Finding inspiration in unexpected places

‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ teaches important life lessons

Although it may seem like a childish animated movie at first glance, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” the sequel to the 2011 movie “Puss in Boots,” dives into a wide array of meaningful topics. Released on Dec. 21, 2022, the movie utilizes both humor and heartfelt moments to teach valuable life lessons to its audience.

In the beginning of the film, Puss is introduced as a legend, proud of himself and his accomplishments and seen as a hero by people worldwide. However, when he is crushed by a giant bell, Puss realizes that he is on his eighth and final life, completely changing his outlook. Once extremely cocky and only valuing things like power, Puss becomes paranoid and values things like friendship instead, revealing the theme of the preciousness of life. While I find many other cartoon movies boring due to the lack of depth, this movie has a powerful storyline and draws me in. Oftentimes, I find myself too caught up with little things, failing to see the big picture and value the things that matter the most, which is why I related to the movie and found it especially entertaining to watch.

Despite their differences, Puss and Kitty Softpaws are able to rekindle their relationship, revealing the importance of friendship. (Photo from Dreamworks Animation)

Personally, my favorite character from the movie is Puss’s companion, Perrito. On the surface, Perrito is an adorable dog, full of energy and positivity. However, throughout the movie, he reveals that as a puppy, he was shoved into a rock-filled sock and thrown in a river.  After chewing himself out of the sock, Perrito claims he is happy to get a free sweater out of it. Despite living an incredibly hard life, Perrito still manages to see the beauty of life and the positive side of all situations, which is something I struggle with on a daily basis. As a result, the movie inspired me to see hardships with a more optimistic mindset.

First appearing in the movie “Shrek 2” in 2004, Puss was hired to kill Shrek by Princess Fiona’s father, displaying the same fierce personality he has in “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.” However, Puss was unsuccessful in his endeavors and used his cute stare to convince Shrek to bring him along on his journey; that same cute look appears several times in “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.” The fact that Puss, an incredibly cute and beloved character from “Shrek,” has an entire movie centered around him made “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” an automatic must-watch for me. Although Puss had similar characteristics between the two movies, I thought there weren’t enough callbacks from Shrek, which would’ve made “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” more entertaining to watch.

The movie’s animation style is both realistic and artistic, which fits the overall storyline. Full of famous fairytale characters such as Goldilocks and the three bears and Jack Horner, and mostly taking place in the dark forest — a place that’s, contrary to its name, very beautiful — the movie needed an animation style that would fit its fairy-tale-like aesthetic. However, the movie’s style also has a touch of realism, which brought its many fighting scenes to life. One specific instance is when Puss fights a giant at the beginning of the movie. In this scene, the textures of the characters are extremely detailed. For instance, the individual hairs on Puss’ fur and the moss on the giant are both visible, which helped bring the scene to life. Additionally, the dynamic camera angles used in the scene and the contrast between dark and light also made the scene more realistic.

Going in with the expectation that it would be a childish animated movie, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” completely surpassed my expectations with its many impactful themes. Full of both humorous scenes and heartfelt moments, the movie has a deep storyline, going above and beyond what I typically expect from an animated movie.