DreamWorks Animation succeeded in building its brand through the initial popularity of the Shrek franchise. While the entirety of the Shrek Cinematic Universe has earned the accolades of its first two entries, its most famous feline character's spin-off series has landed chiefly on its feet. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, with Antonio Banderas's signature rasp behind the swashbuckling orange tabby, has amplified the re-imagining of fairy tales through a grittier, visually stunning, and grounded narrative.
The dismissal of animation as a legitimate film genre is overlooked by a creative team dedicated to ensuring that Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is DreamWorks Animation's most memorable work to date, all while having a sincerely thoughtful story to fall back on. The intensity of Puss's pain and glory -while the heroic not-so-housecat copes with the understanding that he's on his ninth and final life - is sympathetically translated through immaculate animation. Sony Pictures Animation's Spicer-Man: Into the Spider-Verse broke grounds for the medium, and its influence can be seen in DreamWorks' greatly updated style without their need to soften their personal touch. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is bolstered with unconfinable energy that splashes across the screen, brought to life through a bold and witty voice cast (and even more interesting characters). G
The sequel to Puss in Boots is brimming with vibrancy and life. Its rich creativity has been scarce in 2022's animation slate, and even if the story's resolution may feel fairly predictable, the charming nature of the central journey and the simple-yet-effective message hammers morality into the film's purpose. While it's not surprising that Puss in Boots: The Last Wish treads into more adult conflicts, it was unexpected that one of the best metaphors for death in animation would be found in Wagner Mourna's chilling Wolf. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish echoes the sentiment that we are to make the most of the one life we're given, but not to take it too seriously. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish takes necessary risks without losing subscribing to the assumption that all sequels lose their luster. 8.5/10.