Review for Puss ‘n Boots: The Last Wish

30 Jan

The first movie I’ve seen in a theatre in about three years: of course it’s an animated feature.

 I didn’t see Shrek when it came out but when it came out on VHS (I belieeeeeve Shrek came out in 2001. Yeah, VHS and Blockbuster; I was there 3000 years ago, Gandalf…) I remember seeing Shrek 2 in theatres, and enjoying it so much I went twice. It remains one of my favourite comedy movies to this day, the people involved went extra when they didn’t have to. I mostly didn’t like the third movie, didn’t bother with the fourth, and wasn’t a cat owner at the time the original Puss N Boots spin off came out. I saw it when someone loaned me the movie when I was up in McCreary (no cable – all I had was what I could rent or people would loan me and I was broke, so I took what I could and was stuck doing On Call), and it was okay – a little more family friendly than Dreamworks films I tend to enjoy, like Megamind but, I also haven’t seen the vast majority of their line up. Parts of Trolls and How to Train your Dragon, sure – you have to remember while I have nieces and nephews and will buy them stuff about the movie, I can go a long time trying to piece together clips I see here and there when I’m hanging out with family. I tend towards more indie and weird animation.

 I wanted to see The Last Wish because the fight animation looked boss and you probably know by now that I love animation. The faces of the people in the background have really improved too – granted we’ve come a long way since the original movies came out but the people look well animated and the general colors were great, even when someone was meant to be ugly like Jack Horner. I was in no rush to see the film and then I heard that the villains weren’t the usual sympathetic complicated sort, and I got interested in seeing that the story deals with fear and anxiety, and how to deal with it. Also, am working on fight choreography for Puppeteers – oh, I’m sorry, we have a name now – you can read it at the end of this post, back to the review.

My professional focus is on dealing with PTSD and that’s not what this is, as Puss is on his last life and Death is Literally coming after him, and he has to deal with the fear for his own life. He goes from being unstoppable and arrogant with the realization that death is an unstoppable force and Puss is not invincible or as spectacular as he thought he was. This leads to him sinking into depression and an identity crisis, even when he goes back to his old life he realizes he’s changed.

Overall the colors are really pretty and the vast majority of the designs are great. When the story goes extra, it really does. Overall the story is mostly family friendly – I’ll have to watch it with some of the younger nieces and see if they get overly scared when the wolf shows up. I figured I knew the ending already – and I was sort of right, but it didn’t happen the way I expected. The story, is that there’s a dark forest with a wishing star, and you need a map to get it and get that wish. It’s a race to find out who will get what it is they desire most, like I said mostly family friendly but it does push the boundaries and there’s some minor naughty language, one of the points I burst out laughing was when the heart of the movie, Purrito, starts getting bleeped out. It’s the nicest cussing out I’ve ever seen.

Personally I thought the Jack Horner bits were hitting close to home for my style of writing, especially when the good impression of a bad impression of George Bailey shows up in the form of his conscience. (Baby, unicorn horns. Aaaaaah – if you read The Mermaid and the Unicorns, you can probably guess why it’s doubly funny for me) Honestly, I found that the parts with Puss, Kitty and Perrito were the family and nice bits, I enjoyed hanging out with the other antagonists, be it Goldie and the Bears or Jack Horner basically being evil and not bothering to give any reason other than because. In an era of Grey Villains and relative morality, thank you. In an era where we’re all cynical and trying to be edgy, Perrito’s unyielding cheerfulness is a reminder that no matter what bad things happen, happiness and joy remains a choice and not a matter of what circumstances occur to you in life. Parts are cheesy but ultimately, given the tone of the story, it works. At one point, Perrito calms down Puss by being present, and I find when I’m dealing with people going through crisis, empathy is an incredibly powerful tool.

It’s not Shrek 2, but it’s definitely one of the best titles in that line up. If you’re on the fence, go see it. I am hesitant to take younger kids to see it, but I honestly never thought the Shrek Franchise was originally intended for small kids like Pixar films.

In other news, it’s really cold out there. Something like -40 with the windchill. Sounds like a good day to do some baking and work on A Ballad of Wood and Strings, Official Title until I change my mind.

Titles are funny for me; Tower of Obsidian was “Historical Fantasy in Ireland” until about halfway whereas I came up with Dreams of Mariposa relatively quickly, but at the time I think I was too busy for working on the book for long periods of time, so when I had to go do real work I would day dream and come up with ideas. Some projects are on the back burner of my mind for a very long time, so it’s easy for me to come up with a title while they’re waiting their turn. A Ballad of Wood and Strings is the first book for The Puppet Master Duology, again I don’t know if this’ll be Master of Puppets or Trickster. A bit of a mouthful and not sure it’ll stick, but I have the sneaky suspicion I’ll keep working on the project and refining. It’ll still need work and when I go back I sometimes am appalled at what I thought was great yesterday, but it’s all part of the process.


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