Review: The legend never dies

After 11 long years, Puss in Boots got the action packed sequel he deserved and more


DreamWorks Animation

Released at the end of 2022, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” brought new energy and interesting visual effects to a franchise that seemed like it might have been at its end.

Nikki Sisson, Marketing Director

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” hit theaters Dec. 21, 2022 and has been a huge success ever since. This film centers around the beloved hero, Puss, who is on his last of nine lives, and has to compete with both new and old characters for one wish that could grant him his lives back. This film digs deeper than the first one and is able to cover more serious topics in a way that makes sense to its younger audience.

Puss in Boots is a character in DreamWorks Shrek franchise, but got his own feature film in 2011. In this film, he teamed up with Kitty Softpaws, a mysterious thief, and Humpty Dumpty, Puss’ lifelong friend, to steal magic beans. However, Humpty turns out to be plotting against Puss, and turns the town against him. 

In “The Last Wish,” there are several antagonists, Goldie and the Three Bears and Jack Horner being two, as they race Puss and Kitty for the wish. However, the true “villain” of the movie is death itself, portrayed as a wolf. Throughout the movie, the wolf appears after whistling a sinister song, stalking and following Puss, as he struggles to accept the fact that he has no more lives to spare. In the end, Puss realizes that having one life with no chances to redo everything is what makes it so special, and is able to “fight off” death (the wolf) in a sword fight. He accepts the fact that they will meet again, but doesn’t feel the need to wish for his nine lives back. 

This was a huge step up from the first movie, as the main conflict went from Puss’ lifelong friend betraying him to confronting mortality. But they handled it well, despite being pretty creepy for younger kids. This movie seems to focus on lots of internal conflict, as Puss overcomes his denial of fear and learns to live his life despite having none to spare. Puss and Kitty also learn through a stray dog how to put the past behind them and learn to trust again.

Despite the drastic change in tone from the first to second movie, the animation style seemed to  receive the opposite effect. “The Last Wish” features amazing animation with comic book style fights. Oftentimes, studios feel the need to make animations look as realistic, or non-cartoonish as possible, and this movie seems to ignore that idea without going over the top. 

The cast features some returning members, as well as some new, surprising voices. Antonio Banderas returns as the voice of Puss in Boots as well as Salma Hayke as Kitty. Florence Pugh (Goldielocks), Olivia Coleman (Mama Bear) and John Mulaney (Jack Horner) are some notable new cast members. Alongside the incredible voice acting, the movie features an amazing soundtrack that immerses the viewers into the story.

Overall, “Puss and Boots: The Last Wish” was worth the wait for those who grew up on the first movie and even those who didn’t. It is relatable and entertaining for people of all ages, and definitely worth a watch.