This review is spoiler-free.
It’s crazy to think that it’s been over a decade since we last ventured into the Shrek universe, apologies to anyone who now feels extremely old after reading that.
I am of the opinion that Shrek and Shrek 2 are up there with the greatest animated films of all time, the next two sequels were rather lacklustre and forgettable, and whilst Puss in Boots was an improvement, it still didn’t reach the heights of those earlier films. So, has the long hiatus done this franchise good? Without a shadow of a doubt, yes. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is the best film this franchise has produced since Shrek 2, and it’s the best animated film I have seen since 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. (If you know me, you’ll understand just how high that praise is.)
The premise of this film is a very simple one. After an unfortunate accident, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas, who doesn’t miss a beat and plays this role like he’s never been away) realises that he has now used up eight of his nine lives, now facing the reality of his mortality, Puss embarks on a journey to find the mythical Wishing Star, the only thing that is capable of restoring his lives. Along the way he meets friends new and old, and comes up against new enemies, including a terrifying wolf (Wagner Moura) that stalks him everywhere he goes, who will go down as one of the best animated villains ever to grace our screens.
The important thing about a simple plot like this is making the journey interesting. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish passes that test with flying colours. I had an absolute blast from start to finish with this one! It’s got great set pieces, it’s hilarious, it’s moving, it’s insanely good fun and it moves along at a pace that is, to quote one of the new characters, ‘just right’. This film has ditched the old animation style that you will remember from the previous films in the franchise in favour of a new style that fans of Into the Spider-Verse will undoubtedly recognise. It might take you a few minutes to adjust and get used to it, but this new style is a benefit and really helps to capture that fairy-tale tone which is so prominent in the franchise. Every shot of this film is gorgeous, bursting with incredible detail and vibrant colours, it is a marvel to behold and a feast for the eyes. It makes the film feel more magical and elevates the overall product as a result, I would be shocked if anyone was calling for the return of the old style by the time the credits roll, because this is far superior.
If you can’t tell already, I adored this film, it gave me a sense of joy that reminded me of how I felt when I saw the first Shrek film when I was 7 years old. It’s perfect fun for all ages and has set the bar high for all future animated films, this is a true return to form for the Shrek franchise and I’m so glad they took their time with this one to make it as good as it could possibly be, a few years ago I was done with these characters and wasn’t really fussed if we never saw them again, but now I’m incredibly excited for the future and I hope all involved can continue to deliver this astounding high quality.
Get out there and see this movie, trust me, you won’t regret it. I can’t wait to buy this one in glorious 4K and watch it again and again!
I give Puss in Boots: The Last Wish a 9.5/10.