through the land. He outwits the fiendish ogre, breaks the spell upon the castle and those within, delivers the palace to his master, and prepares for the royal wedding.


Clapp, Patricia. The Truly Remarkable Puss-in-Boots. Woodstock, IL: Dramatic Publishing Company of Chicago, 2003.
Read more about the play on the Dramatic Publishing website.

SHORT PLAY: Following the original fairy tale, this play presents an arrogant, swaggering Puss who struts though a series of adventures which give his young master position, riches and a happily-ever-after curtain. The young master's two elder sisters scoff when their brother receives only a cat in their father's will, but it is Puss, the self-styled "truly remarkable cat." The highlight is Puss' encounter with a most terrifying ogre whom he persuades to take on a mouse's form. That is obviously the end of the ogre and the installation of princess, master and Puss in the late ogre's castle!


Goldberg, Moses. Puss in Boots. Music by Paul Carrol Binkley.

MUSICAL: Written and directed by Goldberg, the play was presented during the 2004-2005 Season of the Nashville Children's Theatre.


Gray, Nicholas Stuart. The Marvellous Story of Puss in Boots: A Play For Children. London: Oxford University Press, 1955. [Currently available from New York: Samuel French. and London: Josef Weinberger.]

FULL-LENGTH PLAY: Gerard's ginger cat is magically transformed into a man-sized 'Puss in Boots' who is arrogant, sly, ruthless, clever, vain, charming, lazy and determined to win them both fame and fortune. The Princess Isobel has been bewitched by an Ogre's spell and is doomed to a life without laughter - that is, until she encounters this unlikely pair. Together they set about taming the Ogre into nothing more than a timid mouse, and restoring happiness to the kingdom.


Paterson, Stuart. Puss in Boots. London: Nick Hern.
Read more about the play on the Nick Hern Books website.

PLAY: Pantomime. "Magic, comedy, glitter, goodies, baddies and a true-hearted hero triumphing over adversity... But this being a Stuart Paterson show, most of the cheesier trad-panto fixtures are dispensed with in favour of strong narrative momentum and pawky vernacular humour... The story follows the adventures of Rab, the youngest of a mill-owner's three orphaned sons, after their mother's will leaves the mill to his two shiftless, bullying brothers and him nothing but her love and the company of her cat. Setting off to seek his fortune he soon discovers - of course - that this is no ordinary cat, especially not once they have defeated the evil witch and Puss has purloined her magnificent, re-sequinned magic boots... Puss is of course Catherine in disguise and Rab, though he didn't realise it at the time, has loved Catherine all along." --Metro


Tieck, Ludwig. Der gestiefelte Kater (Also known as Puss in Boots)1797.

Ludwig Tieck, a German Romantic writer, wrote this play based upon Perrault's version of the tale in 1797.


Williams, RobertPuss'N BootsAdaptation, Book, Lyrics and Music by Robert Williams. New York: Samuel French.

MUSICAL: Two jesters run on stage carrying on oversized story book. They sit on a bench, then notice that there is an audience. ''Once upon a time, a miller lived with his three sons in a small village far across the sea'' the Jester tells, and so the magnificent story of Puss in Boots is underway with a sense of casual charm in this adaptation.


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