Puss in Boots: The Last Wish highlights the purity of life while maintaining Shrek-like fun


Zealan Munsey, Photographer

Thanks to eye-catching animations, a fan-favorite cat hero, and some great life messages, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish delights the whole family and even causes some parents to cry. Who knew a movie about a Spanish feline could end up being a therapy session?

Puss was directed by Joel Crawford, well known for his work directing The Croods: A New Age. The Last Wish received a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.9/10 on IMDb. 

It’s all a wonderful animated film should be, and then some. The Shrek spin-off employs a sort of animation similar to the style popularized by Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. In contrast to rudimentary CGI, quick images and flashing lights keep eyeballs moving around the screen to get it all. And of course, any movie connected to Shrek is going to provide some humor that’s even amusing to teens and adults alike.

A sequel to Puss in Boots (2011), The Last Wish highlights the greatest cat hero ever in his journey to find the Wishing Star following the loss of his eighth life. Puss (Antonio Banderas) meets Perrito (Harvey Guillén), a lonely chihuahua that maintains an optimistic view of life despite all his hardships. The two unlikely friends band together on a journey to find the star, meeting villainous versions of fairy-tale characters and Kitty Southpaws (Salma Hayek Pinault), Puss’ ex-fiance and adventure buddy. During all of this, Puss must endure being chased by Death itself.

Death (Wagner Moura) is a white wolf carrying two crescent-shaped blades, and his job is to claim the souls of those who die. With his chilling whistle when he appears to his quick attacks, the wolf isn’t probably the most loved character by little kids. But what’s important is the lesson that Death provides.

Puss meets Death in a pub after losing his eighth life, and it seems like it’s just a creepy wolf that wants to mess with Puss. It’s soon learned he’s unstoppable, and Puss scurries off in fear to find shelter at a cat lady’s home, retiring from the hero life.

During Puss’ journey, he hears a warning whistle multiple times. He freaks out, seeing Death is near, and runs away from his friends no matter the situation.

Death isn’t evil; it’s just inevitable. Puss is only being chased even with a life left because in reality, death is slowly chasing us, and we only have one life. It’s also because Death feels Puss is cheating with his nine lives, so it ticks him off that he doesn’t even value his nine.

Probably the most interesting part of Dreamworks’ film is the idea of how the incarnation of death itself works, and how it fits in a kid’s movie. Yes, it’ll make the five-year-old close their eyes, but just amps up the importance of the heavy yet crucial message—life is fragile, but don’t worry about death, just cherish the moments you have.

With a mostly Latin soundtrack filled with quick beats and instruments, the little kids are sure to stay watching.

Rarely does an animated movie stretch to accommodate all viewers of all ages, but Puss hits this one out of the ballpark. Add it to the list of movies I’ve looked over to see my dad crying.

If you want to leave the theater with a smile on your face, this one’s for you (and stay tuned for a possible Shrek 5!)

Puss in Boots Official Trailer

“What’s your favorite kid’s movie that you would want to show your kids (or have, if teacher), and why?”

English 9 Honors teacher Sarah Benson: My boys and I love the Toy Story series! It’s full of messages like believing in yourself and being there for your friends, and it entertains viewers of all ages.

Freshman Ellis Malang: The Pursuit of Happyness, as it shows kids what parents deal with to provide for their kids, so always be grateful!

ASB adviser Jennifer Lundblad: Our favorite family movie is Matilda. No matter your age, size, or experience you can always stand for integrity. One of our family’s favorite lines illustrates this in a very contrary, sarcastic manner,  “Listen, you little wiseacre: I’m smart, you’re dumb; I’m big, you’re little; I’m right, you’re wrong, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Freshman Meghan Manion: Tangled, as I love the message about following your dreams and that you don’t need to rely on someone to do so.