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Why The Cast Of Puss In Boots: The Last Wish Sound So Familiar

Since making his first appearance in "Shrek 2," Puss in Boots has grown to become one of the most popular characters in the DreamWorks Animation franchise. Demand for the adorable cat was so high that the studio even developed a standalone spin-off in 2011 that focused entirely on Puss in Boots rather than the other main characters such as Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona. Now, DreamWorks is revisiting the world of the feline adventurer with "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish," a sequel that will see Puss attempting to reclaim his lost lives when it is revealed he has just one final life remaining.

Featuring the returning talents of both Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in the roles of Puss and Kitty Softpaws, respectively, "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" also sees a whole new cast portraying some familiar faces and a few characters who are making their debut in the "Shrek" franchise. In either case, though, there's a good chance you'll recognize the voices of many of the actors as almost all of them are stars that have appeared in a wide array of movies and television shows over their careers.

Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots

Antonio Banderas has portrayed the lovable rogue Puss in Boots since his first appearance in "Shrek 2." So far, he has appeared in three main "Shrek" movies and his own spin-off film, along with a handful of parts in various specials. Acting as comic relief, he becomes a steadfast ally of Shrek and his companions and largely gives up on his outlaw life, which was showcased during "Puss in Boots" in 2011.

Because Puss is such an important character in the "Shrek" series, anyone who is a fan of the franchise will be very familiar with his voice. Outside of the DreamWorks movies, Banderas is an experienced actor who has won acclaim for his performances and a number of prestigious award nominations, including an Academy Award nod in 2020. The Spanish actor is probably best known for his appearances in "The Mask of Zorro" and its sequel "The Legend of Zorro," but he has also had leading roles in films such as "Interview with the Vampire," "Philadelphia," and "Desperado."

He became famous with an entirely different audience in the early 2000s when he starred in the "Spy Kids" movies as the father Gregorio Cortez alongside the likes of Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, and Danny Trejo. More recently he has appeared in both "Genius" and "Pain and Glory."

Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws

Unlike her counterpart Puss in Boots, Kitty Softpaws is a character that is not part of the overall "Shrek" series and has only made appearances in the two "Puss in Boots" films. In both cases, she has been voiced by Salma Hayek and acts as a love interest for the main character. With a somewhat no-nonsense approach, Kitty is a master manipulator and highly intelligent cat who works closely with Humpty Dumpty in the original film but soon develops romantic feelings for the hero.

Hayek got her big break starring in Mexican productions before she rose to fame in the U.S. with roles in "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Wild Wild West," and "Dogma" in the late 1990s, along with an appearance in "Desperado" alongside Antonio Banderas in 1995. The actor has also won praise for her roles in films such as "House of Gucci," with Refinery29 saying that she stole the show with her performance. Additionally, she has demonstrated her comedy chops in the likes of "Grown Ups" and "The Hitman's Bodyguard."

"Puss in Boots" and its sequel are not the only voice roles that the actor has performed over her career. She played Teresa in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's "Sausage Party," Kamila in "The Prophet," and Cutlass Liz in "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!"

Harvey Guillén as Perrito

American actor Harvey Guillén plays Perrito in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish." A new character to the franchise, he will be a companion to Puss and join him on his adventure after the pair meet when the feline hero retires and becomes a domesticated pet. Initially disguised as a cat, DreamWorks has revealed that he is actually a therapy dog rather than just a regular pet.

While Guillén is not quite as old as some of the cast of the film, he is still quite an experienced performer who has appeared in more than 60 films and television series. He began his career in 2008 when he landed a minor role in "Miss Guided" and then went on to be a part of the main cast of the ABC children's show "Huge." In the years following that, he was cast in films such as "General Education" and "The Internship" while also appearing in "The Thundermans" and "Eye Candy" on television.

In live-action roles, the actor is probably best known for his part in the mockumentary series "What We Do in the Shadows," where he plays Guillermo de la Cruz, the familiar to Kayvan Novak's Nador. As a voice actor, Guillén has also had roles in "Human Resources," "Harley Quinn," and "Archer."

Florence Pugh as Goldilocks

In "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish," Florence Pugh provides the voice of Goldilocks, a character that has previously only appeared in video games for the "Shrek" franchise rather than any movies. While little is known about the character, a trailer for the film suggests that she will play a part with the three bears that also appear in the film.

