BY THOMAS WOOD
In April of 2001, Dreamworks released a beloved movie by the name of Shrek. This movie was extremely successful and received many sequels and spin-offs, most of which were welcome additions to the cinematic universe. One of the most successful additions to the Shrek universe was 2011’s Puss in Boots, a story about a cocky cat swordsman, which received a few sequels of its own. In late 2022, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was born. Does it continue the legacy left by its predecessors? Let’s find out.
The Last Wish stars the titular Puss in Boots, his companion from past movies Kitty Softpaws, and an unlikely acquaintance by the name of Perrito. The three set out on an adventure in order to find and complete the last wish, something that can only be done in the heart of the Dark Forest. This journey obviously isn’t without conflict, as a few other fairy tale protagonists appear to try and steal the map to the Dark Forest. This includes a wolf depicted as Death, which is a symbol of Puss’ inner struggle with losing his eighth life and refusing to lose another.
Although the movie’s plot may sound confusing or contrived, it’s executed extremely well. The way the story is presented makes it feel believable, and it makes the viewer sympathize with the characters. Even the villains feel like they have solid reasonings behind their beliefs, which leads to an interesting moral gray area. All in all, the plot for The Last Wish pleasantly surprised me. Off to a good start so far.
Another factor that took me off guard was the sound design. A lot of the sounds in the movie felt like they moved with their sources, including a lot of the voice acting. Even when a character was spinning around (which happens a surprisingly large amount of times) it felt like their voice moved dynamically to fit them. Along with the voices, the music fits the story as well. The score was emotional in some scenes and action-packed in others. It was virtually perfect.
The animation of the movie was excellent as well. It was smooth during most of the movie, but during action scenes, it swapped to a more stilted animation style. This sounds like it would be bad, but it stylistically fits the movie extremely well, letting the audience decide exactly how the characters move and fill in the gaps themselves. This kind of animation reminds me a lot of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse since that’s likely the most popular movie to use a similar style.
In summary, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was a movie that very much so surprised me. It had an extremely good story, animation, and sound, making for a solid movie. Going into this movie, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be blown away like this, but needless to say, I was taken aback. The only complaint I had with the movie was that I wished the baby bear died at the end.