“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” Review: An edgy yet heartwarming tale as old as time


DreamWorks Animation

Puss in Boots, Kitty Softpaws and Perrito the Dog set out on an adventure, in search of the Wishing Star. (DreamWorks Animation)

Spoiler warning! The article contains MAJOR spoilers for “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.”

Guitar! El Gato! Fireworks! “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” starts off with a big opening number befitting of an extravagant cat, appropriately introducing its main character Puss in Boots. Puss is a talking cat who is known for his boots that were gifted to him for his heroic actions. His reputation precedes him as a cat with nine lives who fears nothing, not even Death itself (foreshadowing).

Soon, Puss realizes he is down to his last life, and in order to gain more lives, he must hunt down a shooting star to make a wish. The movie follows Puss and his enemies, who each try to get to the shooting star first for their own life-changing wish. Each character displays an inner human feeling and leaves viewers rethinking their lives.

Puss spent his lives recklessly. He died in bar fights or by not being a proper gym bro and benching without a spotter. He realizes his fate when he receives the diagnosis that he is on his last life. His desperation to keep up his reputation leads him on a quest with Kitty Softpaws and Perrito the Dog as they are trailed by Goldilocks and the Three Bears, along with Jack Horner.

Soon, he meets the humanized (or more like wolf-ized) version of Death, who tells him that his time is up since he doesn’t want to wait for Puss to lose his last life. Puss goes into his personal bubble of looking out for himself after this horrid encounter, since he’s finally experiencing a feeling that he never even had a second thought about: fear.

When Puss finally has the star in his paws, he faces Death in a climactic one-on-one battle and admits that he will no longer run but fight until the end, rather than being careless and arrogant as he was before. This scene had us on the edge of our seats (or the edge of Brooke’s carpet since we watched it on her floor) and had us thinking there was no solution to this story. Puss was known for being a splinter in a finger, and there wasn’t any way that he would just admit defeat; he would fight to the end in a boastful manner, since that’s what he’s been doing since 2009.

But then, he didn’t. Puss made another realization: he was no longer fighting for himself, but his friends too. The comparison of himself from the beginning of the film versus the end gave us whiplash. How could a character develop so well into something better than before? Puss as a whole represents a journey of fear to acceptance, of learning to live in the future with not only yourself in mind.

Puss flies through the air. (DreamWorks Animation)

Kitty Softpaws is Puss’ ex-fiance. He left her at the altar on their big day due to his fear of having to move on to something that isn’t only about himself. When Kitty was a kid, her owners declawed her, leaving her with nothing to defend herself with. Puss leaving her added to this trauma and gave her major abandonment and trust issues. This gave her the motivation to also hunt down the shooting star to wish for someone to trust and confide in.

The dilemma started when Puss omitted the fact that he was in his last life to still try and fake his way into being the strong and nearly immortal cat he once was. Kitty fought and was clear about betraying Puss for the wish, as she yearned to have someone to trust again. We screamed at the screen, begging for Kitty to see that she didn’t need the wish since she already had Puss, but that would be hard to prove, due to everything that happened.

After Puss has his duel with Death, he tells Kitty, “One life spent with you is all that I could wish for.”

The raw emotion that was generated by two talking cats had two teenagers crying on the floor of a random home in Houston. This moment opened Kitty’s eyes to see that she did have someone to trust and confide in.

Whereas Puss was stuck on the future, Kitty was stuck in the past. Kitty also went through character development and broke down her trauma-induced boundaries to grow new limits. She taught us that staying stuck in the past can affect our present without ever solving the core problem.

Kitty Softpaws making her first entrance in the first Puss in Boots movie. (Dreamworks)

Perrito, a little Chihuahua who is basically the embodiment of sunshine, makes friends with Puss at Mama Luna’s, who is essentially a crazy cat lady living in a house full of dependent felines. Perrito started off with no name and was usually referred to as “dog”, soon called “Perrito” by Puss as a placeholder. Perrito came from a traumatic childhood, which some might say was worse than Puss’s and Kitty’s: being chased away from home by his littermates, nearly being drowned by them, and then abandoned and left for dead. Perrito, however, didn’t let this stop him and believes that it was just a joke and a circumstance of life. He even wears the sock he was drowned in as a sweater and a reminder of the “good memories in the river.”

He uses his past to help others, since his dream is to be a therapy dog, even if he doesn’t have any proper training. When Puss faces Death and has a panic attack in the Dark Forest, Perrito’s hard training pays off. He comforts Puss by simply laying there for support, making a major impact on Puss’s mental stability in that moment, even without saying anything.

Perrito does not judge or shame anyone; he is simply about being in the moment and living life to the fullest extent, as compared to Puss, who has never lived any of his lives to the fullest extent or taken the time to truly enjoy them in a non-materialistic way. Perrito focuses on the present and has never had any regrets in his life. In a scene, Perrito made his way through fields while being chased, and yet he still stopped to smell the flowers, despite being hunted down by Puss’s enemies, who were also after the Wishing Star.

He is basically everything Kitty and Puss are missing. Throughout the story, it’s almost like all the character development was because of Perrito. Puss’s heart-to-heart with Perrito gave the cat the courage to apologize to Kitty. Perrito was, by far, our favorite character. He is the friend we all long for and he made us reflect on all of our relationships.

In the end, Perrito joins Puss’s and Kitty’s adventures as their best friend, something he has always longed to be. CVHS students are always rushing to find jobs or internships to help our resumes and our future, but Perrito teaches us that sometimes, it is perfectly fine to stop and smell the flowers. To let loose a little and take the scenic route.

Perrito the Dog enjoying the scenic route by stopping to smell the flowers. (Dreamworks)

The story is about appreciating the moment, something that all writers have been pushing for ever since they could get pen on paper. But for some reason, it actually works when Puss in Boots does it. Each of the three main characters represents an element of time: Puss is the future, Kitty is the past and Perrito is the present. The art ties together a story that flows effortlessly and deserves all the high expectations and hype. We recommend this movie to everyone: kids, teens and adults, since the message and story can reach anyone in a timeless manner.