“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” Enchants Audience With Meaningful Sentiment


Photo/ Universal Photos

When searching for a lighthearted childhood movie to watch, films such as “Toy Story” or “Tangled” come to mind for many due to their whimsical storylines and ecstatic framework. This is, understandably, the bar set for most children’s movies—a low-impact climax that results in a happily ever after, creating the perfect hour and a half entertainment. Yet in recent years, productions have begun to inject metaphors and underlying messages into their scripts that give such films a deeper meaning and complexity, rather than just personified animalistic characters. An unexpected epitome of the recent uptaking, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” has attained much popularity, as it has captured the new standard of deeper meanings within children’s movies.

A long-time member of the “Shrek” storyline, Puss in Boots, was portrayed as the sarcastic swordsman tabby cat within the movie series. His movie “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” hit theaters for the third time on Dec. 23. The action-packed yet sentimental film geared towards children follows the plot of the outlaw Puss in Boots who discovers that he has wasted eight out of his nine granted lives. Viewers are pulled into his journey to search for a wishing star, said to have granted one wish to those who find it. Puss in Boots is determined to obtain this wish, and is met with a variety of friends and foes along the way. Although the movie is more focused on appealing towards children, people of all ages will enjoy this animation with its outstanding themes and graphics, action-packed scenes and a humor-filled script. 

Despite seeming to be a typical Dreamworks production, the movie brings forth more mature morals of not taking life for granted, trust and friendship exceptionally well—pushing the boundaries of typical children’s films. Throughout the movie, Puss in Boots competes with the antagonist the Big Bad Wolf who represents the idea of death as he seems to be pestering Puss at all times. Making death the antagonist of this film is a remarkable addition to the piece, as it portrays a force of nature that is unfortunately inevitable to all. Rather than desperately attempting to escape the works of death, Puss must learn to coexist with it and to not fear it. The feline learns the true meaning of life through his hopeful journey of revival as he regrets being so careless with his previous eight. All in all, the movie reveals to its viewers how life is not about the accomplishments one has achieved or what one has done with their time, but rather the people and memories that are met along the way. 

So, what makes this particular children’s film stand out from other releases? While the vivid animation and well-known fairytale characters encapsulate viewers, a new, deeper value has successfully connected with the audience—the vulnerability that Puss in Boots encounters when in the face of his worst fear. Thanks to the advantageous nine lives cats are granted, Puss has never completely embraced and welcomed fear into his previous thrilling lives, as he has escaped his own demise multiple times. Puss feels comfortable to take consequential risks without distress during his several lives, as he was aware that he ultimately would be granted yet another one. However, when Puss reaches the realization that he is experiencing his last life, anxiety overtakes him instantly. Death seems to be lurking in every corner of his life, so Puss decides that he must find a way to beat this inevitable force. Throughout the movie, Puss experiences panic attacks and stress-induced episodes, revealing to the viewers that he has finally caught up with his morality. Several viewers may relate to Puss’ struggles of anxiety and his fear of death, which supplies a deeper connection to its audience rather than the film serving purely for entertainment purposes. 

In all honesty, most anticipation was geared towards the assumption of a comical, simple and light-hearted script. However, the film incorporated mental health recognition with anxiety and paranoia, along with a considerable message to be grateful for often taken-for-granted lives, leaving viewers questioning their own morals. With its modern 2D and 3D animation, it’s evident that the film will continue to be a family favorite for quite some time as ratings continue to sky-rocket.