“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish:” A movie for all ages

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish got better critic reviews than Avatar: The Way of Water

DreamWorks Animation

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” got better critic reviews than “Avatar: The Way of Water”

The story of Puss in Boots starts in the cinematic masterpiece called “Shrek 2.” He continued to show up in “Shrek the Third,” and finally got his own spinoff movie in 2011: “Puss in Boots.” In 2022, 11 years later, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” broke theaters with a whopping 95% critic score on rotten tomatoes, compared to “Avatar: The Way of Water” with a 76% critic score.
I watched “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” just about a month ago against my will. My partner planned a movie date without telling me what movie we were going to watch until we were there. It was a pleasant surprise though, because I really, really enjoyed the movie. Right now I’ll warn everyone about minor spoilers, but I’ll try to keep the ending a mystery.
The movie opens with Puss in a bar, and all the townsfolk practically worshiping him. He sings “Fearless Hero” (a song loved by me and many, many more) and fights off a giant. He gets crushed by a bell and the main premise of the movie is introduced: Puss is on his last of 9 lives.
Frightened but exhibiting a fake confidence, Puss goes to the bar to wind down. He meets a wolf, later known as “Death.” After barely escaping, well, death, Puss decided to spend the rest of his days at Mama Luna’s Cat Rescue. There, he meets Perito (which translates to “little dog” in Spanish), and after a run in with Goldilocks and the three Bears (Mama, Papa, and Baby) decides to seek The Last Wish to get back his nine lives.
From there, he goes to Big Jack Horner’s bakery to steal the map. He runs into his ex-lover Kitty Softpaws and they end up going on the quest together, with Perito of course. Puss has a few more run-ins with Death as well, raising the stakes of the entire adventure.
The first thing I want to talk about with this movie is the animation. From the very beginning I found myself leaning over to tell my partner that I loved it. It’s average CGI animation, but when Puss starts battling the giant, the style quickly shifts over to a CGI-comic book mashup style which I couldn’t get enough of. I found myself enjoying the movie a lot more because of it.
One of the other things I liked a lot was the characterization, especially Death’s. Although Big Jack Horner is the main antagonist, I felt chills run up my spine in the theater when I heard his whistle. I actually felt fear when he was on screen. I thought I was being a bit overdramatic when I was leaving the movie, but then later I heard that lots of parents were upset at how scary Death was. Personally, I loved his character, but I could see how parents wouldn’t be too happy about it.
One of my other favorite characters was Perito. He was lost and then pretty much got adopted by Puss and Kitty. This isn’t the only found or “broken” family in the movie, as Goldilocks also comes to terms with being an orphan and getting adopted by the Bear family.
Going back to Perito, he’s kind of stupid on the surface. He’s not very good at picking up on social cues and generally doesn’t know what’s going on. But, when you dive deeper, you realize that he has an innate desire to help his friends. He said to Puss himself he wants to be a therapy dog, and there was a scene (one of my favorites, actually) in which Puss was having a panic attack because of Death and Perito laid his head on his stomach to help him calm down. The mere existence of a character like Perito provides a really good example to kids who don’t quite understand panic attacks and how to help them.
Although I’m rather biased toward kids’ movies, I really enjoyed “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.” The animation and Death presented a thing that older kids and adults could enjoy, but the movie was still very kid friendly and packed with lessons for little ones. I’d give this masterpiece of a movie 4 ½ Spartan Heads out of 5.