Why Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is Such a Hit

Daniel S. Lee, Staff Writer

As soon as the movie started, I was hit with nostalgia as Puss took on a giant monster to save a town from destruction. I remember watching the orange cat defeat his enemies with style and grace as a kid, and experiencing that same sense of excitement made me really happy. I’m sure many other people my age felt the same way while watching, being brought back to their childhoods and seeing Puss in action again. After twelve long years, we finally got the sequel. The release of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish haspeople of all ages excited.  Everyone around me has had nothing but positive things to say about the movie. Even the IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes ratings, 7.9/10 and 95% respectively, reflect the world’s reaction towards this film. In fact, the movie has better ratings than Avatar: The Way of Water, a highly anticipated film that was also released in December of 2022, with an IMDb rating of 7.8/10 and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 76%. But why is it that Puss in Boots this movie was such a hit? Isn’t it just a kid’s movie? The reason I believe the movie was so successful is because of its sense of nostalgia, its great storyline, and its universally relatable characters.. 

The storyline was interesting to follow, not just some nonsensical story made to entertain kids. Different characters with strikingly different motives fight to reach the Wishing Star, a magical star that can grant any wish to the person who finds it. Each character has their own internal struggles that drive them, and along the journey, Puss also made new friends, while reacquainting with his love interest Kitty Softpaws, The graphics and action scenes in the movie are really clean, and the colorful and fantastical landscapes made it very enjoyable. 

My favorite part of the movie was the different characters’ reasons for seeking the wishing star, and how each character developed throughout the movie to teach important lessons to the viewers. One of the characters, Goldi, took her family along on her journey to reach the star. Little did they know that her wish was to get a new family, which she felt guilty about deep down. In the final showdown to make the wish, she has to choose between saving her brother and making the wish. Goldi realizes that her family is “just right” for her after all and saves her brother. 

Another character that played an important role in the film was Perrito, a little dog that joins Puss and Softpaws on their journey. Although he was abandoned being the runt of his litter, he always stays optimistic and shows Puss and Softpaws how to trust and rely on others. In return, all Perrito wanted was a friend, and he most obviously found that in Puss and Softpaws throughout the film. 

Kitty Softpaws also makes a return in this movie, and we learn that Puss abandoned her at the altar, just when she had finally learned to trust someone. The wish she wants to make is to find someone she can truly trust and argues with Puss throughout their adventure about who will get the wish. She eventually learns that Puss has changed and they gain each other’s trust once again. 

And of course, there’s Puss, who, at the beginning of the film, realized that he was on his final life. He encounters “Death”, personified as a scary wolf resembling the grim reaper. After barely escaping with his life, he desperately tries to reach the Wishing Star to get his lives back. In the final standoff with Death, Puss realizes that he’s been running for his whole life and won’t do it anymore. The character development that Puss went through was both admirable and relatable, as I’m sure a lot of people can relate to constantly running away from their problems and finding the easy way out. He realizes that mortality and death are what makes life worth living, and it’s necessary in order for you to live in the moment and enjoy your life. Puss, who we once knew as an arrogant and egotistical cat, became an honest and true hero by the end of the journey. 

Going into this movie, I didn’t really expect much considering it was the sequel to a movie that entertained me as an elementary schooler. However, like many of my friends, I was blown away by the amazing storyline, incredible visuals, and all the important life lessons that it depicts through its characters. Overall, I would give Puss in Boots: The Last Wish an 8.7/10, and I really recommend people of any age to go enjoy it in theaters or at home.