Review – Puss in Boots : The Last Wish

Dreamworks Animation had a huge impact on animation and pop.culture with Shrek and the Far Far Away films turning traditional fairytales on their head and injecting them full of Smash Mouth songs. While it has been 11 years since we have seen this universe on our screens, the long-awaited sequel to Puss in Boots is finally here with Antonio Banderas returning to voice the sword-wielding, swash-buckling cat in a brand new adventure filled with all of the heart and humour heralding back to the original Shrek films. Puss in Boots : The Last Wish successfully revives the Far Far Away Universe giving us hope for more Shrek and friends films to hopefully come our way in the near future.

We are reunited with Puss (Antonio Banderas) not long after the events of the first film. After losing many of his nine lives due to helping others, he receives a visit from the Big Bad Wolf (Wagna Moura) who advises Puss that he is down to his last life. Giving up his sword and boots, Puss takes refuge at Mama Lunas (Divine Joy Randolph) a retired cat lady who fills her house with stray cats. It is here that Puss meets Perro (Harvey Guillen) a chihuahua wearing a cat costume who is desperate to be friends with Puss. A Wanted with a large reward is posted for Puss’s capture and Goldilocks (Florence Pugh) along with the three bears (Ray Winston, Olivia Coleman & Samson Kayo) attempt to capture Puss, believing he knows the location of the last great wishing star, a rare object that grants whoever finds it one wish.

From here Puss and Perro reunite with Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and the three must work together to find the location of the star whilst also battling Jack Horney (John Mulaney) who wants to steal all the world’s magic for himself.

Visually this film has managed to take a little of what inspired Dreamworks last film The Bad Guys with 2D hand-drawn animation and fuse it with the 3D animation they are famous for. This is particularly effective in big action scenes which allows you to see each hit, sword fling and scratch instead of turning it into a 3D mess that is difficult to keep track of. It also looks incredibly beautiful as well. There is tongs of visual gags here and a lot of adults will enjoy the detail and subtle winks and nods throughout the film.

Banderas was always perfect in this role, bringing the fearless hero vibe that this character needs while also being cocky which is in abundance in this film. Banderas takes it further this time around as the character has more of a sombre vibe. When Puss is down about life, Banderas allows a layer of vulnerability to his performance that he easily switches out of when required. Hayak is a welcome return to Softpaws, giving a seductive and sexy performance while able to still toy with her counterparts and play off Banderas. The best addition to the cast is Guillen, whose Perro is the complete opposite of Puss and his endless positivity and bounding energy allow for the film to lift in moments where it could stay bogged down in its own moodiness. Guillen is the perfect performer in this and is on par with Donkey for best side character in a Dreamworks film.

The Last Wish, as implied deals with a lot of issues that may go over some younger audiences’ heads. The constant and impending presence of the Big Bad Wolf is presented here as a seemingly supernatural being who constantly reminds Puss of his morality. There is a lot of looking at death and the fear and anxiety that our morality can bring when confronted with it. Where this film really shines is its ability to juggle all of this and then also lean heavily into the jokes. This is a very funny movie, a lot of the humour will fly over the heads of the young ones (and that is a good thing!) there are also some moments you will be shocked they were able to leave in this.

Puss in Boots : The Last Wish does well to boast a large roster of characters all competing for the same thing, the well-crafted script from Paul Fisher allows for all of this to come together beautifully without feeling over-crowded. Now that we are hopefully through with the Boss Baby time at Dreamworks, The Bad Guys and now Puss in Boots : The Last Wish shows a rejuvenated focus with quality laughs and Pixar level emotion that can easily claim the Best Animated film of the year.

Puss in Boots : The Last Wish has paid previews this weekend and is in cinemas December 26.

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Dreamworks Animation had a huge impact on animation and pop.culture with Shrek and the Far Far Away films turning traditional fairytales on their head and injecting them full of Smash Mouth songs. While it has been 11 years since we have seen this universe...Review - Puss in Boots : The Last Wish