Decade-in-the-making ‘Puss in Boots’ sequel, ‘The Last Wish,’ exceeds expectations

By Olivia Svoboda


There’s something about sequels that come out several years after their previous installment. It seems the extra time allows for more love and care to go into the movie that otherwise would’ve been rushed. This can be seen in “Toy Story 3”, “Incredibles 2”, and now “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”.

The movie is eye-catching and fast-paced without being obnoxious or overstimulating. The characters are fun to follow with their varying personalities and interactions with each other. It’s an exciting, adventurous movie that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

It’s been 11 years since the first “Puss in Boots” was released, but audiences don’t need to worry about catching up with the plot of the original, as this sequel stands well on its own. The movie follows the titular character as he struggles to come to terms with the scary revelation that he’s on the last of his nine lives. Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) teams up with old partner Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and new friend Perrito (Harvey Guillén). Together, they embark on a journey to find the wishing star. They must compete for the wish with Goldilocks (Florence Pugh) and the three bears, Mama (Olivia Colman), Papa (Ray Winstone), and Baby (Samson Kayo), along with “Big” Jack Horner (John Mulaney). All the while Puss in Boots is running from the Wolf (Wagner Moura), the physical embodiment of Death.

The animation of “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” might be the most exemplary part of the movie. The character designs have improved since the previous movie, no doubt due to better technology. The color schemes and lighting of the various settings are beautiful and exciting to watch, especially during Wolf’s appearances. The animation of the action sequences is also exhilarating, mimicking a comic book style of movement.

“The Last Wish” follows a cliché plotline and a predictable theme, but it makes up for this with loveable characters and an ever-changing setting. Perrito, the new addition to the main cast, starts out as the butt of the joke, but ultimately ends the movie with a wholesome relationship with Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws. Their journey together is not only heartwarming, but hilarious as well. The journey to the wishing star is when the movie is at its funniest, as the protagonists are constantly at odds with antagonists Goldilocks and the Three Bears Crime Family and the villain crime lord, “Big” Jack Horner. Their encounters with each other are exciting and hysterical. The only problem with these adversaries is that they might leave you wanting more, as the movie doesn’t allot enough time to fully explore their stories, especially with Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Road trip movies tend to be formulaic, but “The Last Wish” diverts expectations by constantly throwing exciting and beautiful settings at the audience. The setting changes depending on which character has the map to the wishing star, which allows for endless possibilities. Even by the end of the movie, there were many potential settings that were left unexplored, which felt like an untapped opportunity that the viewer will have to explore in their own imagination.

The first “Puss in Boots” was never a standout movie, as it fell under the shadow of the “Shrek” franchise. With this new installment, though, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Puss in Boots become one of the more popular Dreamworks characters. The movie has memorable characters and settings, along with humor and action that is fast-paced and fun. Though it may be marketed as a kids’ movie, all audiences can enjoy it, though young children might not be mature enough for some of the humor and more disturbing scenes. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” joins the collection of great and memorable Dreamworks movies that have defined the genre of animated kids’ films.