How ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ Managed a ‘Fairy Tale Painting’ Animated Style (Exclusive Video)

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is an astounding animated triumph, a movie that looks (and more importantly feels) much different than 2011’s “Puss in Boots” (a spin-off from the “Shrek” franchise). It’s gorgeously animated too, employing a unique visual style that director Joel Crawford described as a “fairy tale painting look.” And if you’re wondering just how they pulled it off, we’ve got some exclusive videos on the making of the movie.

This time around Puss in Boots (voiced once again by Antonio Banderas) realizes he is on the last of his nine lives. This sets the ridiculously high stakes and sends him on a quest to find a wishing star, to restore his other lives. Of course, there are some villains on his tail (including Florence Pugh as Goldilocks and John Mulaney as “Big” Jack Horner), making his adventure much more difficult than the self-described “favorite fearless hero” would have imagined.

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““DreamWorks Animation truly is a team of phenomenal artists and technicians who collaborate so well together to push what an animated film can be,” Mark Edwards, VFX supervisor of “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” said. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a perfect example of this—taking the concept of a fairytale painting and running with it across all departments, implementing hundreds of small artistic tweaks to create something new.”

In the first video we see Puss fighting a giant. While he ultimately vanquishes his foe, Puss still ends up dying – his eighth life, to be exact. ““It was our first big action sequence into production,” Edwards said of the sequence. “And we needed to solve so many problems to hit the creative goals. Our stepped-animation pipeline, level of artistic detail controls, foliage on a massive character baked per frame and FX destruction process were all integral to that scene. Every department leaned into the style and techniques to create a wonderfully dynamic sequence.”

The second video showcases the creation of some of the new characters from “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” including the wolf (later revealed to be death himself) and the aforementioned Goldilocks. “Wolf has this great diamond-shape language incorporated into his silhouette,” Edwards said. “And a face mask that made him fun to push in CFX and lighting. At times, we could also push him into his basic black, white and red color palette to heighten the drama.” He extends kudos for the execution to DreamWorks Animation leadership. “Margie and Kristin were excellent partners in letting the team go dark and quite scary with the Wolf,” Edwards says, “to build the proper stakes needed for the storytelling.”

The third video showcases how they achieved the overall look for “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” that “fairy tale painting” that director Crawford talked about. It’s fascinating and really illuminates how tough it was to create. If you think this is just some sequel; think again.

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is in theaters now.

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