Jessica Wolfgang ’25, Staff Writer

The Ultimate Race (Avatar vs Puss in Boots Last Wish):

Since the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, society has witnessed the greatest sequels to hit theaters: Avatar: The Way of Water and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Viewers are debating whether Puss in Boots: The Last Wish tops all sequels including that of Avatar. Avatar’s sequel received a rating of roughly 77% and Puss in Boots received a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes’ website. But why do people rate this sequel so high? What makes this sequel in particular so great as compared to others?

The Story of Puss in Boots:

Puss in Boots, a character seen throughout the Shrek franchise, is an iconic orange cat who happens to wear a feathered hat, cape, a belt, and of course, BOOTS. With this character gaining popularity throughout the Shrek series, DreamWorks Animation felt a need to give Puss his own movie and story: Puss in Boots, released in 2011.

Puss in Boots explains Puss’s story and how he came to be a legend in the hearts of many. Long story short, Puss was an orphan adopted by Mama Imelda, a nice, lovely, but fierce woman, who owned an orphanage in San Ricardo. In the duration of his time at the orphanage, he became friends with a literal egg, you guessed it, Humpty Dumpty. The two form a close connection, comparable to that of brothers. Unfortunately, like all siblings, the two bicker even though they love each other. Humpty Dumpty wants a life of crime, but Puss wants a hero’s life.

Due to Humpty Dumpty making a variety of troubles for Puss, Puss earns both titles: hero, and outlaw. By the end of the movie, he is viewed as a legend by all. His legend continues throughout the Shrek franchise. But what happens if the Legend comes to an end?

Evolution of Beloved Hero: 

Not long into the movie, it is noted that Puss has let fame get to his head. The beloved legend quickly wipes through all nine of his lives until he is left with just one life to live. Puss has always claimed to NEVER have any fears, to laugh in the face of death, telling himself he is immortal. But what happens when he faces reality?

Even Heroes have Fears:

After spending 8 out of 9 lives arrogantly, believing he can escape death, he is confronted by actual Death, a big whitish gray wolf with red eyes, who wears a cape and carries two sickles. Death instills fear into this fearless hero, forcing Puss into early retirement. 

Thinking of a quick and easy solution, Puss wants to find a wishing star to wish for his lives back. However, Puss learns with the help of some new and familiar faces, he can get through his fears and enjoy his life while he has it.

Arguably the Best Villain Ever, Death … and Critics:

The character Death, is arguably the greatest DreamWorks villain of all time. With his scary appearance, chilling iconic whistle, and the relatability that death comes for us all, people are raving no one can beat or come close to this villain. 

Though he has his supporters, there are some, especially parents, that are claiming the film’s villain is too dark for children. However, besides the movie having some dark undertones, it ultimately still retains its humor and teaches everyone to value their life and live it to the fullest. It also happens to contain scenes of our beloved hero, Puss, representing what fear can do to us, for instance panic attacks and anxiety. Arguably, this teaches kids that even heroes have fears and we can turn to others in times of need. And most importantly, “Live your life and live it well.”

Saying Hello to Old Friends and to New Adventures: 

The movie itself contains various easter eggs, especially revolving around Death’s appearance as well as reference that there may be a 5th Shrek film coming! The movie ends with Puss and friends overlooking a sign that says “Far Far Away.” Fans are anxiously awaiting what happens next within the Shrek franchise. 

Best Movie Sequel?

Overall, the sequel has been loved in the hearts of many, due to familiar characters, various easter eggs, great connections between the Shrek merchandise, a new trendy art style, relatable themes, and arguably the best DreamWorks villain ever, Death. With all of these elements in place, it makes it very hard to dislike this film…… 

Unless you hate cats, then perhaps this isn’t the movie for you.