Why Is Everyone Raving About "Puss In Boots?"
2022 saw the release of dozens of highly anticipated and renowned films, but the one nobody saw coming was Dreamworks' Puss In Boots: The Last Wish. Dreamworks Animation has been consistently releasing movies for nearly three decades, but not since 2010's How to Train Your Dragon has a film garnered this much praise. But what exactly makes this movie so special? What has everybody clamoring for it to win Best Animated Feature? Let's find out...
The original Puss In Boots film came out in 2011 and was directed by Chris Miller, the sequel finds itself not only with a new director, but a whole new look. The animation has a new, distinctive style reminiscent of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, with a smaller frame rate that makes the film look like a series of storybook illustrations. This is extremely noticeable in the action scenes. It's clear that the original director was Bob Persichetti, creator of Spiderverse, before Joel Crawford took over. As a whole, the animation is gorgeous, with bright, saturated colors, fluid movements, and intriguing character design, the film is easily one of the best looking in Dreamworks' catalogue. The visuals are a lot more cartoony than the previous film, which could mean that Dreamworks finally got the memo that realistic animation doesn't mean "good animation. The Last Wish fully embraces what it is, a fairy tale, and that's what makes it such a strong film.
In terms of voice cast, The Last Wish is as star-studded as they come. With players like Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, and John Mulaney, with other extraordinary performances by Harvey Guillén and Wagner Moura. It's definitely one of the strongest voice casts I've seen in a long while.
The Last Wish is primarily a film for children like Dreamworks' other projects but there is a surprising amount of adult humor for all ages to enjoy. It caught me off guard but it's clear that Joel Crawford had all audiences in mind when making this film.
Of course, Puss In Boots: The Last Wish has stellar animation, comedy, and voice acting, the aspect that has everybody raving is the storyline. You see, this is not just a run-of-the-mill kids movie. The main antagonist isn't really some monster or comedic villain, it's death itself. In the film, Puss In Boots is a notoriously "fearless hero" but the thing that never fails to terrify him is his own mortality, After all, a cat only has nine lives, and Puss is on his last, if he's not careful, he's done. Throughout the film, we see the protagonist jump through hoops, take detours, and try everything possible to make sure that death never catches him. Even though The Last Wish is a fantasy film with talking animals, fairytale creatures, and magical forests, it's also surprisingly rooted in reality. Coming face-t0-face with your own mortality is a terrifying thing, for some it is their biggest fear, but trying to outrun death will always prove futile. It's definitely a risk to make a family movie with such a dark storyline but it paid off immensely.
The Last Wish also includes a powerful message of being in tune with one's emotions. There's even a scene where Puss has a panic attack and relies on his friend to be a therapy dog. In addition to that, there's a very heavy subplot about chosen family and being happy with what you've been given in life. Overall, it's a very important message for young audiences to take in, and I commend the cast and crew at Dreamworks for taking risks and thinking outside the box.
All-in-all, I'm pleased to say that Puss In Boots: The Last Wish is an astonishingly good piece of animation and is definitely worth the hype and praise it has been reciving these past two months. It delivers not only stunning visuals, great performances, and humor, but an important message that will resonate with audiences everywhere. Needless to say, I'm excited to see what Dreamworks accomplishes next.