The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’: A view of fear, love, loss

An+illustration+of+an+anthropomorphic+ram+holding+a+soda%2C+surrounded+by+several+movie+theater+motifs%2C+like+a+bag+of+popcorn+and+some+film+strips.

Collegian | Madelyn Hendricks

Alex Prast

DJ Vicente, Staff Reporter

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is DreamWorks Animation’s newest addition to their catalogue of animated features and the direct sequel to “Puss in Boots” from 2011. The story wonderfully tells another tale of the titular feline while also depicting surprisingly grounded lessons about life, death and purpose.

The film takes place within DreamWorks’ own “Shrek” universe, indicated by the movie’s dry, witty humor, its consistent comical cynicism in the portrayal of fairy tale characters and a story that mirrors universal struggles of the human experience.

Ad

The film centers around the endearingly extravagant Puss in Boots’ (Antonio Banderas) quest in finding the eponymous “Last Wish.”

“Puss’ fear of death leaves him unable to see the value of his current life and the relationships he formed with those along the way.”

Puss himself sets off on his quest after realizing he has depleted eight of his nine lives due to his daring and often reckless escapades. While initially dismissive, a cat-and-wolf chase of mortality ensues from Puss’ very literal fear of death, brought to life by a vicious, red-eyed white wolf voiced by Wagner Moura.

The film’s portrayal of death as a looming, ever-present trauma to Puss is effective in its grounded depiction of someone dealing with their own mortality. Puss’ fear of death leaves him unable to see the value of his current life and the relationships he formed along the way.

The shockingly sweet and well-realized lesson in the value of life is carried by the other two tritagonists: an orphaned dog named Perrito (Harvey Guillén) as well as rival and old flame Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). The two bounce off Puss in humorous and surprisingly emotional banter as the three talk about their own wishes, their pasts and the fondness they grow for each other.

One strikingly touching moment arrives at the halfway point when Puss has a panic attack after a short run-in with the wolf. Perrito comforts Puss in a moment of vulnerability, unheard of from a character like Puss.

One subplot involves the interpersonal relationships between the antagonists of the Three Bears Crime Family: Goldilocks, voiced by Florence Pugh, and the three bears in her company: Papa Bear (Ray Winstone), Mama Bear (Olivia Colman) and Baby Bear (Samson Kayo).

The subplot deals with the ties of found family, portraying the character of Goldilocks as an orphan daughter to the three bears. It effectively weaves itself into Puss’ own conflict with a heavy emphasis on connection and family presence throughout the movie.

John Mulaney’s inclusion as Jack Horner is presented as a fun yet pure-evil villain whose character offsets his peers’ sympathetic backstories.

A main draw of “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is its newfound animation style, drawing viewers in with a more stylized painting-like approach in visuals that spruces up every frame. The characters are painted with beautiful brushstrokes, especially in wildly kinetic scenes, such as the movie’s introductory fight.

Ad

The industry-wide push to aim for more two-dimensional, computer-generated animation is largely in thanks to Sony Pictures Animation’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” from 2018, with its critical success owing much to its comic book-like visual style. 

The movie score, which was composed by Heitor Pereira, is another one of the film’s most notable qualities. Orchestral sweeps mixed with flamenco-style guitar and electronic beats make for an energetic and heartfelt soundtrack.

A persistent musical motif performed by Banderas is present throughout the film, beginning from the opening musical number and carrying itself throughout the movie in different moods and moments to create an emotional timeline for Puss’ growth.

Through it all, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” makes the landing with catlike precision through its dry humor, fairy tale cynicism and powerful emotional beats, giving this film a striking modern identity that harkens back to its universe’s roots.

Reach DJ Vicente at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @DeejMako.

Leave a Comment
Navigate Left
  • Courtesy of Democratic Socialists of America Fort Collins

    Arts and Entertainment

    Palestine Benefit Concert supports local families through art, music

  • Lit by red stage lights, a country musician in Western wear sings into a microphone while playing his guitar.

    Arts and Entertainment

    Gallery: RamFest takes a country twist with headlining band Midland

  • Lit by purple stage lights, three country musicians in Western wear, holding guitars, gather around one microphone.

    Arts and Entertainment

    RamFest takes a country twist with headlining band Midland

  • A performer wearing a black tank top, black tights and a pearl necklace struts across a stage in front of a projected image of Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    Arts and Entertainment

    ‘Rocky Horror’ cult following promises to take you on strange journey

  • Three performers sit with a fourth performer wearing a pearl necklace, black tank top, black garters and black boots sprawled across their laps.

    Arts and Entertainment

    Gallery: ‘Don’t dream it, be it’: ‘Rocky Horror’ continues to define cult classics

  • An illustration of four women sitting around a table with little drinks.

    Arts and Entertainment

    Women-led cult classics generate committed fandoms

  • An illustration of a hallway, viewed from behind the head of a child on a bike looking at two people standing farther down the hallway. The two people both wear a suit and top hat, one set in orange and the other light blue.

    Culture and Community

    These 3 iconic movies are Coloradans

  • A graphic of a ram with the phases of the moon around its head to the left of the words, Horoscopes by The Collegian, on a blue background of little constellations.

    Arts and Entertainment

    Horoscopes April 29 to May 5

  • An illustration of an anthropomorphic ram holding a soda, surrounded by several movie theater motifs, like a bag of popcorn and some film strips.

    Arts and Entertainment

    Revisiting the morbid fascination of ‘Re-Animator’

  • Two performers play on electric guitars while backlit by orange, yellow and pink stage lights.

    Arts and Entertainment

    Gallery: FoCoMX brings concert exposure to seasoned bands, newcomers

Navigate Right

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *