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"Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" Review: The Rise of an Animated Legend

The latest animated work from DreamWorks has not stopped receiving praise from specialized critics and the general audience. We tell you in this review the reason for the success behind "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish".

Frame from the movie 'Puss in Boots'

Photo: Universal Pictures

LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid

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Animated cinema has been, for the most part, dominated by Disney. But in 2001 an interesting proposal arose from the DreamWorks studio. This is "Shrek", a film that ten years later would inspire the spin-off of one of the most charismatic characters in that universe. Now, more than a decade later, "Puss in Boots" comes to the big screen with an epic tale of fear and love.

The validity of the saga is unquestionable, and that is one of the things that fans are most grateful for. The plot develops thanks to a good combination of action, adventure, and comedy. On this occasion, the beloved Puss in Boots finds himself in an extreme situation, since after having lived passionately to the fullest, he discovers that he has burned eight of his nine lives. From then on, he embarks on a journey with the purpose of fulfilling one last wish.

Joel Crawford is the director of this film and with him there was a great team of writers, who knew how to capture a sea of sensations that make "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" a piece that is as human as it is moving. Likewise, it is also necessary to highlight the level distribution with the main voice of Antonio Banderas, in addition to other outstanding participations such as Salma Hayek, Harvey Guillen, Florence Pugh, Wagner Moura, among others.

Read also: Review of "The Fabelmans": A Wonderful Story about Family and Cinema

In Search of the Last Wish

Very few sequels manage to equal, and even surpass, their predecessors. "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" is a case in point. Powerful, funny and with unconventional animation for what Hollywood has accustomed us to, the film presents a risky proposal suitable for the whole family. The fear of death, of reality, and a tribute to life are elements that make the magic of this franchise exceed expectations.

The director's idea was not to give the audience a story full of laughter, but also to delve into different proposals. Terror is not disguised and goes directly with the fear generated by the antagonist. In turn, the comedy has a very ambiguous style, which ends up working perfectly. In the end, both details merge with an animation very much in the style of Japanese anime.

Time has taken its toll on Puss in Boots, and that makes him feel a deep fear. Despite being a legend, he contemplates his inevitable fate, downcast. But legends also die, even if they live many lives, and that is what Crawford wants to imply. The protagonist's adventurous spirit does not fade, and from there he ignores the words of his doctor, who advises him to hang up his boots before he loses his ninth and last life.

As expected, the cat decides to make the most of this last opportunity he has left to retire in style from his trade. From then on, a series of events are triggered that lead him to look for a magical star whose power is to grant a single wish. And it is that in this journey full of feats you will understand the powerful meaning of friendship and with it to value the small details of happiness.

The highest point of the film is in the action sequences, which in one way or another traces the anime style and also combines 2D and 3D animation. This goes hand in hand with the message it conveys, since it intelligently touches on themes that have been little explored in feature films aimed at children. In the end, death comes to all equally.

In addition to a character already known as Kitty Softpaws, another character that manages to strike a chord with the Cat is added to the journey: Dog. Talkative like no other, this hound continues to maintain his good heart despite having been abandoned, something that will play in favor of the protagonist when he seeks his redemption. The irrationality of his faith is the perfect opposition to the terror of death.

For his part, the bounty hunter Wolf is arguably the best villain in the entire franchise. It is omnipresent, it smells the fear of others and scares like nobody else. And it is that it is logical that it generates all that when it comes to the representation of death itself, of the grim reaper, the one that is behind the last life of the Cat. In other words, it is that terror that shakes the courage of the protagonist.

In the end, even the predictability of the film will leave a good taste in the mouth. Certainly, "Puss in Boots" will have his happy ending and save himself again, but he will do so by making unusual decisions and taking the most difficult path. That will make him understand that immortality is just an illusion and that life must be lived to the fullest, facing it with his head held high, taking risks, and looking at the beauty and cruelty of reality as it is.

Worthy of an Oscar Award?

The end of "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" is not only full of nostalgia, but also of expectations for a possible next installment of "Shrek", since the viewers will recognize, in the end, the reference to a country that we have already known: Far Far Away. Will it be a door that will open DreamWorks again? And the idea does not seem so far-fetched if we remember that Disney Pixar will do something similar with several of its titles.

As for Crawford's film, critics have been able to praise it. "It offers a light-hearted tale of appreciating the nine lives we already have," says IndieWire. While, The Hollywood Reporter gives greater credit to Antonio Banderas' staging: "he plunges into the role and conveys all the exaggerated feline softness of the character."

The truth of the matter is that "Puss in Boots: the Last Wish" was already among the nominees for Best Animated Film at the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards. However, the real great battle of our feline in boots is against Guillermo del Toro's “Pinocchio”, which is also set to win the category award at the upcoming Oscars.