Review – Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Ieva Ozola shares her reasons as to why Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is not just a kids movie…

The newest addition to the Shrek franchise by Joel Crawford, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a lot more than just another animated movie for kids. As a total ride-or-die cat lover, I was more than excited to spend 90 minutes staring at a talking ginger cat on a big screen. Even more so, on Valentine’s Day with my sister who travelled all the way from Berlin.  

I feel like it’s important to point out that most of the audience in the cinema were adults, probably because Shrek world is the childhood of now 20-something-year-olds. It’s a funny feeling when a group of excited young adults all sit and watch a movie that could be intended for children without any shame. It’s also a feeling of pride because we are the generation that has claimed Shrek, and it doesn’t matter how old we get – it will always be ours.  

(Photo from DreamWorks Animation)

The story is simple, but there is beauty in simplicity. The legendary Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), having had many (one might say slightly irresponsible) adventures throughout his lives finds out he is down to his ninth and final life. After a very entertaining watch of Puss aka Pickles losing his sanity in a retired home for cats, he decides to go on a quest for a magic wishing star to restore his nine lives.  

Of course, nothing goes smoothly. Joining Puss is a very typically complying, overly friendly and adorably naive dog companion that remains nameless until the end of the movie (Harvey Guillén). I have to say the last thing I expect to see in a Puss in Boots movie is a dog, and even less, I thought I would like the character – but I was wrong. Not long after, Puss reunites with Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and continues the search for the wishing star together. This trio really is imperfectly perfect – all very different, but together the ultimate team for amusing viewers. As all movies go, Team Friendship is not the only one searching for it. The fairytale crime family consisting of Goldilocks (Florence Pugh) and The Three Bears (Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone and Samson Kayo), as well as the villainous “Big” Jack Horner (John Mulaney), are on the hunt too.  

(Photo from The Guardian)

The animation is 3D combined with a ‘painting’ aesthetic in Puss’ action sequences, which reminded me of what I can best describe as an animated telenovela. The writing is clever and feels mature, which is understandable knowing that most of the following audience is millennials.  

The story discreetly but effectively touches on subjects, like the value of friendships and family and mental health. Throughout the journey, Puss has to literally confront his mortality in the form of the Wolf (Wagner Moura) and take responsibility for any of his previous mistakes. Not trying to give away too many spoilers, but my favourite scene is when Puss is comforted by his dog sidekick Perrito. This one scene, for me, tells everything the writers intended to show with this story.  

Overall, The Last Wish is a story within a story, and a movie that even the younger generation will be able to find entertaining and a good introduction to the Shrek universe. I will now never be able to think of Puss without his two sidekicks, and I hope to see the three of them in the near future. Maybe in time for next Valentine’s Day? 

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