The Big Picture – ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’


Gavin Hudson

Graphic created in Canva by Dominique Williams and Gavin S. Hudson. Movie posters courtesy of Dreamworks Animation.

Gavin Hudson

Disclaimer: Light spoilers for the film are included in this review.

We all know that “Shrek” is one of the greatest films ever made, right? A modernized take on classic children’s fables that set the standard for adult humor in content made for kids, with one of the most iconic characters in animation, is a pretty high bar to meet. 

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is living up to the green ogre’s legacy. 

There seems to be a “Spider-Verse-ification” of modern animated films. The effect that “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is having on the industry is already being seen, especially in this film. 

For good reason too; Miles Morales’ introduction to the cinematic world is visually gorgeous with weighted actions, vibrant color palettes, incredible use of perspective and some of the most fun editing in any film ever made. 

The fight sequences in “The Last Wish” capture that fun factor, especially in the opening sequence.

The weight of the characters’ movement gives greater impact to their actions and makes these moments feel like a roller-coaster you want to ride multiple times over. 

The haunting villain called “Wolf,” played by Wagner Moura, attacks Puss in Boot (voiced by Antonio Banderas) in a bar. At the height of Puss’ legend, he faces deadly foes that pose a threat to his 9th life. (Picture courtesy of Dreamworks Animation. Pictures via IMDB.)

The villains are so well utilized, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t focus on the wolf: easily one of Dreamworks’ best villains. “Wolf” is intimidating, terrifying and best of all, he feels like a legitimate threat to the characters.  

Striking fear in the heart of the feline hero, that fear becomes the main focus of the film and looms in the background to create a dread that forces acknowledgement of Wolf’s presence. More movies need to take notes: this is how you create a perfect villain. 

The movie was hilarious in unexpected ways. In my theater, I saw more adults laughing than the younger audience there.

There’s a sequence where the Ethical Bug begins to realize how villainous one of the antagonists is and it made me spill my popcorn. The visual flare in that scene was perfect. 

Not without its faults, the film uses two completely different art styles — which becomes tough to balance. Sometimes the transition to the action scenes can feel jarring. 

As Puss attempts to hide from his canine foe, he finds himself living among hundreds of other cats in the home of an old cat lady. It takes time for him to adjust to his life outside the legend. (Picture courtesy of Dreamworks Animation. Pictures via IMDB.)

While those moments are still visually entrancing, they don’t flow with the rest of the film. 

A smaller note would be how often Puss’ catchphrase, “I am Puss in Boots” is repeated at the beginning of the movie. While it adds to the ego of the character, it felt overdone by the film’s conclusion. 

The film winds up being a lot better than it should’ve been. Exciting fight sequences, unreasonably funny and an effectively intimidating villain blend together nicely. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”  gets an 8/10.