Talking to director Joel Crawford on the eve of the release of the trailer for the long-awaited sequel Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, the enthusiasm for the project was palpable.
A storyboard artist for some of DreamWorks Animation’s biggest titles – he can claim his hand in such productions as Kung Fu Panda, Shrek Forever After and Trolls – Crawford made his directorial debut with 2020’s The Croods: A New Age, where our Peter Gray spoke with him about finding his feet as a feature director and assembling such a vast cast, two things that carried over to his duties with The Last Wish.
Returning as the titular fearless feline and his saucy sidekick, Kitty Soft Paws, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek furthered their relationship with both each other and their characters through what Crawford described as “an exciting collaboration”; “I couldn’t talk about this movie and this character (Puss) without mentioning Kitty!”
Not only are Banderas and Hayek back in the fray, Crawford could barely contain himself when discussing the new cast members he had managed to get on board the animated lunacy. Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, and John Mulaney, to name but a few. A “crime-family” take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears means Pugh’s Goldie and the parents Bears of Colman and Winstone won’t be like any iteration we’ve seen before, whilst Mulaney’s signature vocals will bring the legend of (little) Jack Horner to life.
Excited at the prospect of bringing heart and reflection to the film given we’ve all had a new perspective on life over these last two unprecedented years, Crawford’s wish for The Last Wish is that we appreciate the time we are given – and, of course, to enjoy Puss’s adventure on the big screen, the way he intended it to be seen.
Puss In Boots: The Last Wish is arriving in Australian cinemas soon