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“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” Review – Sophia Mirza, WCHS

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This is a spoiler free review of the newest DreamWorks film “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”.

Firstly, from the trailer alone viewers can see that the animation style of the film is unique from previous DreamWork productions, such as How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda. Where the old styles are much more realistic in visuals, the new style is much more vibrant and has a comic-book feel. Watching the film’s fight sequences in particular was surprisingly reminiscent of the  animated show Arcane (produced by Fortiche animation studio), with colourful and abstract impact frames that are like posters. All of the fights were incredibly well-choreographed right from the opening of the film, and the climax duel was like a Spaghetti Western mixed with the excitement of an action blockbuster.

Emotions are also perfectly conveyed by this animation style. As many can tell from the trailer and released scenes, Puss’s story this time revolves around who he really is beyond his legend and his new sense of aimlessness. This is a surprisingly profound message in a children’s film, but the visuals depict the emotions not only in a child-friendly way, but also in a very sensitive way. The contrast between how he is now and previous films was very interesting and a subtle comfort for anyone feeling like they have passed their peak.

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On a lighter note, the film itself is incredibly vibrant in almost every scene and the classic Shrek-like humour remains. What was really enjoyable was seeing old characters make a return, namely Kitty Softpaws. The playful but scathing relationship she has with Puss was very nostalgic, and new additions to the cast similarly don’t disappoint with how interesting and multi-dimensional they are. Goldilocks and the Three Bears were a highlight of the film, their specific family dynamic isn’t something commonly seen in film, and such impactful character arcs for minor characters of a film under two hours is even more rare and striking.

In addition to the sadness, there is of course the fear of Death. DreamWorks has a history of incredibly well-thought out villains, especially within the Kung-Fu Panda trilogy, famous for Tai Lung, Shen, and Kai. In Puss in Boots, the never-seen-before villain Death holds up to these standards. He is genuinely intimidating and driven. The signature eerie whistle (similar to the notorious Kill Bill whistle) makes him distinct – he is not a villain bent on violent destruction, he is inescapable and sinister, fitting for Death.

Dreamworks studio’s latest release has already been met with incredibly positive feedback, receiving 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, with almost 100% of viewers liking the film (according to Google Reviews). Overall, there are about a thousand reasons to watch the film, from its visuals to the story, highly, highly recommend.

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