I recall the first time I experienced an anxiety attack. It feels like your throat is contracting as you try to take a breath and stop your heart from racing. In Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, an important scene deals with the matter of anxiety. Furthermore, the film continues to create great storylines and complex new characters, as Joel Crawford’s animation touches upon the themes of friendship, fear, and the fragility of life. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a beautiful, magical journey filled with well-constructed characters and touching scenes.
It’s widely known that cats have nine lives — that includes the legendary Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), a singer, a performer, and a wanted felon. But what happens if all lives are gone? As the central character realizes he is in his final lifetime, he prepares to travel to the legendary wishing star that once fell to Earth. The fearless feline joins forces with a kindhearted dog, Perro (Harvey Guiillén), and Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek Pinault) to retrieve the map that leads to their destination. The group of misfits race against time and against others, including Goldilocks, aka Goldi (Florence Pugh), her Bear family, and a pie-eating, creature-terrorizing, spoiled Jack Horner (John Mulaney).
From the moment Puss in Boots: The Last Wish starts, there is no place for boredom. Each scene flows perfectly as the lovable trio leads us on an adventure served with laughter, pursuits, and moving moments. Following the plot, it’s difficult not to be impressed by the outstanding graphic design. Each element is intricately planned, and the colors complement each other well while illustrating the adventures of the characters. This is especially evident in one of the scenes where the characters attempt to read the map to the wishing star, which transforms depending on who holds it. The creators quickly transition from the colorful fields full of flowers and nature (Perro’s path) to, for instance, a dangerous-looking world of burning lava and darkness (Puss in Boots, of course). This treatment may be applicable in real life, depicting the differences between people, our diverse personalities, and how our past individually influences our future.
If it’s not the awe-inspiring graphic design, it’s the lawyered storyline that dazzles, especially with its great character development. As Puss enters his final life, the creators address the issue of death and the fragility of life. They demonstrate how easy it is to waste a life or a precious moment, not appreciating it. Not only does Banderas’ character have to worry about his life but also has to contend with his rivals. In addition, a mysterious, whistling wolf (Wagner Moura) starts to follow him on his perilous journey. The mysterious character intends to take Puss’s final life, which, the wolf believes, he won’t respect in any case. Puss is indisputably terrified of his fate for the first time in perhaps ever, as the director highlights that fear isn’t a weakness and that sometimes we need a loved one to comfort and uplift us. Additionally, Crawford incorporates the relatable subject of anxiety attacks into one of the film’s most moving scenes. The thought-provoking moment reveals that anxiety frequently accompanies fear, and they’re not mutually exclusive.
Solid voiceovers are certainly essential components of any successful animation. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish isn’t an exception, welcoming Banderas and Hayek Pinault back, whose characters’ former couple/now-broken-up dynamics add comedy to the multidimensional storyline. However, there is one character, in particular, that the audience isn’t ready for. Voiced by Harvey Guillén, Perro, also known as Perrito, is a clumsy, loving, and kind chihuahua who plays a crucial role in obtaining the wishing star. Guillén’s voice acting indicates that he poured his entire heart and soul into the character of the pup, who had never known love or affection yet is the most grateful animal that Puss ever met. Furthermore, the character serves as an excellent foil to the always pompous, self-absorbed Puss. In some ways, both characters complete one another—where the main character falls short, Perrito fills in. His innocence, incredible kindness, and ability to appreciate what one has may remind the audience that material goods can never replace friendship, family, and bonds between people.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is undoubtedly one of the best-animated films released this year. The newest DreamWorks production is an absolute must-see for viewers of all ages, whether you’re an adult or a kid. This wonderful tale, including touching voice performances, has the ability to fill one’s heart with magic while again spending time with legendary fairy tale characters. But the film’s true magic lies within its topics relating to real life that may provoke further exchanges on death, friendship, and family.