Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a refreshing take on the animation industry

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is an amazing movie that keeps a great pace, juggles three villains, and still manages to handle interesting and complex themes.
The pace of Puss in Boots is fast enough to not waste the viewers time. The writers knew what they wanted for this movie and what the script should include, which was done concisely throughout the entire duration of the movie. Each time a section of the film began to get old, it would immediately transition into something new.
The main goal is never waived in the pursuit of meaningless side narrative; Puss needed the last wish to restore his nine lives. Puss has died eight times so far and with death on his tail, he didn’t have much time left.
Keeping the story moving along, Puss in Boots avoids the pitfalls of other movies. The main story telling device is the movie’s villains who keep Puss on his toes throughout the movie. Everytime something feels like it is missing, a bear, a wolf, or a psychopath shows up to rectify the situation.
Speaking of which, the movie’s villains are fantastic. The wolf, or better known as the embodiment of Death himself, is angry with Puss because he feels that he has wasted his eight lives, leading him to not deserve a ninth. This was shown to be true through a well put together montage. Death makes for a cold villain who always manages to pop up in unexpected places, becoming Puss only with a whistle.
The previously mentioned bear, or more accurately bears, refers to Goldielocks and the three bears. In this adaptation they seek to be a crime family and want the last wish to establish their success. Playing the role of the more sympathetic villain, the bears serve as your traditional relatable villain.
Finally is the irredeemable monster, Jack Horner. From the nursery rhyme Little Jack Horner is now Big Jack Horner. He hoards magic due to his resentment of other fairy tales getting more attention than him. While at first this seems sympathetic it’s quickly shown to be quite the opposite.
Throughout the movie, Jack Horner turns someone into solid gold, kills twenty of his own men, tries to literally kill his conscience, and threatens to shoot a puppy in the face. This man is an irredeemable monster and a menace to society.
Moving along to the actual plot the main catalyst for Puss is fear. He’s scared to die as one would expect, however, he’s supposed to be a fearless hero and in his mind, he’s a failure.
Puss needs the wish since he needs his eight extra lives to fall back on, because without them, he’s afraid. Afraid to fail, afraid to be another unremarkable cat, afraid he’ll leave someone on a bridge again.
Luckily, he has some friends to help him along the way. Perrito, a dog Puss meets while hiding away in an old woman’s home, is the most positive individual to walk the earth. Perrito dreams of being a therapy dog so he can help people a lot, and throughout the movie he helps Puss with his panic attacks.
Also tagging along is Kitty Soft Paws from the first movie; she’s slightly antagonistic towards Puss wanting the wish for herself, but still helps him out along the way for old times sake.
The animation is so natural that even ridiculous designs like Big Jack Horner work so well just because of how they’re presented. The movie also uses comic book design for specific moments, such as Into the Spiderverse.
The movie’s sound design also does wonders, especially for Death. The iconic whistle signifies when he’s near, Puss’ heart racing as he frantically searches for him, and even unfocussing the background scene just to draw attention to his presence.
The fear of death is a heavy topic for a PG animated film, but Puss in Boots handles it well. It’s compelling to see a usually flashy character genuinely contemplate his own death, and it accurately displays the desperation he has throughout the adventure.
This is juxtaposed with the short opening in which Puss throws caution to the wind as he fights guard, golems, ect. Then, after he dies for the eighth time in that same fight and has his first encounter with death, the tone drastically changes, going from a fearless hero to a frightened zero.
Throughout the movie, Puss learns that the main way to cope with the fear of death is to live a life you spent with the ones you love, not having regrets, and living everyday like it could be your last. That’s the real Beauty shown in Puss in Boots.