Puss in Boots: The Last Wish has finally been released in the UK and I’m happy to say it was worth the wait. Considering it’s been over ten years since previous Puss in Boots film and the Shrek franchise is one of those things that makes us millennials feel old when they realise how long it’s been since those films were at their peak, it is kind of impressive how great The Last Wish is.
Everything about The Last Wish just works from story and character to the brilliant animation. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse clearly shook up how animated films could be as there’s elements used in The Last Wish that are as dynamic and entertaining as that film as it moves away from the standard late-2000s 3D animation and instead uses impressionistic imagery not seen in this franchise before. The colours pop, the fight sequences are thrilling, and some of the new character designs are fantastic. Special mention goes to the Wolf (Wagner Moura) who is a looming presence as they’re on Puss’s trail, that character is one of the most interesting in design and in character motivation.
The action and adventure is there from the outset as Puss takes on a giant creature to save a town but it’s how The Last Wish tackles Puss’s character arc that was really surprising. He reluctantly teams up with a chihuahua (Harvey Guillén) and his old flame Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and how the friendship between these three develops is great. For a character like Puss whose defining characteristics is his bravery and being a swashbuckling hero, seeing him face up to his mortality and how that can affect how he sees himself was really interesting and sincere.
As Puss searches for the Last Wish, other characters come into play including Goldilocks and the three bears (Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winston, and Samson Kayo), and Jack Horner (John Mulaney) who all have their own reasons for wanting to be the one to get to the Last Wish first. Amazingly all these extra characters still have their own satisfying arcs that aren’t underdeveloped and they way the story brings everyone together to resolve things in a heartfelt way is impressive.
Honestly, I think “impressive” is the word to describe Puss in Boots: The Last Wish because it’s far more entertaining and visually interesting than one ever could’ve thought it’d be. The way it twists fairy tales/nursery rhymes is fun, it has humour and heart throughout, and it’s just a beautiful film to look at with a wonderful story. 5/5.