Arts & Culture

Review: “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” Didn’t Have to go so Hard.

Percy Bartelt, staff writer 

This was most certainly a movie that knew its audience – that audience being kids from the late ’90s to ’00s who grew up seeing Puss in Boots in the Shrek movies and even when Puss in Boots got his own tales. But now, with the new movie, it has so much more – EVERYTHING. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” was released Dec. 21, 2022 from director Joel Crawford, who also worked on the newest “The Croods” sequel, as well as a “Trolls” short feature. 

Going into it, I was already excited knowing I got to see a beloved childhood character again, especially considering the last Puss in Boots movie was eleven years ago. Not only was the story itself an amazing and well plotted adventure, but the art style, I still can’t get over how incredible it was. It was unlike any other Dreamworks, Pixar or Disney movie out there. Instead of the regular coded-based art style, it was almost entirely artistic, the coloring looking like paint strokes and the extra bits of articulation – for example, movement lines – completed the whole work. Relating to that, the frame-by-frame storytelling changed with strong action, primarily in the fight scenes. While the story was fluid motions, the fights looked like each frame could be its own work of art. Honestly, it reminded me of “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse” in this aspect. My explanation could never do the artstyle justice – you HAVE to see it. 

As for the story elements (and I will refrain from spoiling any of the plot outside of what trailers and the public loglines have explained), I adored the plot and adventure that Puss in Boots, Kitty Softpaws and their new dog friend Perro, who poses as a cat, get into. At the start it’s explained that Puss in Boots is down to his last life, and he retires at a home for cats (and growing a wicked beard in the process), but he can never escape his love for adventure. And so, he embarks on a wild and dangerous adventure to try and figure out a way to regain his life and folk hero legacy. In doing so, Puss in Boots runs into various storybook characters who are all pining for the same treasure that he is: the fallen wishing star. If you reach the star you are granted one wish. So, of course, our self-assured Puss in Boots wants that, but you’ll have to see for yourself how he deals with his own personal idea of mortality, rethinking his close friendships, and reimagining and regaining his legacy. Heavy themes for a kids movie, but I think it’s done wonderfully. You absolutely have to watch this movie, if not for the amazing art and story, for its very last scene which hints at the artists’ next movie bringing back everyone’s most beloved character from the Puss in Boots universe. 

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” stars its previous voice actors with Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots and Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws and introduces a new actor to the scene to play Perro, Harvey Guillen, as well as Samson Kayo, Florence Pugh and John Mulaney, to name a few. Already, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” has received a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.8/10 on IMDb, which I honestly think isn’t high enough for our amazing and beloved tabby cat hero. I seriously implore each and every one of you to go out and see this movie!