I enjoyed the first Puss in Boots film. It wasn’t anything amazing, but it was definitely my favorite film in the Shrek universe as I’m not really a fan of the Shrek films.
And I had known that a sequel to the film had been in development for a while. I remember when it was going to be called Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves. Having not heard anything for a while, I thought the film would just be cancelled altogether. But somewhat out of nowhere, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was scheduled to be released in 2022.
I knew that I wanted to see it, but was in no rush to until critic reviews started coming in. Multiple film reviewers I follow listed this as not just their favorite animated film of the year, but also one of their favorite films of the year! My curiosities were piqued, so I decided to check this film out in the theaters (something I don’t do often) and…I’m so glad that I did!
(Caution, there will be mild spoilers!)
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish continues the story of the heroic Puss in Boots, voiced again by Antonio Banderas. He enjoys his life of adventure, being adored by all, and basically just being a legend! However, he dies after a bell falls on him.
Turns out that he’s fine because cats have nine lives, so he comes back to life as often as I do when I battle Ansem on the island at the end of Kingdom Hearts.
However, he has already died 8 times, so he’s currently on his last life. Knowing that fact scares him. But what frightens him more is that he’s pursued by a supposed bounty hunter wolf, voiced by Wagner Moura. This has got to be the scariest animated antagonist I’ve seen in a long time! Everything about him is chilling from his blood red eyes to his scythe weapons to the tune he whistles whenever he’s one screen! His presence had me at the edge of my seat so many times during the film!
Puss decides to lay low to evade the wolf until he hears of the existence of a wishing star hidden in the Dark Forest. He decides to go on a quest to find the star and wish for nine lives again. Along the way he teams up again with his romantic interest and legendary match, Kitty Softpaws, voiced again by Salma Hayek Pinault. And together, they face off other antagonists including Goldilocks and the Three Bears (voiced by Florence Pugh, Ray Winstone, Olivia Colman, and Samson Kayo, respectively) and Jack Horner (voiced by John Mulaney).
This film was amazing! I was super invested in the story and was literally at the edge of my seat so many times during this film! I especially loved all the antagonists! I’ve already mentioned my thoughts on the Wolf, but Goldilocks and the Three Bears being like a crime family is something I didn’t know I ever needed! And Jack Horner…the more he was on screen the more I loved how evil and selfish and uncaring he was! It’s nice to see a villain again that we don’t have to “sympathize” with and can just be a pretty bad guy.
The story was pretty deep with themes of mortality and making the best of the life you have. The voice acting was pretty much perfect and the animation was superb! Multiple animation styles were present in the film, but you can clearly see how some scenes were inspired by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘s style!
I haven’t been so pleasantly surprised by an animated film in a long time! This film didn’t have any reason to be as good as it was! If I had to complain about something it would be some of the crude language in it. There was nothing too bad that was unexpected from DreamWorks Animation, but they did take me out of the film whenever I heard them.
Besides that though, if you haven’t seen Puss in Boots: The Last Wish yet, I highly recommend you do so! This is definitely my favorite animated film of 2022!