Pugh is one of the youngest members of the cast of the movie but that doesn't mean she is a complete novice. In fact, she has been nominated for a wide array of awards during her short career, including BAFTA and Academy Awards for her performance in the 2019 film "Little Women" alongside Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson. Before that, she appeared in starring roles in "Lady Macbeth" and "The Little Drummer Girl," in addition to her part in "Fighting with My Family."

Marvel fans may well recognize her from her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film "Black Widow" as Yelena Belova, a character that she reprised in the television series "Hawkeye" on Disney+ and will return to in "Thunderbolts." More recently, Pugh has appeared with Harry Styles in "Don't Worry Darling" and the Netflix-exclusive psychological drama "The Wonder."

Olivia Colman as Mama Bear

Olivia Colman plays Mama Bear in the film, an antagonist who has a strong association with Goldilocks and appears with her family members Baby Bear and Papa Bear. Despite the fact that the three bears previously appeared in the "Shrek" series of films, the characters in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" appear to be separate individuals and unconnected to the original franchise. This means that Mama Bear is still very much alive rather than being a floor rug for Lord Farquaad (via The Independent).

Colman rose to fame by playing characters in a number of shows featuring comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb, although she limited her appearances with them at the suggestion of her agent (via The Times). That's a decision that has seemingly paid off as the actor has since risen to become one of the most in-demand dramatic actors on the planet. After starring in "Broadchurch" with David Tennant, she has since had leading roles in "Fleabag," "Twenty Twelve," and "The Night Manager."

In recent years, Colman has portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in the third and fourth seasons of the Netflix series "The Crown" and starred in "Les Misérables" and "The Favourite." No stranger to voice acting, she has portrayed characters in "Scrooge: A Christmas Carol," "The Mitchells vs the Machines," and "Pudsey the Dog: The Movie."

Ray Winstone as Papa Bear

Playing the husband of Mama Bear and father of Baby Bear is English actor Ray Winstone. With his distinctive London accent, he voices Papa Bear and plays an antagonistic role toward Puss and his companions. Like Mama Bear, he appears to be a different character than the version shown in the original "Shrek" film in 2001, with a markedly different look.

In his youth, Winstone showed a passion for boxing as well as acting, becoming a schoolboy champion in England (via the National Portrait Gallery). However, he pursued drama full-time as a teenager and found himself regularly playing hard men and gangster types after his appearance in the Alan Clarke film "Scum" in 1979 (via The Guardian). Winstone has since appeared in the likes of "The Departed" and "Beowulf," along with television roles in "Ice" and "Of Kings and Prophets."

In 2008, the actor had a major part in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and more recently appeared in the MCU film "Black Widow" alongside Florence Pugh. As a voice actor, he has lent his vocal talents to characters in the film "Rango" and the video game "Killzone 3," in addition to playing Mr. Beaver in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Samson Kayo as Baby Bear

Like the other members of the three bears, Baby Bear is another character that will act as an antagonist in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" with Goldilocks. This version of the character is not exactly a baby but retains his name despite being fully grown and the same size as his parents. British actor Samson Kayo provides the voice for Baby Bear, marking his first role as a voice actor.

Perhaps the most inexperienced of the entire cast of the movie, Kayo is not as well-known a figure within the industry. That hasn't stopped him from making a name for himself, having earned two BAFTA nominations for his performances in "Bloods" and "Famalam," the second of which he also created and wrote.

On television, Kayo has also had roles in the British sitcom "Sliced" and the Amazon Prime Video series "Truth Seekers," where he played a character known as Elton John alongside the likes of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. His most recent TV part came in "Our Flag Means Death," and he has also recently had parts in the films "The Bubble" and "Dolittle."

John Mulaney as Big Jack Horner

Little is known about "Big" Jack Horner in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" other than the fact that he is being voiced by John Mulaney. One thing that does seem clear is that the character is based on the nursery rhyme figure Little Jack Horner, a young boy who sits in a corner eating a Christmas pie according to an old poem (via Poetry Foundation). Although, in this case, it appears as if Jack Horner is all grown up.

Before he made his name as a stand-up comedian and actor, Mulaney was a writer on the NBC sketch series "Saturday Night Live" (via Consequence). Following several successful stand-up tours, he has returned as a host of the show several times, including a recent 2022 stint (via The Independent).

Those watching the new DreamWorks film are likely to recognize the actor's voice from a number of other animated releases. He has provided the voice of Andrew Glouberman in both "Big Mouth" and "Human Resources" since 2017, and portrayed Chip in the 2022 film "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers." He was also responsible for bringing to life the character of Spider-Ham in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."

Wagner Moura as Big Bad Wolf

Unlike the version of the character who appears in the "Shrek" films, a figure who is mostly harmless and used as comic relief, the Big Bad Wolf in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" is a major antagonist. Portrayed by Wagner Moura, he essentially plays the role of Death, pursuing Puss as he comes to the end of his nine lives.

The Brazilian actor is almost certainly best remembered for his portrayal as the infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in Netflix's "Narcos." He played the real-life figure for two seasons and returned for the final season of "Narcos: Mexico" to direct two episodes of the show (via Entertainment Weekly). A winner of more than 40 awards, he has appeared in a wide array of both Portuguese and English-speaking projects.

While "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" is one of his very few voice acting roles, viewers may know his voice from live-action productions such as "Elite Squad" and its sequel "Elite Squad: The Enemy Within," not to mention the 2013 Neill Blomkamp film "Elysium," where he starred with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Mama Luna

Da'Vine Joy Randolph plays an important role in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" by providing the voice of the character Mama Luna. She is the person who looks after a variety of cats that have been rescued from the streets and takes responsibility for caring for Puss when he retires from his heroic adventures out of fear he will die as his lives run out.

Her first major acting role came in the Broadway production of "Ghost the Musical," where she took on the main role of Oda Mae Brown and was nominated for a Tony Award (via Broadway World). However, her career has not been limited solely to the stage, with appearances in films such as "The Last Shift" and "The Guilty." Meanwhile, the actor has been part of the cast of both "Only Murders in the Building" and "The Last O.G.."

As a voice actor, Randolph has portrayed a number of characters in films and television series. She played Christine in the Netflix series "The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show," and also voiced Bliss Marina in "Trolls World Tour." Most recently, she was the person behind Flowerface Balloon in "Trolls Holiday in Harmony" and portrayed a variety of characters in "Birdgirl."

Conrad Vernon as Gingy

The Gingerbread Man, affectionately known as Gingy to his friends, is a close associate of Shrek and the rest of the main characters in the main series. Voiced by Conrad Vernon in the majority of his appearances, he is making a return in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish." While the character is once again portrayed by Vernon, he doesn't have a particularly important role this time around.

In the original "Puss in Boots" film in 2011, Vernon was also responsible for playing Raoul. Outside of the "Shrek" franchise, he has voiced characters in a variety of other DreamWorks projects. These have included voice roles in "Bee Movie," "Flushed Away," "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas," "The Boss Baby," and "Madagascar," along with its various spin-offs and sequels. Additionally, he has also provided the voices of characters in "The Emoji Movie" and the dalmatian dog Otis in "Trouble."

However, Vernon is not solely a voice actor. He's also a filmmaker who had an important role in creating the character of the Gingerbread Man in "Shrek" as a writer and storyboard artist. He would later go on to direct "Shrek 2" and has since helmed other animated projects such as "Sausage Party," "Monsters vs. Aliens," "The Addams Family" and its sequel.

Cody Cameron as Pinocchio

Pinocchio is a regular in the "Shrek" series and has appeared in almost every film, short, and video game. So it isn't much of a surprise that he also makes an appearance in "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish," voiced by his usual actor Cody Cameron — a role he has performed more than a dozen times in total.

In much the same way that Conrad Vernon was a filmmaker who also voices characters in the films he is involved in, Cameron has also portrayed characters in various animated movies. These range from also playing the Three Little Pigs in "Shrek" and its various sequels to playing Willie in "Madagascar" and Mr. Weenie in "Open Season." Over the years, the filmmaker has also lent his voice to characters in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2," "Arthur Christmas," and "The Pig Who Cried Werewolf."

As a director, Cameron directed "Open Season 3," a direct-to-video sequel to the first two films in the series, and was then chosen to take on directing duties on "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" with Kris Pearn. Prior to that, he had worked as a story artist on the first film in the series and held a similar role at DreamWorks on projects such as "Shrek" and "Madagascar" (via Variety). In more recent times, Cameron has also worked as a story artist on "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" and directed 13 episodes of the Netflix television series "Green Eggs and Ham."