Outside of SHREK rides at Universal Studios, I was over this universe and glad that audiences thankfully had a break from the “kingdom of far away.” Yet, despite this franchise being on its ninth life, PUSS IN BOOTS returns with a glorious heartfelt western that had me smiling, laughing, and even afraid for what will come of our “favorite fearless hero.”
Using an animation style similar to INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, PUSS IN BOOTS plays with frames per second. This technique creates a lived-in world for its heroes. When our protagonist is afraid, the frame rate drops, and when he confidently gets into a fight scene, it speeds up. This impressive style choice is why the film works visually, yet it also works because:
- The Characters – From our title character, Puss, to Kitty Softpaws, each hero has a unique past and journey for them to face that’s instantly relatable for audiences. Yet, the film’s villains and sole comedic sidekick have all the fun. Especially Wagner Moura as The Big Bad Wolf and Harvey Guillén as Perro. Good luck getting The Big Bad Wolf’s menacing red eyes and frightful whistle out of your head.
- The Theme – I can’t believe I’m saying this, but PUSS IN BOOTS had something original to say about mortality. There have been a lot of family-friendly films that capture death this past year, like WAKANDA FOREVER and PINNOCHIO. Yet, I never thought a cat in boots would provide the most frightful version of death. It’s all boldly done and has some moments that might scare kids.
THE LAST WISH is the best animated Dreamworks movie in three years (previously held by HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD).
It’s currently available in theatres.