By Roman Hernandez
Dreamworks is a beloved animation studio that has released some amazing classics. Titles such as Kung Fu Panda, Megamind, How to Train Your Dragon, and of course, the iconic and loved Shrek. However, their most famous and popular films were released over a decade ago, and as the years continued, Dreamworks entered a slump, releasing mediocre animated films that didn’t hold up to the quality of the iconic franchises released before. Films like Boss Baby, Trolls, and Home are a few examples of films that although somewhat successful at the box office, are viewed by critics as painfully mediocre, emphasizing the downfall of Dreamworks studios. The mid-2010s was a drought of quality films that long-time Dreamworks fans came to expect. Then in 2022, we finally got something a little different. Bad Guys was released on April 22, 2022, presenting a new style of animation. A blend of 2D and 3D animation that captured the story of a villainous wolf and his gang going against what they know to become the good guys. The film was a breath of fresh air as all we got from Dreamworks the previous year in 2021 was a sequel to Boss Baby and Trolls.
Then on December 21, 2022, Puss In Boots 2: The Last Wish was released. A sequel to a franchise many may have forgotten about considering the first Puss in Boots came out way back in 2011. Knowing that the movie should have failed. Even though it is connected to the beloved Shrek franchise, the sequel came out over a decade ago, and many fans were already labeling the movie another boring spin-off. However, after its’ release, high ratings, and endorsements flooded the review channels. Many praised its’ incredible animation, using a similar style to Bad Guys which was released earlier in the year. The 2D/3D blend was enhanced with a beautiful color palette. Not only was the animation smooth and crisp, but the scenery was pleasing to the eye, drawing forests, cities, and more in vivid colors that developed Puss’s world. Not only that but the story was incredibly engaging. Following beloved Puss In Boots, the fearless and famous legend is down to his last cat life. After recklessly living his life, he finds Death lurking in the shadows and begins to understand that he is not the immortal legend he thought he was. He begins to search for the Wishing star, so he can wish for his 8 other lives back. This emotional journey is enhanced with incredibly written characters. His allies, Perrito, and Kitty Softpaws create a gang of unlikely allies that are not only hilarious on screen but teach Puss the value that just one life can have. Famous folklore tale characters Goldilocks and the Three Bears also debut on the big screen, going through their wholesome arc as a family. Villain to the gang Jack Horner is a character you would not think to be entertaining but is a hilarious and incredibly entertaining villain who just wants to see the world burn. And finally, Death himself. Death is the reason that Puss fears Death. A wolf with burning red eyes, his ghastly whistle is heard when you least expect it, showing Puss that Death, is always watching. This film is a masterpiece and puts Dreamworks studios right back on the map where it belongs. I only hope that Dreamworks maintains this newfound momentum they got from the release of this film.