Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

image for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

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Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 8 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  • a review of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 December 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 6–8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 8 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, animated violence, coarse language, some scenes many scare young children
Length: 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Puss in Boots (Voice of Antonio Banderas) is down to the last of his nine lives and is running scared from the Grim Reaper, a very nasty Big Bad Wolf (Magnus Moura). He sets out on an adventure to find the mythical lost wishing star, which has one wish remaining.

On his travels, Puss comes close to death after meeting the Big Bad Wolf. A concerned doctor (Anthony Mendez) advises Puss to retire to the cats’ home run by Mama Luna (Da’Vine Joy Randolph). Puss gets very depressed being one of hundreds of cats rather than the fearless legend that he is. A dog in disguise, called Pero (Harvey Guillen), befriends Puss and together they escape from the home and set out to find the wishing star. However, they aren’t the only ones wanting to find it. Along the way they encounter the criminal gang of Goldilocks (Florence Pugh), Papa Bear (Ray Winstone), Mama Bear (Olivia Colman) and Baby Bear (Samson Kayo), the nasty Big Jack Horner (John Mulaney) and Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), who are all also after the last wish.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Fairy Tales; Legends; Heroes; Adventure.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a lot of violence in this movie, from start to end, some of it done for laughs, including:

  • Puss steps on a boy’s face.
  • Puss jumps from a landing into the crowd.
  • Puss cuts a man’s trousers off with his sword.
  • The giant sends Puss flying into space. Puss cuts off his arm.
  • Mama Luna hits Papa Bear, Papa Bear hits Baby Bear and throws Mama Luna into the piano.

Other violence includes:

  • A star falls to Earth and explodes.
  • Plenty of sword fighting, swashbuckling and knife throwing.
  • A fire is accidentally started in a dining hall.
  • Puss remembers his lost lives: attacked by fierce dogs; falling from a tower; blown out of a canon; blown on with fire from a furnace etc.
  • Puss and the Wolf fight on several occasions. Puss stabs the Wolf many times, with no effect. Blood is seen dripping down Puss’s face.
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears crash their way into the cats’ home looking for Puss in Boots.
  • Kitty Softpaws and Puss fight with swords.
  • Goldilocks smashes a bottle and threatens Jack Horner with the broken glass.
  • Jack Horner has a crossbow from which he sends missiles. He also uses a chicken as a flame thrower. Jack Horner says he wants to kill everyone.
  • The Big Bad Wolf smashes several glass cages containing Puss’s past lives. He says death has come for Puss. He chases after Puss.
  • The final scene is an all-out fight over the wishing star. The star starts to explode, one character is caught up in the explosion. The Big Bad Wolf has a prolonged fight with swords and sickles.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Several scary characters such as:
    • A giant monster with one eye, big teeth and branches for horns.
    • The Big Bad Wolf is a large creature with big teeth, red eyes, long sharp claws, and cloaked in a dark cloak. He carries sickles which he uses to fight with and has an evil laugh.
    • The Three Bears can be scary at times when they bare their teeth and growl.
    • Big Jack Horner is a large, nasty character who wants to be the master of all magic.
  • There are also several scary-looking scenes such as the village where Jack Horner lives. It is very black with red lights.
  • The characters enter the dark forest with thunder and lightning, tree roots and scary noises.
  • It is also very loud with lots of explosions and loud sounds.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The giant monster grabs a whole lot of people up in his hand. He then picks up a young boy.
  • Puss gets knocked out by a large bell and wakes up on a doctor’s table. The doctor tells him he did in fact die and that he can’t have many lives left.
  • The doctor has some scary-looking instruments, including scissors and a saw. He goes to take Puss’s temperature in his backside but Puss doesn’t let him.
  • Puss’s hair stands on end when he encounters the Big Bad Wolf and his pupils grow very large. The Wolf says he loves the smell of fear.
  • Puss tries to hide from the Wolf when he sees a large shadow appear. The Wolf breaks open the lock on the door with his sickle.
  • Puss buries his outfit in a grave and declares that Puss in Boots is dead. He cries.
  • The dark forest changes randomly to different scenarios. Some of them are beautiful, others quite scary.
  • A man is changed into a skeleton. Another character is turned into gold.
  • Baby Bear gets caught in the exploding star and is being sucked into the cosmos when he is saved in time.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Pero tells how his owners put him into a sock with a brick and dropped him in a river.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • There is some mild flirting and romance between Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Bugger
  • Shut up
  • Crap
  • Name calling such as:
    • Stupid
    • Bad
    • Daft
    • Fat mutt
    • Several words are bleeped out.

In a nutshell

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is an animated, comedy, adventure movie – the latest in the DreamWorks’ Shrek spinoff. The film is full of violence, mostly done for laughs, and it is also quite scary in places. For these reasons it isn’t suitable for children under 6 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 6 – 8.

The main messages from this movie are to appreciate what’s in front of you; and not to take others for granted.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Teamwork
  • Selflessness
  • Bravery
  • Courage.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • That violence isn’t the answer to most problems. Parents could discuss with their children that heroes and villains in the movies are just fun to watch. Real life heroes have much more mundane jobs such as firefighting, nursing, emergency helpers etc.
  • Parents could also discuss the stereotyping of characters such as the criminal Goldilocks and the obese Jack Horner.