What do you get when you give a cat a hat, an attitude and a fencing foil? Just the kind of hero you need when ninja pigs are threatening!

The first kung fu film widely seen in American theaters was a feature-length Japanese anime work titled Alakazam the Great (aka Saiyu-ki). Released in 1961, it was based on Wu Cheng-en's 1580s kung fu novel Journey to the West, which highlighted the Monkey King as he used martial arts to protect a traveling Buddhist monk. The latest example of an animal using Chinese-style martial arts to protect others is the Netflix original series The Adventures of Puss in Boots. It’s based on a French fairy tale written by Charles Perrault almost 100 years after the Monkey King. The hero is not a monkey but a sword-wielding, swashbuckling cat. Produced by DreamWorks Animation Television, Puss in Boots revolves around the compact character that was introduced in 2004’s Shrek 2 (voiced by Antonio Banderas). The feisty feline has been cat-apulted into Netflix land, where he protects the fabled treasure and townspeople of the mythical settlement of San Lorenzo from thieves, vagabonds and ninja pigs. Shrek (2001) was the first animated film to tap into the Hong Kong-stylized action genre by using the kinds of sight gags and fight scenes made popular in “fant-Asia” flicks and The Matrix (1999). DreamWorks continued to borrow Chinese film flash while making its Kung Fu Panda movies. The process entailed having cartoon fight choreographer Rodolphe Guenoden watch 1980s and '90s period-piece Hong Kong movies so martial artists could perform real kung fu for the animators.


“KARATE SENSEI: SHOULD THEY BE RESPECTED OR FEARED BY STUDENTS?” GET THIS FREE REPORT TODAY!

Although Puss in Boots is comedy-driven, it’s also focused on physical action, says executive producer Doug Langdale, who also wrote for the series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. “Technology has improved so much in such a short time that we’re able to do some truly amazing things in television animation. “Puss is in physical danger and fights a lot more than in the movies, so we like to amp up the adventure, and we play him more as a master swordsman with lots of swordplay [and] extra punching, kicking and action.” As a protagonist, Puss is similar to the lone swordsman and knight-errant heroes in Chinese wuxia films. He selflessly protects the weak from evildoers, but he does it with a code of ethics. In particular, Puss righteously defends the honor of ladies, remains loyal to his friends and sacrifices personal gain to save downtrodden orphans — all with humor, swagger and, ideally, a bowl of milk afterward.

“BILLY JACK FLASHBACK: HOW TOM LAUGHLIN AND HAPKIDO TECHNIQUES MASTER BONG SOO HAN MADE A MARTIAL ARTS CULT CLASSIC” — FREE DOWNLOAD!

Without ever taking a life, Puss tries to win over the ne'er-do-wells and put them on the straight and narrow. Of course, not all the baddies in Puss in Boots are willing to change; in fact, some vow that they’ll be back. This leads to recurring miscreants who resurface with more anger in their hearts and more mischief on their minds. Despite the never-ending nature of the challenge, Puss proves he’s always up to the task. After all, a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do. So with his sharp wit and sharper epee, the fencing feline foils every scoundrel who’s foolish enough to cross paths with him. (Illustrations © 2015 DreamWorks Animation, All Rights Reserved) Go here to order Dr. Craig D. Reid’s book The Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts Movies of the 1970s: 500+ Films Loaded With Action, Weapons and Warriors.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Talks About Being a Smaller Fighter in a Combat Sport Ruled by Giants

At first glance, most people — most martial artists, even — will zero in on the smaller person in any fight and deem him or her to be at a distinct disadvantage. It's a natural tendency to draw this conclusion based on obvious attributes such as height, weight and reach. However, that tendency does not always lead to accurate conclusions.

Keep Reading Show less

UFC's Fight Island to debut July 11th with UFC 251

UFC and Black Belt Magazine

The UFC's Fight Island "safe zone" located on Yas Island in Abu Dahbi debuts July 11th with UFC 251. Here are all the answer to your questions about this martial arts paradise.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing quarantine, UFC president Dana White had been planning on how he'd be able to continue having events despite growing concerns. As sports leagues across the world began to cancel seasons Dana White began work on a plan that would enable a safe zone for his fighters to continue events. Despite continued global restrictions. That dream will come true this weekend with the debut of Fight Island! Here are the answers to all the questions about the martial arts paradise you'll want to know!

Keep Reading Show less

Jorge Masvidal vs Kamaru Usman

An epic match up has just been announced for UFC 251 pending COVID testing between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal as Gilbert Burns forced to pull out of previously set bout.

A long anticipated match up between Jorge Masvidal and kamaru Usman looks like it may finally happen.The announcement came after the holiday weekend that the two were willing to negotiate a match for upcoming UFC 251. This comes after the unexpected dropout

Keep Reading Show less

This patch is a symbol of the Chuck Norris founded Chun Kim Do

UFAF.org

In celebration of the 4th of July, check out these styles that are rooted in the USA

Happy 4 th of July! Today is a great day to celebrate all things American – hot dogs, apple pie, and a sheer love explosions (the bigger the fireworks, the better!). You know what else is American? Martial arts!

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter