The Legend: Puss in Boots


Marina Martinez

One of the most iconic parts of Puss’ character was his begging eyes. It then became a popular meme ever since he first appeared in Shrek 2.

Spoiler disclaimer: I’ve seen him in every Shrek movie he appears in, seen him in holiday specials, watched his first movie and even saw his Netflix series. Ever since his first appearance, Puss in Boots has been a comfort character throughout my childhood. Hearing the news of him getting a new movie had me extremely excited.

The story follows Puss on his last life, trying to get to the Wishing Star to earn his lives back. He is joined by Kitty Softpaws, who was present in the first movie, and Perrito, a new character that brings an optimistic point of view to the team. Together they race against Jack Horner, a pastry-making crime lord, and Goldilocks, with her three-bear crime family, to the Wishing Star. The Wishing Star is heard in many fairy tales to grant wishes, mainly seen in quite a few Disney movies. I loved how they used this concept, that the first person to get there and recite the rhyme will get one wish.

An aspect I really loved in this movie was the main characters speaking Spanish and having accents. Puss being bilingual, speaking Spanish and English was one of the main reasons I absolutely loved him as a kid as I grew up speaking both languages. In this movie, it’s not just Puss though. Kitty, Perrito and Death all spoke Spanish throughout the movie. This made the movie even more entertaining, and the way they switched between Spanish and English for certain phrases was relatable to how I speak sometimes.

Furthermore, the comedy in this movie is amazing. Even my older relatives that prefer to not watch animated movies were cackling in the background. Certain words are bleeped, and I mean the literal bleep sound, or cut off to be censored for unknowing children, but for adults it was wonderful. Overall, the humor in this movie is really genius, and I even quote it from time to time.

The character that brought most of the humor was definitely Perrito. I loved his character as an unlikely addition to Kitty and Puss. He definitely brought the optimistic energy the team needed, as Puss and Kitty both have problems trusting others. Though they both didn’t trust him at first, Kitty and Puss undoubtedly loved him by the end of the movie.

On the topic of love, ever since Kitty was introduced, avid watchers of Puss in Boots knew there was chemistry between the two characters. It’s revealed in the movie how they were set to get married, but Puss ran away, leaving Kitty at the altar. I loved their relationship very much and was ecstatic to see it be confirmed. Throughout the movie they do have cute scenes together, and Puss eventually confronted their situation, eventually leading them to open up again.

The antagonists in this movie were just right. Each of them was a branch of villain that have been seen in separate movies but seeing them all together is something that just works so well.

Goldilocks and the three bears were probably my favorites though. Their dynamic was so sweet, and when Goldilocks’s wish was finally revealed, it pulled my heartstrings to the point of tears. In the movie, Goldilocks follows the traditional fairy tale but is eventually adopted by the bears. Her wish, though, is to have a normal human family. It’s something I think is very present in families that adopt. The children may sometimes feel as if they don’t fit in, and they need a family that matches them. This makes Goldilocks’s character quite sympathetic, and once she finally realizes what she wants she already has, it makes one of the sweetest parts of the movie.

Jack Horner is straight-up a horrible person, which is actually very refreshing. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a villain who has been bad from the start and is completely irredeemable. I liked him for his comedy factor, as most of his scenes that show him being terrible are hilarious. I guess one can call him the true villain since he is the only one completely against the protagonists the whole movie.

The third and last antagonist is the mysterious wolf, who is later revealed to be the literal personification of death in the fairy tale world. I loved this reveal because of all the effective foreshadowing you notice throughout the beginning of the movie. Death really is what gave Puss more character development in this movie as he made Puss express his true fear, which was Death. To have the embodiment of your fear following you is terrifying, and I feel the way they portrayed that with Puss in this movie was spectacular.

Puss is running away from Death most of the movie. Throughout his journey, he goes from someone who was considered fearless to someone who is brave and faces their fear.

On the run from death, Puss experiences anxiety and eventually a panic attack.

The panic attack really took me off guard, as it isn’t something that is seen in animated media, but it was a great scene that was handled perfectly. Many people with anxiety, or other conditions that produce panic attacks, could see this scene and relate. It can be very impactful to have representation on what people are going through, and this scene, the way they wrote anxiety as a whole, was perfect.

Perrito even comforted him the way therapy dogs, which he is striving to be, comfort people through these experiences. Once Puss calms down, instead of trying to change the topic, he opens up to Perrito. He talks about his worries, thoughts on how he treated Kitty and about being on his last life. It felt like a very real moment that really ties into how anxiety affects Puss.

The animation is on a completely different level from anything seen in other movies in the Shrek universe. Just like “The Bad Guys” and “Into The Spiderverse,” the art style is a mix of 3D and 2D, resulting in beautiful contrasts which contribute to the artistry of the film. The characters all have this painted feel to them and seem more stylized than the last “Puss in Boots” movie. They don’t feel like a weird version of 3D realism that has been seen in the first movie. I really hope DreamWorks continues to work with this style, as it is the perfect mix of the two main forms of animation.

The fight scenes in this movie were probably the second best thing after the style. The choreography never gets boring, and every character’s different fighting styles adds to the excitement. I also noticed how the fights were in a slower frame rate, having a sort of stop-motion feel. I really like how it made certain parts of a fight kind of “pop,” in a sense that they leave a bigger impact.

All of the art in this movie is something that looks straight out of a painting, and I love it. It was definitely one of the driving urges to watch the movie, apart from Puss himself.

Even though this movie is about a talking cat that wears boots, it is very centered around how anxiety can affect someone, especially someone who feels like they need to live up to a certain reputation. I think it gives important advice about how to deal with your fears by not trying to take shortcuts, not running away, and facing them head on.