There is something magical that happens when the people working on a project are clearly passionate about it. While there is quite a bit to love about Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022), the enthusiasm and love of the project that comes through the voice performances of Antonio Banderas and Selma Hayek truly make it something special. Not to take away from the other good voice performances in the film, but the energy and joy are coming from Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws can’t be denied.
Puss in Boots has lived a life of adventure with no concern for death, especially since he has nine lives. However, his carelessness has found him face-to-face with his last life, and now, he’s afraid to lose the only one he has left. Accompanied by friends, new and old – and several potential enemies in pursuit – Puss sets out on an epic journey to find the Last Wish, and restore his nine lives.
Shrek is a film franchise that I have found a lot of joy in over the years. Yet, I’ve always felt the movies are mostly mean-spirited – or, at least, the humor comes from that source. It’s why the new character, Perro (Harvey Guillén), initially seemed like he would be another target of the cruel and cynical humor of the franchise. Instead, Perro is completely sincere, and the love the audience will likely have for him is reciprocated by the other characters in the film. Perro’s pure optimism is refreshing in a franchise fraught with cruel jokes.
However, Guillén isn’t the only new actor bringing something awesome to the tale. Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, and John Mulaney all play major roles in the pursuit of the Last Wish. There are a few cameos from beloved sidekick characters of the Shrek-verse that fans will likely get a kick out of, but it is the core cast – with Perro added – that makes this story something special. I really loved the relationship dynamic present here, as well as the action sequences of the film.
The final thing that this movie does better than any other in the Shrek-verse is offering interesting animation styles. This film looks outstanding! There are a variety of art styles, and many sequences look more hand-drawn than 3D CGI. The final confrontation’s visuals are quite exceptional, but the entire journey to the goal is vibrant and constantly changing.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is one of those animated films that the whole family will enjoy. It definitely helps if you have seen the other films, but there is enough context here that you can probably piece together how the characters ended up here. This is one of those films that is better than most would expect, with it being such a late entry into the franchise. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a great Christmas surprise, and is in theaters starting December 1st, 2022. To me, it’s a Must See movie.