“Cat in Boots”: Censorship in Oman?!

I saw this ad for “Cat in Boots” in Al Seeb McDonald’s and thought to myself “Isn’t it called “Puss in Boots“?”  Well apparently the UAE has insisted on censorship to change the name of “Puss in Boots” because of its (supposed) sexual connotation.  ?!?!  Folks, you can’t make stuff like this up!   Read this article from The Guardian in case you think this is some kind of joke. Sadly, Oman has jumped on the censorship wagon and so all movie posters and McDonald’s toy ads refer to “Cat in Boots“.  Stranger than fiction!

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18 responses to ““Cat in Boots”: Censorship in Oman?!

  1. I saw this too… even the trailers aired on MBC Channels says it’s “Cat in boots”…

    It’s just lame and silly. There are more things to be cautious and worth censoring about than the mere movie title. Why not the content itself?

  2. What a nonsense. The classic fairytale is called Puss in Boots, it’s obvious the story is about a feline and there is zero sexual connotation – unless you create one, which seems to be what they are doing.

  3. Just try explaining to your precocious 5-year old why they had to change the name…

  4. Hah. Well, the Oman Air magazine advertisement proudly calls it Puss in Boots. Tsk tsk 😛

  5. Thanks for the comments, all! Good to hear that Oman Air didn’t get caught up in the UAE’s oddball censorship. Too bad McDonald’s and the movie cinemas here didn’t follow their common-sense. Go, Oman Air! 🙂

  6. so, uae hosts and wildly publicizes a visit by kim kardashian, porn star, but can’t handle the word puss? Which has no sexual connotation at all? Bloody idiots.

  7. It just shows their lack of understanding and narrow-mindedness. Ignorance for what the actual word ‘Puss’ means. If their minds are warped, I guess they think that all minds are. Besides, I doubt they realize the legendary story behind the original Puss in Boots.

  8. Kim Kardashian did porn ??

  9. Pingback: A rose by any other name … « parallel universe

  10. That’s how she entered the whole “entertainment industry”, surprise, surprise. It was because of her and other Paris Hilton types that the daughter of Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus in the Matrix) did her own porn movie. True role-models for today’s generation…

  11. Hi Andy!

    I think this is actually a case where the western media sees what they want to see, and their reaction to the title change is more of a disappointing reflection on themselves. The name change has nothing whatsoever to do with Censorship and everything to do with effectively marketing the film in the MENA region.

    I suspect the change was to make the title understandable to the local population. There is no letter “P” in Arabic, and usually the letter B is used to replace P. Hence, Bizza Hut, Bebsi, Borsche etc…. Following that logic, transliterating it as Bous in Boots the title becomes “Kiss in Boots” in arabic. Bous means Kiss in Arabic.

    How many Arabic speakers with limited English fluency know what a Cat is? Lots. How many know that Puss is another word for cat in English? Not as many. How many know that Puss is vulgar slang for Vagina? Very few. I would assume the change came from the marketing division of whatever studio produced the movie.

    Also worth noting:
    An addendum from the guardian article you linked to below: This article was amended on 28 November 2011. The original said incorrectly that the film was renamed at the request of the UAE film censorship board. The National Media Council made no objection to the original title. The article was also amended to make clear that any request to Antonio Banderas not to refer to the original title was made in Doha and not in the UAE.

    • Suburban,
      You may be on something there with the focus on “effective marketing” rather than “censorship”. Makes perfect sense! Thanks for this informative comment that puts new light on the whole topic.

  12. In fact, I saw the movie in Markaz al Bahja. In the movie, Antonio B. calls himself ‘Puss (in boots)’. If it were censorship, wouldn’t they have changed the audio track as well?

    • Tulip,
      I suppose they would have. (Although changing the audio track is much more complicated than just changing the title on a movie poster.)

  13. I think the narrow-mindedness shows in the comments here. It seems that everybody is jumping to conclusion and instantly believing the media , which is so typical !

    The change in title is due to marketing. This story is popular in Arab countries as ” Cat in Boots” . Most locals wouldn’t understand what “Puss” means, let alone any sexual connotation it might have. So censoring such a word is meaningless, but altering it to market the movie is not.

    Prejudice sucks !!

  14. Jude,
    Thanks for repeating what has already been mentioned… I don’t believe this can be classified as “narrow-mindedness” or “prejudice” as much as it is assuming the worst of the UAE (a reputation they have come to deserve). “Prejudice” is judging before knowing someone/something, but judging based on experience can hardly be labeled “prejudiced”.

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