You may have noticed I’ve been waxing lyrical about the high quality of the Best Animated Film nominations at this year’s Oscars. Well, in an unlikely twist of ‘WTF’, that’s only going to continue with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Although I’ve been highly critical of Dreamworks’ standards in the past, there’s something absolutely masterful about this one that may have reinvigorated my faith in this animation studio.
A sequel to 2011’s Puss in Boots (yes, that was 12 years ago now), The Last Wish sees our favourite swashbuckling feline return with a dilemma. The thing is, he’s down to his last of nine lives due to the fact that he’s been so frivolous with the first eight. He sets out on a mystical journey to find ‘the last wish’ before his foes can. That way, he can restore his lives once more and start living his life without fear once again.
Firstly, I’m baffled. I thought everyone was trolling when they were giving this 5 star reviews. I’m speechless. Take my word for it: I’m being deadly serious when I say this is a fabulous movie.
Let’s preface this with one a question: have any of you actually watched Shrek recently? Like really watched it? Because let me tell you, the animation in that movie is really, really patchy. Don’t hate on me, go rewatch it and 9 out of 10 people will agree. But this? This is phenomenal. The camera angles, the depth of shot, the lighting, the sudden change in animation style to suit the tone of the scene… pretty much as close to perfect as you’ll get in an animated movie. It has Into the Spider-verse vibes in abundance, and though it’s not quite as exceptional as that film, it really has a bunch of visual creativity that we really should be hoping to see more of in the future.
So if everyone’s giving it 5 star reviews, why doesn’t this get 5 stars from me, you ask? In all honesty, the plot is pretty basic. Though every moment is a fun, entertaining watch, there’s not much going on that’s overtly memorable in the long run. There’s definitely some brilliant comedy scriptwriting and the majority of jokes are really well thought out and stick the landing, but I can’t say there’s a lot about the story that I’ll recall in a few days time.
Of course it’s worth mentioning that the voice cast do an excellent job, making it only more questionable why there’s still no Academy Award for best voice performance. Antonio Banderas leads the show with joy and Salma Hayek leans in to her comedic talent as his partner in crime. And don’t even talk to me about Goldilocks and the three bears. Inspired casting. You can look it up yourself.
There’s no doubt that Puss in Boots deserved the Oscar nomination… which is possibly the most surprising sentence I’ve written all year. The animation alone is far better than anything you’ll have seen from Dreamworks thus far. Believe the hype.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is currently screening in cinemas across the UK.
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