Wait, Puss in Boots is getting a new movie?


Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Aaron Frier, Contributor

On April 22, 2001, the world of cinema (and memes) changed forever when a green ogre burst out from his house in a swamp for the first time. As many have come to know, this ogre was the one and only Shrek.

Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Shrek was an instant success, as it quickly put Dreamworks on the map. The movie even won the very first Oscar for Best Animated Picture. From the movie’s success, a franchise was born that spawned sequels, spin-offs, and even a Broadway musical. Through these add-ons to the franchise, more characters were introduced.

The characters from Shrek are for the most part based on fairy tales. Puss in Boots made his debut as a new character to the franchise in Shrek 2. The character became popular enough to warrant a spin-off, with Puss in Boots releasing in 2011.

Eleven years later, the spin-off is getting a sequel of its own with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. The trailer for the new movie dropped on March 15, and with it several questions arose. So now I have to ask, why am I excited for this? If anything, what was so special about the original Puss in Boots? Does it even warrant a sequel?

The Trailer Itself

Trailers in general are meant to get people excited about movies. For many animated kids’ movies, you will see the editors put in what may end up being the funniest jokes in the movie. Editors will also put in aspects of the film that interest people, compelling them to come see the film on the big screen. Whether that be by story, animation, or characters, something has to pull viewers in. The trailer for Puss in Boots seems to balance that very well, as there are hints within it that indicate a movie worth watching.

For one, the comedy seems spot on, although many of the jokes tend to involve the titular tabby dying and gloating about his accolades. They killed off Puss in Boots not once, not twice, but eight whole times throughout this trailer. Many of the deaths have a comedic factor, ranging from a shellfish allergy to a sumo wrestling match gone wrong. Even the first death shown in the trailer, where Puss in Boots takes down a giant, is layered in irony and comedy as he gets crushed by a bell “Ernesto de la Cruz” style.

The voice acting is on point, with Antonio Banderas set to reprise his role as Puss in Boots. It has been 17 years since Banderas first voiced the character, and he remains consistent throughout. Salma Hayek returns as well as Kitty Softpaws, a feline thief from the first movie. Finally, the third most noticeable voice comes in the form of Goldilocks, a new character, who Florence Pugh of Midsommar will be lending her voice to.

Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Throughout the trailer, not much was revealed about the general story, but it seems to happen before Puss crosses paths with Shrek. The trailer indicates that Puss in Boots has used up eight out of his nine lives. Now that he is on his last one, he must find a way to restore them. With a subject like this, I expect emphasis on the meaning of life as Puss journeys to gain eight more lives. The stages of grief can also be put on display through the plot line.

One aspect of the trailer that I am completely interested in is the change in animation style. It is safe to say that this movie looks unlike anything that Dreamworks has put out before it. The style comes across as being similar to a story book with characters moving in the foreground with storybook-like backgrounds. In recent years, we have seen a surface of these styles with SpiderMan: Into the Spider-Verse and Mitchells vs. The Machines as shining examples. However, The Last Wish seems to have some differences that I am curious if Dreamworks will adopt from now on.

Finally, the energy of this movie is extremely fun. Between the animation and the catchy music, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the trailer. All these reasons tend to add up to why this movie holds great potential, but why is it even a thing in the first place?

Why the sequel?

The first Puss in Boots movie came out in 2011. All things considered that is a long turnaround for an animated movie spin-off sequel. In total the first movie grossed $555 million in the box office, considerably less than other Shrek movies, and for Dreamworks in general. So why warrant this sequel? Due to the animation change, I am inclined to look at it as a trial run of sorts. Dreamworks appears to be adjusting to be more innovative in how their future movies come out. Therefore, it would be good to test it on a pre-existing IP that will rope people into the theaters.

Dreamworks has another film that is coming out April 22, called The Bad Guys, that could potentially indicate the success of the Puss in Boots film. All in all, the movie is shaping out to be a wild ride at the very least, continuing the story of the world’s favorite swashbuckling gato. I look forward to seeing Puss in Boots: The Last Wish in theaters September 23, 2022.