Before I begin, I should mention that I haven’t seen the first Puss in Boots (or any of the Shrek sequels, for that matter), so The Last Wish was my first exposure to this character. However, despite that, I had no problem getting into the film and found the character work surprisingly compelling. I can see people describing the narrative as simple, but sometimes a basic story told well is enough, as it was here.
I was also pleasantly surprised at how the film tackled some remarkably mature ideas, like our protagonist’s eventual acceptance of his own mortality. Many people (both within and outside the film industry) have the harmful misconception that animated movies are just for children and therefore a lesser art form. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is an excellent example of how wrong that assumption can be. To be clear, it’s by no means an “adult” film but it has enough depth to appeal to all ages.
Without hyperbole, I can confidently say that Puss in Boots: The Last Wish contains some of the most beautiful animation I’ve ever seen put to screen. The film’s visual style is reminiscent of the similarly stunning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). Every action sequence oozes passion and creativity. From a purely technical perspective, the animation is practically perfect. Every texture is insanely well-detailed, and the lighting is amazingly realistic – it’s astounding just how good computer-generated animation can be these days. After seeing his work here, I’m excited to see what director Joel Crawford does next.
Antonio Banderas never fails to impress, whatever the project. Even when Puss in Boots is at his most arrogant, Banderas manages to keep the character likeable and charming. The film was pretty funny too, and a lot of the credit for that was due to the cast’s excellent vocal performances.
Overall, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is one of the finest animated movies in recent years. It's a shining example of what’s possible in animation, with every frame meticulously crafted to take advantage of the medium. Running at only 103 minutes, the film flew by and never outstayed its welcome – to me, it felt no longer than an hour. If you can, definitely check this movie out, even if you haven’t seen the first one. I guarantee you’ll have a great time! 4/5