‘Puss in Boots: The secret ingredient of the final desire is these important characters

One of the many reasons why Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Being one of the best movies of 2022 is due to the emotional performances, especially the three main antagonists who cause problems for Puss (Antonio Banderas) and his friends throughout the film. Many movies have a problem with multiple villains, as at times it can make the movie feel busy and crowded. That’s not the case for Puss in Boots’ antagonists in his second feature film, as they all bring something unique and interesting to the table.

Over the course of just one hour and forty minutes, Goldilocks Compassion (Florence Pugh), big lazy Jack Horner (John Mulaney) and even dangerous death (Wagner Moura) himself buried their name into the room of animals of infamy.

Related: 10 Most Underrated Villains From Modern Animated Movies

Goldilocks and her bear family are the lovable anti-heroes in ‘Puss and Boots: The Last Wish’

Goldilocks displays a wish poster with Puss's face on it in Puss in Boots The Last Wish
Image via DreamWorks

While Goldilocks and the Three Bears crime family take on antagonistic roles for most of the film, they aren’t so much villains as they are anti-heroes, doing bad things for a good cause. Well, maybe not Great The reason, because they want to become a respected crime family, but they are motivated mainly by making their adopted daughter, Goldi, happy. Although the movie introduces the bears as intimidating minions of Goldilocks, we quickly see that the three bears are more human than they seem. daddy bearRay Winstone) is a gentleman, Mama Bear (Olivia Colman) is a protective mother figure, and Baby Bear (Samson Kayo) is a cocky rascal.

Like all the main characters in the movie, Goldilocks and the three bears are looking to get the power of the Wishing Star, which as the name implies, can give everyone what they want. The three main bears follow Goldi’s lead but are happily unaware that she needs to use the Wishing Star to find her true human family. When the bears discover this, they are understandably hurt that the young woman they have raised is what they want instead. However, they still decide to help her get her wish, which leads to a change of heart against the selfish hero.

In the end, instead of using the last wish, Goldilocks helps Puss destroy it, so that truly evil people like Big Jack Horner cannot use its great power. On this journey through the dark forest, Goldi realizes that she never needed a wish to begin with, because she has a truly loving family that is willing to do anything for her. They leave the forest with a new sense of family as they go to claim Jack Horner’s base and kingdom because he won’t need it anymore.

‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’s Big Jack Horner is an “irredeemable monster”

An ethical bug sticks to Jack Horner's shoulder while giving him advice in 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish'
Image via DreamWorks

Big Jack Horner is not only the complete opposite of Goldilocks, a selfish and nefarious sociopath without any friends or family ties, he is almost something like the anti-Shrek (Mike Myers). Arguments can make Jack Horner a version of Shrek who has never gone through the hero’s journey, and has become cruel and vindictive to the point where he resents all the magical creatures and wants nothing more than to see them all disappear. Although he is irredeemable in every sense of the word, we get a brief explanation of why Jack Horner is so evil, with a brief flashback showing the nursery rhyme character being upstaged by Pinocchio (Cody Cameron)

Since then, Horner has built his own criminal empire with chili roasting as a front. Although his true pastime is a collection of magical artifacts and creatures, such as the mighty sword Excalibur, a divine fire-breathing phoenix, and even a self-proclaimed wisdom on ethics (.Kevin McCann). Cricket tries relentlessly to get Jack to see the error of his ways, but when Big Jack Horner reveals his plan to use the Wishing Star to take over the world while ignoring the lives and sacrifices of his minions, it becomes clear that there is none. Help this reprehensible monster.

Big Jack Horner learns the hard way that karma is not kind to those who live as if everything is at his service, as he faces a brutal death along with the Wishing Star.

Death is a fearsome enemy

Death, a terrifying werewolf with a black hood and red eyes, smiles in 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.'
Image via Universal Pictures

The villains mentioned above are sentimental characters, although admittedly Goldilocks is too soft while Big Jack Horner is too tough. The Big Bad Wolf in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is the right definition of life. However, perhaps “living” is the wrong word to use, as this Wolf is not what he seems to be. When Puss first meets the Wolf introduced in the masterfully acted villain, Puss and the audience think he is just a skilled and charismatic hunter, becoming the only one who can hunt down Puss.

With Puss down to the last of his nine lives, this ferocious monster’s threat is the most terrifying he’s ever encountered. The dire wolf spends the movie following Puss everywhere he goes, though he seems to magically appear and, unlike everyone else in the movie, doesn’t appear on the Wishing Star map. The second encounter reveals why this is, because this Bad Wolf is not just a bounty hunter. In fact, he is a symbol of death, and he holds a personal grudge against Puss for ignoring him for the past eight lives. He relished the opportunity to finally give himself a life, to end his mockery of Puss once and for all.

What makes Death such a fascinating character is that he is not an unforgivable evil like Jack Horner, but not a good-hearted soul like Goldilocks. On the one hand, leading spirits to their deaths is the work of death, but on the other hand, he enjoys torturing Puss and finds great entertainment in chasing him around the land. In the end, the most surprising thing that Death experiences is wrong, when he sees that Puss accepts his fate and defends himself. Death finally decides to give Puss one last chance at life, but also indicates that they will meet again… one day.

‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’s Strong Villains Make a Good Movie Great

Puss in Boots
Image via Dreamworks

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish push back against the general trend in movies, especially animation. For whatever reason, captivating enemies have become an afterthought, often presented as villains who do evil for evil’s sake. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Prove that they can become the secret ingredient of a lasting and memorable storyline with just a few drops of backstory and motivation. The popular Dreamworks movie also shows only three fundamentally different ways of including interesting villains, whether anti-heroes with legitimate motivations, reprehensible monsters with a touch of humor, or dead followers shrouded in mystery.

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