Sunday, May 28, 2023

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”: A movie review and analysis


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Featured Graphic by Destiny Mizell

Story by Stephanie Hall

 “I was there to witness all of them. Each frivolous end. But you didn’t even notice me, because Puss in Boots always laughs in the face of death, right? But you’re not laughing now.”

 – The Big Bad Wolf in “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”

What was expected to be a simple sequel to a children’s movie ended up becoming a beautiful story about life, death and the connections we have with people. The movie, released back in December, is still being talked about two months later.  

The Dreamworks’ movie, directed by Joel Crawford, is a sequel to “Puss in Boots” and a spin-off from the “Shrek” franchise. The film follows Puss (voiced by Antonio Banderas) as he attempts to retrieve the mythical Last Wish so he can restore his nine lives. Joined by Kitty Softpaws, his old flame, (voiced by Salma Hayek Pinault) and Perrito, a naive therapy dog, (voiced by Harvey Guillén), the trio races against Goldilocks (voiced by Florence Pugh) and the three Bears (voiced by Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone and Samson Kayo) and “Big” Jack Horner (voiced by John Mulaney). All the while, Puss is being followed by a hooded wolf who is a representation of Death (played by Wagner Moura). 

The first movie in the series was enjoyable, but nothing memorable. For many, it was of much lower quality than three of the “Shrek” movies. For this reason, many had low expectations for “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.” However, the art style and story have taken many by surprise.  

This movie received a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, earning a higher score than “Avatar: The Way of Water,” something that has been joked about on the internet.  

Director Joel Crawford did another Dreamworks movie sequel, “The Croods: A New Age,” which was also well-received. Crawford, who will be a guest speaker at MTSU ACM Siggraph on April 7th, has been able to create incredible sequels based off mediocre movies. Crawford said himself that he wanted the movie, while being appropriate for children, to have a much darker tone.  

The art-style has similar vibe to “Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse,” with a comic book-esque vibe and less frames during quick and intense action shots. The style feels like a painting, making the movie feel like a fairy-tale book.  

As for the story, it shows Puss in Boots as he begins to begin to grapple with his own impending death. The opening song, “Fearless Hero,” about Puss being unstoppable, is immediately followed by him being stopped by Death and him running away. He attempts to get back into the game by stealing Jack Horner’s map to the Last Wish, but now he feels that he can’t be as ‘fearless’ as he once was.  

A beautiful moment is when Puss is having a panic attack during the fight with Jack Horner and Goldilocks and Perrito helps him calm down. Mental health is rarely portrayed so accurately in children’s films. By including this scene, it shows that anxiety is something that even heroes have and that it does not make one weak.  

In the end, the characters decide that they do not need the wish. All they need is each other. It’s a shockingly well-made sequel that not only tells a complex, yet humorous story, but also gets viewers excited for “Shrek 5,” which was teased at the end.  

Stephanie Hall is the Assistant Lifestyles Editor for MTSU Sidelines.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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