Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is Phenomenal


Source: IMDb

James Steigerwald, Feature Editor

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is Dreamworks’ most recent film. The film hit theaters on December 21, 2022;  a whole 11 years after its predecessor. To many’s surprise, it quickly became one of the best-animated movies of the year, and for good reason. With its captivating story, distinct cast of characters, and stunning animation, The Last Wish is a wonderful addition to the Shrek Franchise.


After a lifetime of death-defying adventures and achievements, Puss in Boots finds himself down to his last life. The film then follows a simple premise – Puss must find the mythical wishing star that has the ability to grant him his lives back. But he’s not the only one after it, as he competes against a couple of other fairy tale characters for the star. The criminal family of Goldilocks and the three bears and Jack Horner, whom the film acknowledges is from a nursery rhyme you’ve never heard of, are all also after the wish. Puss is joined by Kitty Softpaws, the love interest from the previous film, and Perrito, an overly-positive and loyal companion with the most tragic backstory on the planet.

With this many characters, you would think the film would be a little overstuffed and might be unable to dedicate time to everyone, but shockingly it does just that. There is not a single filler character in this film. The cast is perfectly balanced, with everyone adding something to the story.

The Goldilocks criminal family touches on the theme of found family, Kitty Softpaws struggles with trust issues and being more open, and Perrito’s selflessness and kind heart influence those around him. And Jack Horner? He’s a character who’s purely evil, and has zero redeeming qualities, becoming a hilarious addition to the film. What’s especially impressive is that we can see these themes in the film without the characters having to blatantly point them out to you. It does a great job of showing, rather than telling.

The animation in the film is stellar, especially in its fight scenes. The film pulls a lot from Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, shifting the frame rate around to make these scenes feel exhilarating and impactful. The colors are vibrant and extremely pleasant to look at, with the backgrounds having a beautiful paintbrush aesthetic. This was a huge step up for Dreamworks regarding the animation department.

This is definitely one of the darker, more mature films of the Shrek franchise. It follows Puss grappling with his mortality, as he is down to only one life. Puss is trying to come to terms with being fully mortal, after being confident and reckless his entire life. He is haunted by the literal personification of death, a wolf who comes to claim Puss’ final life. Death is truly one of the scariest animated villains. He has an intimidating and eerie presence that is truly unforgettable. 

So what looks on the outside to be a silly adventure about a cat and his friends, The Last Wish turns out to be an emotionally mature film that kids can understand, and at times terrifying to think about, while still being a hilarious, action-packed thrill-ride. This film is a must-watch so go see it if you haven’t already, it is certainly worth your time. 

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish will be in theaters for a few more months before moving to streaming platforms. See it in theaters while you can!