Puss In Boots: The Last Wish: Release Date And Other Things We Know About The Animated Movie

Puss in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

It has been nearly 20 years since Antonio Banderas’ swashbuckling and death-defying Puss in Boots was introduced in 2002’s Shrek 2 and more than a decade since the feline assassin took to the screen in his first solo affair, but the beloved character is finally coming back to the big screen. By the time the 2022 movie schedule wraps up in late December, audiences around the world will get to see the iconic animated cat and some of his closest friends return to theaters after all this time in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Before the latest movie from DreamWorks Animation Studios swoops in and sweeps us off our feet for another daring adventure, there are a few things you’ll probably want to know. Things like the release date, cast, story, and other details are all available, and we’ve put together a quick yet comprehensive guide containing all the pertinent information from the long-in-the-works sequel. Let’s take a look, shall we?

The Puss in Boots: The Last Wish logo

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish Premieres December 21st 

One of the final big fall 2022 movies to land in theaters, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is slated to make its big-screen debut on December 21st, just days after James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water arrives on the scene. In April 2022, Deadline revealed that the sequel to 2011’s Puss in Boots would release in December, taking the place of the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie, which has been pushed back to April 2023. Both films are being distributed by Universal Pictures.

There has been more than one release date for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, as the movie has been delayed several times since it was first given a 2018 debut. 

The Puss in Boots: The Last Wish cast

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing International; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Netflix)

Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, And Olivia Colman Lead The Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Cast

It is hard to imagine one of these movies without Antonio Banderas providing the voice of the titular feline and Salma Hayek returning as the fearless and nimble Kitty Softpaws, and luckily we don’t have to live in such a world. In March 2022, Deadline confirmed the casting of the first film’s two stars, as well as a whole roster of notable additions, including Olivia Colman, who will take on the role of Mama Bear. 

Other cast members include Don’t Worry Darling star Florence Pugh, who was announced to be a part of Marvel’s Thunderbolts cast in September 2022, as Goldilocks, and What We Do in the Shadows actor Harvey Guillén as a dog named Perro. The rest of the cast includes, Ray Winstone, John Mulaney, Anthony Mendez, Wagner Moura, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Samson Kayo.

Puss in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

It Follows The Titular Feline As He Attempts To Restore Eight Of His Nine Lives

In the past, Puss in Boots has pawed his nose at danger and didn’t give a second thought to his own mortality (due to having nine lives), but it will be a different story completely when we see him next. According to DreamWorks Animation’s official synopsis, the movie will center on the titular feline as he comes to the realization that he has wasted eight of his nine lives, and draws up a fantastical plan to get a refresh. This will see him venture to the Black Forest to find the legendary Wishing Star and get back what he has lost.

Kitty Softpaws and Puss in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish Will Have A Darker Tone Than Its Predecessor

The movies in the Shrek cinematic universe have always had more of an edge than most family-friendly animated films, but it sounds like this one will have an even darker tone compared to previous installments. During the 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, where DreamWorks Animation previewed the first 27 minutes of the upcoming movie, director Joel Crawford touched on that aspect when speaking with Variety, saying: 

There are darker tones in this. Puss is down to the last of his nine lives. He’s grappling with his mortality, his fear of death is the engine that drives the movie, and the Grimm fairy tales were a big inspiration [on that front].

The idea of releasing a dark and terrifying fantasy movie is nothing new for Hollywood, as titles like Pan’s Labyrinth, A Monster Calls, and Coraline have all dabbled in grim and somber tones in the past, so it shouldn’t be too much for younger audiences.

Puss in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

The Movie Will Pay Homage To Classic Spaghetti Westerns

In addition to featuring a darker story set in a fairy tale world, the tale will also feel like an old spaghetti western, as the director pointed out when speaking with SlashFilm in June 2022, saying he and his team wanted to “pay homage” to those larger than life characters in Sergio Leone’s classics like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and the work of famed Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, whose iconic samurai movies heavily influenced the genre:

Everything about [Puss in Boots], his ego, everything is big. And it’s a big show and it’s iconic. But then underneath [is] a lot of the Sergio Leone stuff, and I love Akira Kurosawa. And underneath those, they’re larger than life characters but there’s a humanity that’s underneath them, especially in Kurosawa’s work. And we wanted to tap into that.

Crawford went on to say that this story will feature big vistas, big moments, and big characters in its story about “edgy, hardened people” going after one last wish.

Puss in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish Will Feature A More Illustrative And ‘Fairy Tale’ Animation Style

In the past few years, especially following the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (as pointed out in a September 2022 Vox video), animation studios are becoming more daring and creative with the looks of their films. Titles like The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Seth Rogen’s upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem are two more examples of this new animation philosophy. 

During the 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the film’s producer, Mark Swift, pointed out during a conversation with Animation Magazine that the art team is diverting from the path it took with the Shrek movies and instead making something more illustrative and like something out of a fairy tale:

Our feature goes far beyond the plastic toy look that is often associated with CG animation. Since Puss lives in a fairy tale world, our goals was to give the film a fairy-tale illustration look. By changing the way we dealt with the textures and the surfaces and the backgrounds as well, we made his world a lot more interesting and appealing.

By turning away from the more realistic approach to animation found in most Pixar movies, as well as other big studios, the new film will be able to create a more fantastical and unique approach.

While we wait for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish to arrive in theaters, now is a perfect time to go back and see how his journey started by watching the Shrek movies streaming.

Philip Sledge
Content Producer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.