New DreamWorks film expectedly dominates theaters


Noah Ellinger

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was an enjoyable adventure that highlights intense topics that have not been tackled by an animated movie in a long time.

Noah Ellinger, Staff Writer

His boots imprinted on the coarse dirt of the Italian desert, his cape elegantly flowing in the wind, his rapier clashing on his waist. He draws his sword, facing the three enemies that are preventing him from achieving the last wish.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wishes was released on December 21, 2022, bringing a sequel to the first movie that was released eleven years ago. Directed by Joel Crawford, and a spin-off to the Shrek franchise, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish tackles serious topics such as loneliness, mental health, retirement, and acceptance.

The movie starts with Puss on his last life of nine after facing off against a giant threatening a village. Throughout his nine lives, Puss has lived recklessly, almost living like an unstoppable force of good that could escape death itself. He proves this by saying throughout the first few scenes, ‘Puss in Boots laughs in the face of death’. 

After finding this out he’s on his last life, he continues to not care and be arrogant about it by going to a bar and drinking milk. 

While he is in the bar we get an introduction to one of the best villains DreamWorks has ever created. A wolf bounty hunter, who has been watching Puss carefully and hunting him. Puss being arrogant draws his rapier, for it to just be deflected by the hunter in the blink of an eye. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish did something that many animated movies haven’t done in a long while, they introduced a proper and menacing villain.

When introducing a villain you need the character to cement into the audience’s mind. The way the movie does this is by making our hero Puss, after taking down a giant seem like an unstoppable force, straight into an insignificant hero that can’t stand up to this force. It’s almost like all of Puss’s power he gained by defeating the giant transfers to this villain, who easily beats Puss. Making the villain encased into the audience’s mind. 

After deflecting the rapier, the bounty hunter and Puss go into their first fight. With the outcome resulting in Puss ending up on the floor bleeding and afraid.    

This is where the movie goes into its first topic: fear. Puss then has flashbacks of his past lives, his failure, his wins, but most importantly the people he has spent time with.        The next scene features Puss’s rapier 10 feet in front of him, the hunter pushing it closer, repeating my favorite line of the movie, “Pick, it, up.” Then our hero does the unbelievable, he runs away in fear, enforcing that our villain is possibly unstoppable.

This introduction alone was one of my favorite entrances to a villain ever. The cockiness of the villain and the animation keep a steady and stable scene causing the scenery and fight to be memorable. The comic style adds this 2-D effect that gives the animators more creative freedom and intense breathtaking duels.

The twists of the fairy tales were also one of my favorite additions to the movie. 

To give a clear example, one of the villains is Goldilocks and The Three Bears. The twist this movie adds is that Goldilocks is a member of the bear family. Instead of Goldilocks being Attacked by the bears the day she stumbled on the cabin, they embrace her as a part of their family which adds funny interactions and arguments between Baby bear and Goldilocks.

Another clean addition is the side character they introduce and bring back.

 My favorite side character was the abandoned dog, Perro. His characterization throughout the movie is a dog who keeps an optimistic attitude no matter how bad things are. This adds the comedic relief the movie required, while the rest of the personas revolved around dark pasts and mistakes. 

The return of Kitty SoftPaws adds a romantic relationship that developed way further than it did in the first one. Starting with Kitty being Puss’s ex-fiancé after Puss bailed on their wedding day, which is revealed towards the end of the movie.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was an enjoyable adventure that highlights intense topics that have not been tackled by an animated movie in a long time.

The animation takes a more comic style, making the fights captivating and breathtaking to watch. The characters have deep backstories that make them relatable and interesting to the viewers.     

The movie scored a ninety-five percent rotten tomato score and I couldn’t agree more with the rating. Every movie has its pros and cons, and although my review mostly revolves around positive aspects there were some negative ones. 

One I would like to point out was the song at the opening of the movie. When we are introduced to Puss he sings a song to kick off the movie, re-watching the movie got me thinking about how out of place this song was.

But if that was the only con I found then this movie definitely deserves a good hour and a half of your time.