Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Puss in Boots discovers that his passion for adventure has taken its toll: he has burnt through eight of his nine lives. With the help of old and new allies — and with some new foes in the way — Puss sets out on an epic journey to find the mythical Last Wish and restore his nine lives.

Eleven years after the first spin-off focusing on Puss in Boots was released, it wasn’t really necessary to continue or dive back into the franchise, but The Last Wish absolutely tops the first movie. Antonio Banderas is having a blast as a role that may at this point be as iconic to his name as Zorro, not to mention the characters bear plenty of similarities. Florence Pugh and John Mulaney also give the film so much with their voice performances, and Olivia Colman and Ray Winstone almost feel like they were born to voice Mama and Papa Bear, not to mention a menacing Wolf voiced by Wagner Moura. Unlike the more realistic animation of the first Puss in Boots, this blend of 3D animation with 2D coloring to create a storybook look feels reminiscent of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Mitchells vs the Machines, and The Bad Guys. Though the frame rate or 2D look of some shots occasionally distracts, the animation ultimately creates for a more colorful and visually impressive experience than the first movie, not to mention the well-paced and engaging action. The movie also pushes Puss to new places as a character — he’s forced to confront his pride, mortality, fears and motives and we feel like we’re watching the animated feline find some genuine growth by the end. But most importantly, its sweet, energetic, and playful intentions definitely translate to the final product, despite some overused jokes or themes that aren’t unfamiliar to animated films. It delivers a reward for families that exceeds expectations, and one of the year’s best animated films alongside films like Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Turning Red.

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