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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

More than a decade has passed since DreamWorks blessed us with the first Puss in Boots film. Now, in 2023, we’ve been presented with a sequel – one that I didn’t ask for, sure, but one that I bought tickets to see in the cinema nonetheless. After all, this was the film that topped the UK-Ireland box office over Avatar: The Way of Water, an epic blockbuster that was supposedly ten years in the making. So, I had to find out for myself: what made this film so great?

This new portrayal of the beloved feline shows him older, slower, and down-on-his-luck: after a lifetime of reckless adventures and arrogant risk-taking, Puss is down to his final life out the nine that he was born with. With the literal manifestation of death following him in eerie sing-song appearances whenever he gets involved in his usual dangerous antics, he embarks on a mission to restore all his lives by obtaining a magic wishing star. His sidekicks consist of the goofy chihuahua, Perrito (basically Donkey from Shrek), and Kitty Softpaws (every female movie assassin/seductress ever).

We are presented with an anxious, panicky Puss in Boots that is vastly different to the first film and had we not seen this formula before, I may have found it fascinating. But the ‘what if the cocky, beloved hero was vulnerable?’ trope has already been famously used with the likes of Tony Stark in Iron Man 3 (although it’s worth mentioning that Stark is considerably less fluffy and cute in moments of distress). The fearless womaniser faces the consequences of their actions for the first time ever and undergoes a personal reevaluation – very predictable. So is the conclusion as well, in which no one has their wish granted and the star is simply destroyed, because they have already found their wishes within the people around them. But I’ll let it slide, since the film is just a bit of fun.

In my opinion, the reason Puss in Boots (2011) shined so much as a character was because of the very traits that this new film attempts to ‘correct’: the point was that he was a mischievous, blasé outlaw. What’s wrong with enjoying a silly little story about a silly little Robin Hood-like cat? Moreover, another aspect of The Last Wish that disappointed was the ending, in which the three friends are seen to sail a ship to the Kingdom of Far Far Away which is the kingdom in the universe of the Shrek franchise. This felt like essentially a set up for another possible Shrek film. How did they manage to Marvel-ise Puss in Boots?All in all, if I ignore the critical opinions that pervade my brain out of habit, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is just a funny and cute film to enjoy. The action scenes were certainly entertaining in true Puss in Boots style, particularly the slight changes in animation. I’m sure for a kid who didn’t grow up watching the first film, the splurge of rainbow colours and quirky characters that bombard the screen would be enough to long for another sequel. And I mean, who doesn’t love cats (or dogs)?

Written by: Uta Tsukada-Bright

Edited by: Harsheni Maniarasan

I'm a second year English Literature with Creative Writing student. Also a cat and plant lover :)