A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids may pick up some words in Spanish if they don't already know them. From Perrito's model, they can learn the value of positive thinking and of supporting your friends.
Family is where you find it, who you make it. If we only have one life to live, we should make the most of it and surround ourselves with those we love. Fame can be lonely and its pursuit ultimately meaningless; true connections with others are more valuable.
Positive Role Models
Puss ultimately realizes how much he cares for others in his life and makes sacrifices for them. Kitty Softpaws sets resentment aside to rescue Puss and Perrito and work with them as a team. Perrito's positive outlook makes his life's path much easier; he's a good and loyal friend. Goldilocks and the bears seek out trouble but are a strong family unit. Jack Horner is a clear villain, but his backstory does attempt to give him some relatability.
Voice cast is led by Spanish and Latino actors (Banderas, Hayek, Guillén, etc.) who mix Spanish words and phrases into their dialogue and singing. Other lead characters are voiced by international actors, mostly from the United States, England, Brazil. A minor character (a woman who takes in stray cats) is Black. But "fat" is used as an insult, and Jack Horner's size/shape is suggested to be part of what makes him unappealing.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters face frequent threats, including death in the form of a scary assassin wolf. Puss is killed in an early scene but comes back to life because he's a cat. He then reviews the (comical) ways he was killed eight previous times (including being shot out of a cannon, being squashed by a heavy weight, falling from a significant height, etc.). Animated action sequences involve swords and knives, ominous journeys through menacing settings, fights, falls, explosions, fire, crashes, and so on. Jack Horner is cruel, intimidating, and quick to risk others' lives. One of his minions is eaten by a plant; his skeleton is shown. Puss has a panic attack.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Puss and Softpaws flirt and recall how they fell in love.
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"Hell," "crap," "wuss," "butt," "pooping," "idiot," "freaking," "stupid," "weird," "bull," "jerks," "fat" (as an insult), and words (seems like mostly "s--t") that are bleeped out. "Dingleberries" are mentioned.
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Products & Purchases
Part of the Puss in Boots and Shrek franchises, which come with a lot of off-screen merchandising.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one of his death scenes, Puss is staggeringly drunk (revisited via flashback a couple of times). Puss also laps up milk in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Puss in Boots: The Last Wish -- which centers on popular Shrek 2 character Puss in Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas) -- ratchets up the franchise's peril a notch. Puss is down to the last of his nine lives, and he's pursued throughout the movie by a creepy, whistling manifestation of death in the form of a wolf who wields two sharp crescent-shaped swords. In his pursuit of the mystical Last Wish, which could restore his squandered lives, Puss encounters a series of other menacing characters, ominous situations, and violent fights (with swords, knives, and other weapons). But he also learns lessons about the value of positive thinking, working with others, and prioritizing loved ones over selfish pursuits. The voice cast, led by a Spanish and Latino cast, peppers the dialogue with Spanish. Language includes "hell," "crap," "wuss," "butt," "pooping," "idiot," "freaking," "stupid," "weird," and some bleeped words. Puss is shown staggeringly drunk in a couple of scenes that are played for humor. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Shrek's charismatic cat buddy is back in fine form in this action-packed sequel. But Puss in Boots: The Last Wish might have done well to focus more on its characters, both familiar and new, and less on the nonstop action. The chase and fight scenes are visually impressive, but, narratively, they get old quickly. What doesn't get old is Puss' smug confidence in his feline fierceness and "fearless hero" status -- or adorable newcomer Perrito's innate goodness. It's almost a letdown when the fantabulous opening musical number gives way to a traditional chase and fight scene. The voice cast -- led by Banderas, love interest Hayek, and newcomer Guillén as the charming chihuahua -- is once again purr-fect. And the movie throws in quite a bit of Spanish in ways both natural (exclamations) and complementary (the soundtrack).
The music is one of the film's standout elements. Overseen by Brazilian composer Heitor Pereira, the soundtrack ranges from original pieces sung by Pereira and Banderas or Latin American stars like Gaby Moreno and Karol G to reworked classics, like a Spanish-infused version of The Doors' "The End" (Puss' own Apocalypse Now?). The story's blend of fairy tale characters can be a tad confusing -- menacing villain Jack Horner, a selfish Goldilocks sometimes confused for Bo Peep, and a big, bad wolf. It's part of the Shrek franchise's personality, but unrecognized characters could have functioned just as well and maybe have been less muddied, allowing even more focus on the fanciful felines. The reality is that many viewers will come for the cat -- and this latest adventure does assure that they'll stay for the cat.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.