Puss in Boots: The Last Wish


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“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is the pleasantly surprising sequel to Puss in Boots  (2011). It follows the escapades of Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) as he confronts his ever-approaching mortality in the face of a seemingly insurmountable foe, the Wolf (Wagner Moura).

Within the DreamWorks “Shrek” universe, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” occurs after the events of “Shrek Forever After (2010).” The movie began its creation in 2012 but underwent a series of executive leadership changes and had been pushed back to 2018, at which point it was canceled. In 2019, it was confirmed to still be in the works, and after another series of unfortunate delays, the movie was theatrically released on December 21, 2022.

DreamWorks has a strong reputation for crafting lovable movies with lovable characters and plots, with lovable stories and messages. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is no exception. In fact, it may be the exemplar of DreamWorks’ capabilities.

The film tackles mortality in an approachable way. Puss is a cat with nine lives and has gone through eight of them. The antagonist, the Big Bad Wolf, threatens the security of Puss’s final life.

In response, Puss embarks on a journey to find the wishing star to wish for more lives. He is joined by his former love interest and colleague Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek Pinault), who has the personal wish to find someone to trust, and a rag-tag dog, Perrito (Harvey Guillén).

All the while, others yearn for the wishing star. Goldilocks (Florence Pugh), leader of the Three Bears Crime Family consisting of Mama Bear (Olivia Colman), Papa Bear (Ray Winstone) and Baby Bear (Samson Kayo) wishes for her biological family.

Big Jack Horner (John Mulaney), leader of his gang, the Baker’s Dozen, wishes for the one thing he never had as the heir to a massive baking enterprise: all the magic in the world. He is accompanied by an inversely sized, barely formidable Ethical Bug (Kevin McCann) to remind him of his morality.

The array of fairytale characters, eloquently adapted from the Brothers Grimm, provide for a hoot of a time. The animation style, taking after the comic book style of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse” (2018), is interspersed with fairytale-style painted frames The plot is excellent, threaded together with a heartful lesson on living life to its fullest while providing an unrelenting horror of death. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” does not disappoint.