“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is dynamic family entertainment

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish - Official Trailer 3

The Shrek universe’s favorite feline anti-hero, Puss in Boots, faces an existential crisis in his second solo adventure, Joel Crawford’s. the last wish. Eleven years after the first side image of the orange tabby and the fifth inclusion in the Shrek film series, it still has it in impressive fashion.

I love when successful franchises feel comfortable enough to experiment with their themes and stories when they don’t have to worry about box office performance. by Peter Hewitt Bill and Ted’s fake trip (1991) was a clever metaphor for limbo and the afterlife, while the last wish is actually not very different. With one of the most colorful and exciting opening sequences I’ve seen in a while, Crawford’s animated fantasy might be one of the best animated efforts of 2022.

As we all know from the mythos, cats have nine lives, and our protagonist Puss (voiced as usual by Antonio Banderas) is told by a local animal doctor that he’s officially used eight of his wild lives as than vigilante on the run. . The doctor’s best advice is to consider retiring and becoming a “tower cat” for a nice older human.

Initially offended by the suggestion, Puss changes his mind when he has a run-in with a scary cloaked wolf (Wagner Moura) who is a little too aware of Puss’ mortality. Suddenly feeling vulnerable, the feline reunites with former flame Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and a misunderstood pup named Perro (Harvey Guillén) to find the certain star to make a legendary “last wish” for more lives.

Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone and Samson Kayo voice Goldilocks and the Three Bears, while John Mulaney delivers an Ed Wynn-style voice-over as “Big” Jack Horner, all of whom are also after The Last Wish . As someone who hasn’t seen a new animated family movie since probably the first Puss in Boots spinoff, but recently became an aunt, I now have a renewed appreciation for family entertainment.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish isn’t something super subversive or irreverent, but it’s fun and in the traditional fairy tale way. Puss and Kitty have great tongue-in-cheek camaraderie — you can tell Banderas and Hayek are having fun with their vocal performances. Pugh, Mulaney, and Moura are wonderfully sinister as villains.

There are token references to adult classics that parents will recognize, while vibrant hand-drawn faux animation for some sequences in the same vein as Sony’s Into the Spider-Verse (2018) encourage a fresh look.

Although I found Guillén’s Perro a little too reminiscent of Josh Gad’s Olaf in Disney’s Frozen (2013), the last wish would do great for families who love cats, Shrek-adjacent humor, and plenty of classic fairy tale references.

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